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Sewisfaction Sale Time!

Christmas has come early at Sewisfaction! We’ve got lots more new and exciting fabric arriving in the New Year, so we’re giving you 25% off ALL fabrics until we return on 3rd January 2018! And yep, that includes any already on sale. Remember though, once they’re gone, they’re gone, so if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to snap it up!

Thank you for all your support this year. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

xXx

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Dress du Jour – Samantha’s Avid Seamstress Day Dress

avid seamstress day dress review

Merry Christmas fellow Sewing Addicts, its Samantha from Sew By The Seaside with my latest make for the Sewisfaction Blogger team!

sewing dressmaking with crepe

For my latest post I have made this gorgeous The Avid Seamstress Day Dress using Crepe in Royal Blue from Sewisfaction – the crepe comes in a variety of colours in the shop and is a dream to work with!

sewing dressmaking with crepe

I have had this pattern in my stash for a while now, I picked it up when I visited the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel back in September. The Avid Seamstress had a stand at the show, it was filled with their gorgeous patterns, beautifully made samples and the wonderful founder Lisa was on hand to chat about her designs. Lisa is wonderfully passionate about her designs and this comes across, not just when chatting to her, but in the design of the products themselves. Each pattern pack includes detailed instruction booklets with images to help you along. Many of the patterns also have online tutorials and step by step guides in case you need an extra hand.

It was the sample of The Day Dress on the stand that had me sold (the same dress that features on the Cover of the packaging), the silhouette is flattering for all shapes, perfect for day or night, can be made in a variety of fabrics and IT HAS POCKETS!

There are many fabrics in the Sewisfaction shop that would be perfect for this make, but as soon as I saw the vibrant blue of this crepe I knew it needed to be a dress in my wardrobe. The pattern itself has three different options; Option A has a seam at centre front, Option B has buttons at centre front and Option C is no seam at centre front… I opted for option C, but love when a pattern gives you variety! The skirt is gathered but again you could choose different pleats or less gather to suit you and your style.

avid seamstress day dress review

The dress has an invisible zip fastening and isn’t lined (it could easily be done) but does have facing around the neckline for a lovely smooth stitch free finish. The sleeves with the pattern are short but you could add a ¾ sleeve for something different. The dress can be whipped up in one sewing session or like I did, it’s perfect to pick up in small sewing bursts when you get a chance…. Just what you need for this busy time of year!

avid seamstress day dress review

I am so pleased with this make and have already cut out my next Day Dress, this one though has been completed in perfect timing for the Festive Season! It can be dressed down with tights and boots or pop on a pair of heels and you are party ready… any excuse to get dressed up!

avid seamstress day dress review

Can you believe it’s been three months since my last make for the team, since my last post I had the chance to spend a day visiting the Sewisfaction shop to meet some of my fellow bloggers and the lovely Sheona & Suzy for a day of sewing. If you’re in or around Wokingham or get the chance to visit you really should… go with an empty bag and your purse! It’s impossible to come away empty handed!

Happy Sewing!

Samantha x

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Kathy’s Jade Dress

Sew ponte dress review

Hi all, it’s Kathy here again , and it’s my turn to show you what I have been up to this month.

When it comes to fabric choice, I am normally drawn towards a printed design, but for this make I have been inspired by a couple of my fellow Sewisfaction  bloggers and have gone for a solid colour. How classic is this Marl Blue fabric? It’s buttery soft and super comfortable to wear.

love sewing jade dress review

My pattern choice is The Jade dress, which was the free pattern in Simply Sewing magazine last month (issue 35). As you can see it is a simple knit dress with princess seam detailing, a pleated skirt (front and back), and two sleeve and skirt lengths to choose from.

love sewing jade dress review

I chose to make View B which has the shorter length skirt, but I chose to add the long sleeves from View A as I thought it might be lovely to wear on its own without the need for a cardigan.

The quality of this fabric is second to none. No fraying, no curling, it has been a pleasure to sew with and it is so warm to wear. I’m really happy that I went for long sleeves, as I do feel the cold and this will keep me nice and cosy.

The dress was enjoyable to make as very good written instructions are accompanied by beautiful step-by-step photographs. It is straightforward to sew – the only part that you have to work out for yourself is the length of the neck binding. The instructions ask you to measure the neckline and cut your neck binding 10% shorter. Initially I wondered if this would still be too long, but then remembered  that  the neck binding was cut along the grain (not on the bias), so wouldn’t have as much stretch as I was normally used to when applying neck bands. It went together nicely after all, and was the perfect length. Phew!

Sew ponte dress review

Another feature which is quite neat is that when you attach the bodice to the skirt piece, you sew in a line of clear elastic. This is quite fiddly, but is clever in that it doesn’t gather the waist but allows a little stretch so that you can easily pop the dress on and off without the need for a zip. I will confess that my pleats perhaps don’t line up with my princess seams as much as I would have loved on this occasion, but what with pinning and elastic insertion at the same time there was a little bit of slipping, despite using my walking foot, but hey ho! you can’t win them all and  I can live with it!

sewing with ponte dress review

If you didn’t grab this pattern when the magazine was current, all is not lost. I feel that it is very similar to the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress – in fact the Aldaia dress has even more variations!

Sewisfaction has a super range of Ponte fabrics which are perfect for the Jade dress and the Aldaia, you could keep it simple and opt for a solid colour or  go for a print – how cute could that be!

I also think this fabric would be a superb choice for the Nina Lee Southbank Sweater and also a Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, both of which I have on my sewing wish list.

Thank you to Sheona for the generous supplies that she has provided for this make, I know it will keep me warm and snuggly throughout the Festive period and well into the New Year.

Take care, keep warm and happy sewing,

Kathy x

sewing with ponte dress review

 

 

 

 

 

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A perfect pinafore dress!

freya pinafore dress review

Hi everyone, its Lesley again!

Has anyone else been watching all the lovely Tilly and the Button’s Cleo pinafore makes on social media? I think they look truly fabulous but I’ve never been tempted to make one myself because I just know it wouldn’t suit me. I need fitted dresses around my middle otherwise I just look even chunkier than normal. Every so often I go off piste and attempt a looser style and it just looks ridiculous and doesn’t get worn which is such a waste.

And yet I really want a pinafore dress.

freya pinafore dress review

Thankfully I found the Freja dress sewing pattern. It was a pattern developed by Simply Sewing magazine a couple of months ago. It’s an A-line skirt with a bib front and cross over back straps. There aren’t dungaree clasps at the top as it fastens by buttons at the back. However if you truly wanted the dungaree dress look you could easily adapt this pattern to add buckles at the front. Personally, I like the clean lines of this pattern though.

I did a mock up with a truly retro 1970’s bedsheet (one day will I be stoned for destroying such antiquities??). It showed that the front bib was gaping quite a lot at the sides and needed a bit of reworking. I did some fancy fiddling with the dart in a sort of full bust adjustment. It was a bit of a learning experience and I’m not sure I repeat it easily.

freya pinafore dress review

For fabric I selected the 10oz Indigo Stretch Denim. It’s the kind of weight of denim that would be ace for jeans (jeans are on my challenge list for 2018) or a Grainline Moss skirt or a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt. The indigo is a really nice deep colour and seems to hold its colour really well. Obviously I prewashed it, but I was worried that it might continue to leach colours since it’s such a deep blue. On previous adventures with denim I’ve sometimes ended up with a dirty hue to my fingers when I worked. Amazingly this denim holds its colour really well and I’ve been able to chuck it in the washing machine as normal which is ace.

freya pinafore dress review

The joy of denim is it doesn’t move much when cutting and sewing. The pain of denim is the fraying. So before I started I overlocked all the edges of my pieces in contrasting red. As another contrast I used an aqua blue topstitch thread. The top stitching is optional but really makes this look professional in my view.

freya pinafore dress review

 

All in all this pattern, with this fabric, was a joy to make. It took me roughly 3 hours of sewing time and that was probably just a bit slow because I only have 1 machine which means a lot of rethreading the machine to do the topstitching.

freya pinafore dress review

 

freya pinafore dress review

And here is the finished product! I really really love it. It’s a lovely versatile dress for me on my days off when I’m hanging out with my kids. And did I mention the pockets? They’re huge and deep and perfect for all my bits and bobs. I lined my pockets with the same fabric as the bib lining. The pattern doesn’t ask for it but I think it gives it a cleaner, more professional look. The pockets are so perfect in fact that when I travelled to Rome wearing my dress the pockets the perfect size for my passport and boarding pass. I did try to get a nice photo of me wearing my dress in Rome but had to give that up for lost after buying 2 umbrellas in 5 days and drying my shoes out with a hairdryer (turns out Rome in November is a tad bit wet).

freya pinafore dress review

So for all you ladies who like the pinafore look but really prefer and more fitted silhouette I would highly recommend this. A denim pinafore is quickly going to become my signature look on days off from work.

Ciao!

 

 

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Maddie’s CocoWawa Chesnut Top

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

If you remember my last post I commented on how Sewisfaction just has THE most amazing prints, but for this post I decided to break out of my regular sewing pattern and get some fabric of a plain colour. When I was scrolling through the site I noticed the selection of ponte roma that Sewisfaction have in their lovely shop, and this beautiful colour caught my eye and I knew I had to have some the Beatrice Ponte Roma in Turquoise.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

The next big decision was what pattern would be great for this fabric and really let it shine? I spent ages thinking of what pattern to use, I was originally intending to use the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress and hack it into something a bit different, but then I saw the Chestnut sweater and top by CocoWawa Crafts and I knew that it was meant to be.

So after the prewash (which I always hate doing, why can’t everything come prewashed?), I started cutting out my Chestnut top. Now, I’m really not the most accurate cutter when it comes to dressmaking – I count this as one of my many faults – but with this fabric it was a dream. My rotary cutter cut through it like it was butter and before I knew it all my cutting out was done.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

 

 

Another reason I was especially excited for this project was that this would be the first time I’d be using knit fabric on my brand new overlocker. And guys, this top came together literally in under 2 hours! I was absolutely astounded at the handle of the ponte as it is solid enough to hold its shape by itself, but has just the right amount of stretch when needed, i.e. when getting those sleeve heads in.

Wait for it though, I haven’t even gotten to the best bit of this ponte yet. It is so, so, so extremely soft, and it is also just thick enough to keep you warm during those winter months. I have a bit of this fabric left so I think some cosy PJ shorts may be coming my way!

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

So here is my finished sweater, what do you think?

I am so glad I pushed myself to get some plain coloured fabric as this will look so good with so many things in my wardrobe and will keep me super warm this winter, plus the little bow just gives it that something special and turns a very simple top into something a bit quirky.

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

But in case you still haven’t picked up that I’m absolutely in love with this fabric, then use this picture to get a sense of how I feel!

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

As a side note, I think the Chestnut top and sweater pattern would be an amazing pattern to use for the One Pattern, One Week challenge that Sheona is hosting this year. If you haven’t heard of this challenge yet, it essentially requires you to wear one pattern (but not one item of clothing) for an entire week. So it really gets you to think about the possibilities of those dressmaking patterns we all hoard. I can see this pattern making a staple jumper and then a couple more tops with each one being slightly different (or not – totally up to you!).

Maddies Cocowawa chesnut sweater review

What variations can you imagine with this pattern?

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Lots of love and happy sewing,

Maddie aka Thimble Bee

xx

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Suzie’s Tova Top

Hello again everyone, it’s Suzie here to share my second blogger make for Sewisfaction.
Today I am sharing a Wiksten Tova made out of the beautiful Midnight Monet Cotton Lawn. I would guess that a lot of you may not have heard of the Tova before, if you are relatively new to the online sewing community. It was probably released around about 2010 and was very popular with the fledgling sewing blogger scene back then, but, has since faded into the background a bit now that there are so many more new sewing patterns on the market. A shame really, because it is such a lovely tunic pattern, with enough interesting details to flex your creative muscles.
I have made this top once before, in a medium weight wool blend. It comes out of hibernation every Autumn and is a true staple in my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I always knew that I needed to make another one, ideally in a lighter weight fabric and with a few tweaks. So that is exactly what I have done! You may have noticed that my version is a little bit different from the line drawings above.
​No Mandarin collar and the addition of long sleeves. As much as I like the neckline of the Tova, I always felt that the Mandarin/Grandad collar never really sat quite right. Add to that the fact that I like slightly lower necklines, and you can see why I decided to change it up a bit this time around. I used a French Curve to scoop out the front of the bib and added three buttons to the placket, which are actually just decorative (with the placket sewn down) because I can easily fit this over my head. The neckline was then finished with bias binding.
​I also opted to lengthen the sleeves. I love the slightly voluminous three-quarter sleeves of the original Tova, but they are not made for pairing with a cardigan, and I LIVE in cardigans (it’s all about the layers in Northern Ireland!) so I knew they had to go this time. I ended up taking the sleeves from the Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blousebecause it includes a little opening slit, button and rouleau loop at the cuff which would mean I would be able to roll up the sleeves if I wanted to. I have to admit this is actually the first time I’ve sewn a sleeve with these details and it took me a little bit longer than I thought. Those rouleau loops are tricky little things. They turned out OK, but I will attempt to make them even smaller next time!
​The final alteration I made was to curve the hem. I just find a curved hem more flattering than having the bottom of your top cut straight across the hips (my widest area!). And because I curved the hem, I used bias binding the finish the edge, as it is the easiest way of getting a lovely smooth curve.

​This lovely smooth lawn was a dream to work with. So easy to press and manipulate where needed. I’ve been working with viscose, crepe and jersey so much lately, it was so refreshing to work with a fabric that just behaves and does what it’s told! And how beautiful is that print? So perfect for layering up in Autumn. But because I’ve ensured I can roll my sleeves up, I know I will be wearing this well into the Spring when the weather starts to warm up again.​
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Kathy makes the Chloe Dress

Hi everyone, it’s Kathy here again, and for this blog post I am really excited to share with you a recent PDF dress pattern discovery from the German company Pattydoo. For this dress I knew that I wanted to use one of the pretty scuba fabrics which Sewisfaction are stocking and when I travelled down to Wokingham last week to meet up at the shop with Sheona and some of the other lovely girls from the Sewisfaction Blogger Team I could not resist this stunning Camelia Embers scuba. There were other fabric purchases made on the day, but no doubt you will hear about them from me another time!

The scuba is super soft and has a gentle stretch with good recovery, so I thought it would be great for this dress. Dramatic large flowers are set against a pretty soft blue/grey background which makes it feminine and very wearable. It’s lovely and wide too – 145cm – so for this dress I only needed 1.5 metres of fabric. I wanted a medium weight fabric in order to really show off the stunning inverted pleats on the skirt of the dress which give it such a great tulip shape.

Back to the pattern. It’s the Chloe dress from Pattydoo. There are pro’s and con’s with this one. Firstly, and you might want to be sitting down when I tell you, this PDF cost me 2.99 Euros. Yep 3 little Euros which works out at about £2.68 according to google! The down side to this, for me at least, is that it is a German pattern company, and therefore it is entirely worded in German. I do not speak German unfortunately! Eventually with a great deal of help from Google Translate, I was able to gain a little understanding on what was written!

It’s a knit dress pattern and as mentioned has a gorgeous tulip skirt detail, formed by the creation of 2 inverted pleats. It has side slanting pockets, the choice of short or long sleeves, a neckband or neck facing option and the choice to make it into a skirt only. Pretty good value I think!

Thinking about it, with all those options, this could be a really good example of a pattern that would work really well with the #OWOP17 challenge. If you haven’t heard about this friendly sewing challenge which is taking place at the end of November, you will find a blog post all about it here on the Sewisfaction Blog as Sheona is hosting this year’s event.

The PDF printed out perfectly (at home), and was easy to assemble. No problems with the scale or sizing of my pattern pieces. The pattern includes good instructions regarding sizing, body measurements, fabric requirements, sizing alterations advice and cutting layout. The actual sewing instructions however, are to be found on the Pattydoo YouTube channel. You need to search ‘sweatkleid chloe’ and you can follow along. Although it is spoken in German, this visual presentation is really easy to understand and actually a great way to demonstrate sewing instructions. The video shows how to make the childs version of the dress, and for the adult version there are separate written instructions within your PDF to show you how to sew the additional darts, neckband options and gathering at the back waist seam.

It might be worth mentioning that I used ball point needles throughout this project and also used ball point pins too. I used a combination of both my regular sewing machine and overlocker, and was pleased at just how quickly it came together.

The back of the dress is shaped by the addition of a piece of elastic which is stretched along the waist seam. I’m not altogether sure I’m that keen on the look of this and may replace this feature with darts/pleats for future makes.

The length of the dress is only just knee length on me ( I’m 5’2”),  despite adding 2cm to the length of the skirt for this make. Next time I will add a little more on the skirt length I think. The hem along with the sleeves are finished with a twin needle, which always gives a lovely finish to any knit project.

I really am in love with this dress. I finished it on Saturday, my husband took my photos, and I wore it out on the Sunday to a family get-together! It’s a bold claim but I really do think this is my most favourite dress pattern. I have been looking for a sewing pattern for a knit dress with a tulip skirt for so long and this is perfect. I think the long sleeved version in a French Terry or sweatshirting fabric, with a contrasting neck band would be super cute for Winter too. Expect to see many more of these dresses from me in the future!

Take care and happy sewing everyone, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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Sew Saturday is nearly here!

We are absolutely delighted to take part in this years Sew Saturday in partnership with Sew Magazine.

Sew Saturday is a celebration of independent fabric shops and haberdashers, championing your local bricks and mortar store. Sew Saturday is a way to celebrate the guidance, customer service and
fabric stroking opportunities of visiting your local fabric shop and
Sewisfaction can’t wait to be part of it!

This years Sew Saturday takes place on Saturday 21st October and we’ve got a whole host of fabulous activities, special offers and workshops happening. There will be cake and fizz all day (10am – 5.30pm), with copious amounts of sewing chat and fabric stroking opportunities, and we’ll be on hand to answer  your sewing related questions.

We’re also running some mini workshops and skills demos throughout the day. The timetable is below and those with an * require prebooking either here on the website or in-store in advance.

10.30am – 11.15am Mini Bunting £7*

Make mini vintage inspired bunting. All materials provided.

11.30am – 12.30pm Quilted Coaster £7*

A short introduction to some quilting techniques, including using a rotary cutter & mat, walking foot and adding wadding. Please note your coaster will need to be hand-stitched to finish so you may need to do that at home after the workshop. All materials provided.

12.45pm – 1.30pm Hand Sewing – Sloth Keyring £7*

Suitable for children and adults (children will need an adult to stay with them during the session and must be aged 7+) take some time out for a relaxing hand sewing session and make this super cute sloth keyring. All materials provided.

1.45pm – 2.15pm Skills Demo: Tips & Tricks for Sewing Jersey – FREE

We’ll show you some top tips for sewing jersey and knit fabrics on an ordinary sewing machine so you can get professional looking makes without an overlocker.

2.30pm – 3.15pm Elastic Wrist Pin Cushion £5*

Make a handy pin cushion to wear on your wrist. All materials provided.

3.30pm – 4pm Skills Demo: Tips & Tricks for Snaps & Fastenings – FREE

Love the look of snaps or fastenings but not sure of the best way to apply them? We’ll show you how to apply them quickly and easily using Prym Vario Pliers.

4.30pm Our raffle winners will be drawn and we’ll also announce the winners of our Dachshund sewing competition.

**Dachshund Competition**

Make a cute Dachshund pin cushion and enter it into our competition to win some exciting prizes. From Weds 10th October we’ll be selling kits in the shop containing the pattern, coloured felt for the ears and stuffing. All you need to provide is the fabric (let your imagination run wild!). The kits are £3 and if you bring your completed Dachshund into the shop by 4pm on Saturday 21st October, we’ll enter it into the competition AND you’ll get a voucher for £5 off a £30 spend (valid after 21st October).

If you want to enter but don’t need a kit, please email info@sewisfaction.co.uk with the subject Dachshund and we’ll email you a copy of the pattern.

There are 5 categories;

Most Unique Dachshund – Children’s Category

Best Stitched Dashund – Children’s Category

Most Unique Dachshund – Adult Category

Best Stitched Dachshund – Adult Category

Judges Choice Award

All Dachshunds will be reunited with their owners after the competition winners have been announced!

To book workshops please visit our booking page here.

How will you be spending Sew Saturday? We would absolutely love to see you, but if you’re too far away why not show another fabric shop some love and pop in? Let’s spread the joy of sewing and fabric!