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Cropped Clare Pants from Sew Dainty

Something a little different from me today…  I made trousers!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect cropped wide leg trouser pattern for a while. I didn’t want a fitted style ( I have made The Persephone Pants and whilst these are beautiful, I don’t wear them too often because they are quite fitted and don’t feel all that comfortable to mooch around in), but was looking for a pair that would feel relaxed but look pretty cute too.

Whilst out shopping recently with my friend Kate, I spotted a lady across the road wearing the exact cropped style of trousers that I wanted and Kate mentioned that The Clare Pant  from Stylearc  looked pretty similar to these. She was right and despite trying not to buy patterns unless they are on sale, it kind of slipped into my shopping basket and, well, here we are now.

The Clare Pant is a cropped wide leg trouser featuring an elasticated waist, pleats at the front, big pockets and tie belt. I absolutely love it.

The fabric that I chose to use from Sewisfaction is this utterly gorgeous Robert Kaufman Chambray Union. It is the most beautiful shade of neutral grey/blue and couldn’t be more perfect for these trousers. The cotton is breathable and soft and it looks great with a t-shirt and trainers, but could easily be dressed up if necessary. I am imagining this with a silk cami on a summer evening..

Anyone that has sewn a Stylearc pattern before will know that their instructions are very brief and basic. However despite my initial concern at first glance, they are actually all that you need (along with the diagrams that are also helpful), and to be fair as long as you read them carefully you should be ok. Having said that, I did scratch my head on the part where it tells you to press the front pleats in a certain direction. I’m still not sure if this is the direction that the pleat is intended to lay, but this is how I wanted them! Stylearc give this pattern a ‘medium’ rating in terms of difficulty and I would agree with this.

The pockets are wonderfully massive, and finished with a nice little line of topstitching.

Another great feature of the pattern that I really like is that the waistband is elasticated. Even better is that the front section lays flat and the gathers are only at the back. You can see from the image below that the gathers start and finish at the pockets each side, and four horizontal rows of stitching ensure that it stays evenly gathered and lays flat with no twisting.

The jury is still out as to if the gathers are a little unflattering from the rear view (shown below without the belt), but I figure that what I can’t see, I’m not going to worry about!

The only alteration that I had to make on a straight size 12, was the length of the legs. This is a standard alteration that I always need as I am 5’2”, and I actually had to shorten the pattern by a whopping 13.5cm, which still left me with a generous 3.5cm hem. The trousers are intended to be a 7/8th leg length, but I felt that I needed to make mine a fraction shorter than this to be flattering on my proportions.

I know for a fact that I will use this pattern again and again. I absolutely love it. Imagine it made up in a lovely linen or a drapey crepe, such possiblilites!

Huge thanks to Sheona for providing me with such lovely fabric, these will certainly be getting lots of wear this Summer,

Until next time,

Kathy x

@sew_dainty

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#MySewisfaction July Makers Gallery

We’re loving all your bright and bold summer looks this month and it’s made it VERY difficult to decide our winner but of course we managed to pick just one in the end, the amazing Jenny of @Jennylovestosew.

She recently pattern tested the Sewspace ‘Rosalee’ dress in our floral peach skin and we love, love, love it. Congratulations Jenny, you’re the winner of a £25 Sewisfaction voucher to use on your next project!

Makers Gallery

Jennifer (@_mysewingdiary) in her Sew Over It ‘Ultimate Pencil Skirt’ made in our Stretch Lemon Fabric

Laura (@sewlovelylaura) in her Common Stitch ‘Bellbird Wrap dress’

Joanna (@joannasfeelingcrafty) in her New Look 6554 jumpsuit

Lisa (@sew_what73) in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Stevie’ dress

Marz (@marz_made) in her Named Clothing ‘Olivia’ Dress

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#MySewisfaction meet the maker: Yvonne Scott

We have another fab maker on the blog this week and she just so happens to be our top #MySewisfaction pick for July. We fell in love with this Aperol Spritz inspired jumpsuit (summer drinks and sewing – yes please) over on her Instagram and we had even more fun finding out all about her:

Hi Yvonne, tell us a bit about yourself? 

Hello I’m Yvonne Scott ( Scott by name and a Scot by birth!). I’m a fifty something young person and I live about 15 mins drive from Sewisfaction. I moved to Berkshire in 1986 with my husband. We  only intended to live in here for 2 years but somehow 4 children , 7 grandchildren and lots of good friends later we’re still here and though we miss Scotland we love it here too.
I studied Maths at University and after moving to Berkshire started teaching adult IT courses until 1996 when I did a teacher training course and became a Maths teacher. I love it when students come up with new ways to think about a problem I’ve set- lots of people don’t see Maths as a creative subject but it really is and I think that’s why I enjoy it.
I have had a go at many crafts as I enjoy being creative but sewing and knitting are my big loves- in fact I tend to have either a knitting or sewing project on the go sometimes both! I really enjoy a craft day with my crafty friends Lynn and Sally where we sit and chat and make things.
I like to keep busy so if I’m not doing crafts I’ll be running or cycling.
How did you get into sewing?
I started sewing as a young child. My mum was a domestic science teacher ( food and textiles nowadays) and did a lot of dressmaking. She made her own wedding dress on my Granny’s treadle sewing machine in 1960. My mum was a real inspiration as she was either knitting or sewing when I was young and still is.
When I was at primary school, girls had knitting and sewing lessons and if you were good at knitting you then got to move onto the sewing machine which I managed as I’d been knitting long before the lessons. I loved going to fabric shops with my mum and getting to chose my own fabrics to work with. I remember making my own clothes for taking on holiday in the 1970s as a teenager. I continued to sew quite a lot up until about 1986 when we moved to Berkshire where I found it quite difficult to find fabrics/patterns etc as I didn’t drive.
My sewing took a bit of a back seat for many years though I still made a few things on and off including a prom dress for my youngest daughter about 12 years ago now!
I was reinspired to sew a bit more when ‘ The Great British Sewing Bee’ was screened and then Sewisfaction opened making it a bit easier to buy fabrics locally.
Where do you do your sewing?
 My sewing machine lives in a wardrobe so it’s a bit of an effort to get it out and sew. I sew at my dining table in my house. This used to be a separate room but 4 years ago we extended and made the dining room part of an open plan kitchen/living space. It’s light and a good place to work.
My threads/fabrics are all stored in lots of places. When I have a project on the go it comes out and generally stays out until the project is finished – that usually means a project is finished really quickly and I don’t really have any UFO’s (unlike my knitting projects where I have several!!) I’d really like to have a sewing room- maybe one day!
What’s your proudest ever make? 
There are lots of these and difficult to decide as there are bits in every garment that are challenging.
I’m really proud of my Ames jeans that I made this year as putting the zip into the fly was really challenging mainly due to having to shorten the zip by 2 inches!! This meant I had to pull teeth off of the zip with pliers so I could shorten it as you can’t just cut or sew through a metal zip. I learnt a lot about zips in that make!!
 I would also include my youngest daughters prom dress- it’s the only garment I’ve ever made a toile for.
What’s next on your sewing list? 
I’m not sure as when I finish a garment I might not sew again for several months. Sometimes fabrics inspire me to get a pattern out or instagram posts. My jumpsuit that got me sewer of the month (which I really didn’t expect and was very pleased with) was one such project.
I had seen a few posts using the pattern and then Sheona posted new fabrics one of which was the linen viscose so I went to look et voila! At the moment I’m interested in refashioning garments having read some articles about the damage fashion is doing to the Earths resources so I have decided to not buy new and to make only using fabrics I have. So in that respect I’m looking for ideas for taking garments I already have and re making them into another garment rather than throwing it away. I’m not sure how easy this is going to be though.
Congrats again Yvonne, we hope you enjoy your well earned £25 voucher and as always, if you’d like to be just like this months fab #MySewisfaction winner, don’t forget to tag your pics with the hashtag to be in with chance of winning.
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Sew the trends: From High street to Handmade

It’s scorching hot this week with plenty of sun to showcase our summer makes in and our ‘new in’ fabrics are reminding us of all those beautiful clothing we’ve been seeing on the high-street this season.

Scroll down to see what we’ll be making with them probably this weekend – who needs to go outside eh!?

Sun Dress – New Look

Gingham is the new black when it comes to summer trends and this super soft, ‘Gingham Seersucker Daisy‘ paired with the Tilly and the Buttons ‘Seren’ dress are a match made in sewing heaven. To really nail the look, swap the chunky straps for skinny ones!

Midi dress – Matches Fashion

Could this dress and fabric be a more perfect match!? We thought so too, and with this beauty from Matches Fashion priced at a whopping £822, we think a me made version is most definitely the most cost-effective way forward here. Pair our ‘Vienna Blue Brocade‘ with the True Bias ‘Shelby’ Dress for a more structured version of this garment.

Colour-pop denim – Monki

Bright denim is all the rage for the season ahead, make like this Monki set and pair your denim with you guessed it… more bright denim! Recreate this lilac lovers look using our ‘Magenta Stretch Denim‘ and Megan Nielsen ‘Dawn’ Jeans.

Red leopard midi – Free People

Leopard isn’t going anywhere at this point, but do yourself a favour and update it with a pop of colour, this dress from Free People is almost identical to the Deer And Doe ‘Magnolia’ dress – without the fiddly buttons! Pair with our ‘Ruby Leopard Viscose’ to create this statement midi for yourself.

Broderie Anglais Shirtdress – Stradivarius

Jump on the biggest transitional trend of the season with this broderie anglais style shirt dress – perfect for channelling the ‘Prarie Girl’ style of mid 00’s Sienna Millar. Create this all season shirt by pairing our ‘Stepping Stones Embroidered Cotton‘ with the Sew Over It ‘Vintage Shirt Dress’.

 

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Sewisfaction are popping up in Bath!

Sewisfaction the makery bath vv rouleaux

We’re so excited to announce we’ll be heading to Bath for the third stop on our pop-up tour! We’ll be hosting a one-day pop-up shop in Bath on 10th August at iconic haberdashery V V Rouleaux, with The Makery. We can’t wait to collaborate with these two creative superstars.

Sewisfaction the makery bath vv rouleaux

The event will be brimming with activity: The Makery will be hosting mini workshops for customers at intervals throughout the day, and visitors will receive a goodie-bag with every purchase. As a champion of other small businesses, Sheona, owner and founder of Sewisfaction is working with a range of independent, female-run brands to bring the tour to life, and the Bath stop sees her collaborating with not one, but two crafting giants.

Sewisfaction the makery bath vv rouleaux

The Makery was founded in Bath by owner Kate Smith over a decade ago, and along with her talented team has taught well over 100,000 people a crafty skill in its workshops and events across the UK. Working with the likes of John Lewis, Soho House and Anthropologie, The Makery also brings brands to life through their experiential creative events. “We joined forces with V V Rouleaux earlier this year, and now host all our Bath-based workshops from their fabulous space.” says Kate. “Sewisfaction’s beautiful fabric is the perfect addition to the mix; we’re sure our customers will be thrilled!”

Sewisfaction the makery bath vv rouleaux

Sewisfaction the makery bath vv rouleaux

The perfect pairing for any Sewisfaction fabric, V V Rouleaux’s stunning passementerie emporium will play host to the event. With a focus on the cutting edge of contemporary haberdashery, V V Rouleaux blends old-world know-how with fresh urban cool. Bursting with an inexhaustible range of luxury ribbon, feathers, tassels, trimmings and so much more, this Aladdin’s cave for the craft aficionado is located right in the heart of city centre. Annabel Lewis, founder of V V Rouleaux said: “The Makery and Sewisfaction share V V Rouleaux’s passion for designing, crafting, and being totally creative. We can’t wait to see how their makers pair our ribbons and trims with their fabric selections”

sewing fabric wokingham berkshire

The event will be hosted at V V Rouleaux – 9 Edgar Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2EE and will be open to customers from 10am to 4pm. Entry to the event is free of charge, but customers can RSVP on our
Facebook event or comment below.

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The Big Summer Stitch Up is back!

It’s baaaccckkk! Our favourite summer event, The Big Summer Stitch Up is happening this weekend – wooo!

In case you haven’t been to the Stitch Up before, or if you’re new to sewing meet up’s altogether, don’t panic, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about this super-fun event.

What is The Big Summer Stitch Up?

The Stitch Up is a celebration of all things sewing – meet your Instagram friends in real life, swoon over our new in fabrics (with a discount of course) and take part in our crafty demonstrations and workshops.

Our Holme Grange HQ is going to be buzzing with activity including:

  • Pattern swap
  • 10% discount on all full-priced fabrics
  • Best Dressed Competition (Handmade of course!)
  • A brilliant raffle with lots of amazing prizes in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support (Full list of prizes below)
  • Demos and workshops from some of our brilliant craft teachers

Where are you based and how do I get there?

We’re based at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3AW. Sewisfaction is based upstairs and will be a hive of activity on the day, and there’ll be other things going on throughout the village. There is ample free parking and we’re very easy to get to from both the M4 and M3 and we’re 5 minutes from Wokingham Train Station in a cab. You can find us on Google Maps here.

I really want to come but I don’t know anyone!

Please don’t worry! Sewing can be a fairly solitary hobby at times which is why it is so great to get out and meet people at these events and everyone is usually super friendly and happy to chat, and remember lots of other people come on their own too. Why not join our Facebook group and post in there to see if anyone else is coming from near you or wants to meet up on the day. Also, Sheona and the Sewisfaction team will be available all day and are so looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. If you’re on your own make sure to pop in and see us first and we have a catch up!

Do I need to register?

You can just turn up on the day, but it would really help us if you could register in advance so we have an idea of how many people to expect – this’ll help us make sure the fizz is well stocked and we’ve got enough goodies for you! You can RSVP on Facebook here, it’s completely free.

Timings

The event will be on between 11am – 4pm and you’re welcome to pop in or stay for the whole event! The cafe at Holme Grange Craft Village and other shops are open 10am – 5pm.

The amazingly talented Lucy Dorothy will be demoing Freemotion Machine Embroidery and Paper Cutting between 11am – 1pm. Whilst our very own Nerrisa will be running a customisation workshops with materials from our friends over at Happy Fabric for a bargain at £5 each with all proceeds going to Macmillan.

Raffle tickets will be available throughout the day and winners will be announced at 4pm.

Pattern Swap

Got a pattern stashed away unloved? Bring it to our swap and someone else might just love it! If you bring something you can take something away with you – you might find a real gem.

Special Offers

There’ll be 10% off all full price Sewisfaction fabrics throughout the day.

Raffle Prizes

Our raffle is the place to be if you love sewing and crafts and we can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone that donated these quite frankly AMAZING prizes, read on for a little prize preview:

2 PDF patterns from Cashmerette

Marshmello Dress and PDF pattern from CocoWawa Crafts

Swedish tracing paper and pattern storage from Creative Industry

8″ Dressmaking scissors from Ernest Wright and Co.

Pattern weights from Foxglove and Field

£20 voucher from Gather ‘n’ Sew

£50 fabric bundle from Girl Charlee

£20 fabric voucher from Guthrie & Ghani

Project bundle and voucher from Happy Fabric

5 copies of Tilly and the Buttons ‘Stretch’ from Quadrille Publishing

3 PDF patterns from Helens Closet

3 PDF patterns from I AM Patterns

PDF pattern from Maven Patterns

Scissors and Thread Clips from Merchant and Mills

£100 voucher from Minerva Crafts

3 Paper patterns from Named Clothing

Acrylic Button necklace from Sew Dainty

Lucky Dip box from Sew Hayley Jane

£50 Voucher from Sew Me Sunshine

£25 Voucher from The Fold Line

2 PDF Patterns from Wearable Studio

1 Paper pattern and a discount voucher from Dovetailed London

An online workshop of winners choice from Tilly and The Buttons

And even more!

So make sure you pop on your best memade and head down to Sewisfaction this weekend – We can’t wait to see you there!

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#MySewisfaction June Makers Gallery

The sun is well and truly out now which means June has been full of some beautiful summer makes – woooh!

First up in our June makers gallery is our amazing #MySewisfaction winner who wins a £25 Sewisfaction voucher ready for her next project and the lucky winner is *drumroll* Yvonne of @scotty1963

We’re always fans of any garment inspired by a summer drink and this Aperol Spritz Simplicity jumpsuit made in our ‘Washed Rayon Linen‘ is just amazing. Congrats to Yvonne and look out on the blog for more from her very soon.

Makers Gallery

Jenny (@jennylovestosew) in her Deer and Doe ‘Melilot’ shirt made using our Golden Wild cotton

Amrit (@madebyamrit) in her Nina Lee ‘Mayfair’ dress made using our Leafty Tropics Jersey

Suzy (@suzysewfar) in her Chalk and Notch ‘Fringe’ dress made using our Swiss Dot Cotton

Lisbeth(@lisbethmakes) in her Papercut Patterns ‘Palisade’ pants made using our stretch cotton

Naomi (@naomialicec) in her Sew Over It ‘Doris’ dress

Don’t forget if you want to be featured in our makers gallery and be in with the chance of winning a £25 Sewisfaction voucher, make sure to tag all of your makes with #MySewisfaction and look out for next months gallery!

 

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#MySewisfaction meet the maker: Rachel Cosgrove

It’s time to meet this month’s meet the maker and if you already follow her on Instagram, you’ll know she’s an expert at making all of our fabrics look amazing – #Sewisfactionsuperfan anyone?

We asked Rachel (@scissorspapersewn) our #MySewifaction meet the maker questions so you can get to know how fabulous she is too!

Hi Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Rachel, a forty-something Mum and a bit bonkers about sewing, so it helps that I live about 10 minutes from Sewisfaction. I was chuffed to bits to be picked as the May Maker! I have two girls who are 8 and 11, two cats and a brilliant husband who has learned to say all the right things when I arrive in my latest make asking ‘what do you think?”.

I’ve always had a passion for creative endeavours – painting, dancing, creative writing. I painted the hallway of our first home to look like faux marble. It took me a whole bank holiday weekend, gave me chronic neck-ache and, looking back now, it must’ve been grotesque! After uni I followed my curiosity into the world of advertising and direct marketing to join my tribe and play with words all day.

How did you get into sewing? 

That would be my Mum. Her first job was as a seamstress. My Dad just dropped that into conversation recently. I knew she made her wedding dress. She showed me how to cut out a pattern, transfer the markings and was a stickler for pre-washing your fabric. We lived in Lancashire and she’d take me to the mill shops and I’d watch the bolts bouncing across the table as the women yanked the fabric along, measuring by eye, snipping and ripping down the grain like they were opening great curtains. After showing me how to thread up her Jones sewing machine she left me to crack on. I started out trying to make a coat. Talk about ridiculous! I didn’t finish it.

I’ve learned through trial and plenty of error as there was no YouTube. You can learn so quickly and readily now, it’s wonderful.  In my twenties, I made simple cotton shift dresses and 1950s circle skirt numbers but didn’t get as far as pattern adjustments. I sewed myself two dresses from curtain fabrics for my brother’s wedding  – he married a lovely Irish girl and they had two parties. I only got back into sewing last summer when my sewjo suddenly awoke from its slumber!

Where do you do your sewing?

I commandeered our new dining room when we extended our house. Cheeky move but I’m getting away with it so far! My sewing table is a drop-leaf one from IKEA that folds down to almost nothing. I could do with proper storage for my fabric and patterns – what you can’t see behind the camera is boxes stuffed with fabric, notions, patterns, UFOs but let’s just look at the pretty table that I tidied up just for you! Spotted my little helper yet?

What’s your proudest ever make?

I was going to say the Ginger jeans I made with Charlotte Newland at the Sewisfaction workshop because…well… jeans! Toiling, adjustments, top-stitching, fly zipper, rivets, Charlotte hoiking you about by the pants. It was amazing but I’d have to land on these Butterick B6178 culottes. I spent ages on the fit, the zip, and I lined them. They were the first garment I’d lined without the first idea about how to do so. I figured it out myself and that’s what edges it for me.

What’s up next in your sewing pile?

Oh blimey, my next-make list changes every time I open my eyes!  I really want to make a jumpsuit but I don’t want to make something that would probably end up touching a toilet floor while I do a backbend undoing the zipper. I’m currently eyeing the new True Bias Shelby which is a front opening romper suit with buttons. Sometimes a fabric swoops in, grabs me by the sewjo and I’m a woman possessed. So, keep an eye out!

Isn’t Rachel amazing? We can’t wait to see her next make and if you’d like to see it too, then why not give her a follow over on Instagram?

Congrats again Rachel, we hope you enjoy your well earned £25 voucher and as always, if you’d like to be just like this months fab #MySewisfaction winner, don’t forget to tag your pics with the hashtag to be in with chance of winning.
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A Kalle Shirt Dress from Lesley

Hi all, its Lesley here again or @sew_sleep_deprived as I’m known on Instagram.

For this blog I was torn with indecision for quite a while what to do. Sheona as always has utterly gorgeous fabric which kept turning my head towards all sorts of lovely summer garments. Added to the mix when I signed up I was part way through Me Made May which if you haven’t heard of it is a challenge by blogger Zoe (So Zo What Do You Know) to encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. In essence you are encouraged set yourself a target of wearing say one me made item of clothing a week, a day, etc and to encourage you to wear your me-mades and reflect on your skills, creativity and learn some lessons about yourself.

I thoroughly enjoy #memademay as it’s an opportunity to reflect on your wardrobe, what gets worn most, what rarely gets worn, what combos work well, and whether there are any gaps. Initially I ordered fabric after seeing the gorgeous Emily Hallman wear a pair of McCall’s M7661 (my crush level on Emily is not yet at the point of needing a restraining order but I am rather in love with her and her sewing). However, after a few more weeks of ‘Me Made May’ it became clear I do not need any more trousers for quite some time. Also, as lovely as a pair of big floral wide leg trousers would be, I don’t really have the lifestyle currently to wear them. Right now my life requires practical clothing but my soul craves some luxury. Which thankfully is something Sewisfaction stocks by the metre.

I chose this viscose twill fabric. The colour is something lovely for summer but I also have visions of this being an autumn and winter staple. The texture is just unreal. It is so soft and bouncy and drapes beautifully. It also frays like a bugger so beware. I overlocked the raw ends before washing this but even the selvage came apart a little after washing so perhaps next time I might overlock the whole piece. If you don’t have an overlocker I would highly recommend you folding this in half and use a zigzag stitch to stitch the two ends together.

In terms of pattern choice I went for the Kalle shirt dress by Closet Case patterns. I’d toyed with the Heron dress by The Sewing Revival but I’m on a bit of a binge of Closet Case patterns at the moment. They’re incredibly well drafted and often come with a brilliant online tutorial. I went for the popover full dress version this time with no hacks or edits to the pattern. I’ve sized down one from my measurements but could afford to size down further if you want a sleeker look.

This fabric is very soft and a bit slippery. My tip is to use lots of pins as the fabric can move as you sew. A walking foot in your machine can also be a good bet when it comes to slippery fabric. Also test out your stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure your tension is correct for the fabric. I’d also check you have a new needle in your machine as a blunt needle can result in pulled threads which would be such a shame. But don’t let this put you off – its standard practice when you sew with anything but cutting corners with lovely drapey fabric like this can result in regrets later on.

And here is the finished result. I’m truly and utterly in love with this dress. Its lovely and soft for summer with bare legs (varicose veins be damned!) but will also be fab in winter with black boots and tights. Personally I prefer the Kalle with a belt but that’s a personal choice. And one of the best things is its totally and utterly practical. I can chuck it on and walk the dog or go down the pub for a nice night with friends.

Thanks for having me again team Sewisfaction!