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A beautiful guest make from Alice

Hi, I’m Alice and you can find me on Instagram here, and a few weeks back, I was asked to write a guest post for Sewisfaction.

Always late to the party, this was my first make from the crazy-popular ‘Breaking the Pattern’ book from Named. I love their designs and have plans to make a few patterns from the book, but the shirt dress version of the Saraste jumped out at me and I had to make it straight away! It’s a very girly shirt dress with a gathered skirt (perfect for twirling) and a ruffle collar detail, but as with all Named designs, there’s something a bit quirky about it.  

The fabric suggestions are crisp shirting for the shirt version, and you can go lighter weight for the dress. I chose to go bold with this beautiful Botany Burst’ floral print Dashwood Studio cotton.

In terms of sizing I measured bang on a size 2. The finished garment measurements looked like they may be slightly large, but I thought best to err on the side of caution – it can always be taken in if it’s too big, but if I cut too small, I’m stuck (maybe literally!). 

The book comes with all the patterns printed, but with multiple patterns on each sheet of paper you do have to trace – no shortcuts here! There are 10 pieces to trace for the dress, so rather than see it as a means to an end, I think tracing this is a task you need to take your time with and enjoy. As much as I love a bit of tracing, I ran in to a spot of trouble with some of the lines disappearing! Hopefully this is a misprint on my book and not on every copy, but I had to just guess where some of the lines were meant to go which was a bit unnerving but luckily it worked out ok!  

The fabric was beautiful to cut, it just sits where it’s meant to without budging, so I could cut with the precision that a shirt dress needs. The instructions are less detailed than some indie pattern companies, but if you’re a semi-confident seamstress, the whole construction is really straightforward, especially for such a beautifully detailed dress. The skirt is gathered, and I’ve never gathered fabric so smoothly, this cotton did exactly what I told it to – the dream!! I fell a bit in love with the fabric, so I decided the dress needed to be finished as neatly as possible. I’m still not talking to my overlocker (we fell out a few months ago) so I did tiny zigzags and trimmed the seam allowances, but I bound the waistline which could have otherwise looked a bit messy inside: 

The dress has princess seams to give it shape on the bodice, which look so beautiful compared to darts. In the past I’ve made garments with princess seams and they need a lot of easing and manipulating, but these seams just glide together. There’s an option to add a little ruffle on to the collar which is such a gorgeous detail! It isn’t actually very gathered; when I was gathering it, I was convinced I’d cut it wrong, that maybe it was meant to be cut on the fold so mine was half the length it was meant to be, but it’s just a subtle gathering so it’s not overly bulky. As with the princess seams, the sleeves went in place so easily, so this was a really satisfying make; in depth but not too challenging. 

As I initially anticipated, the final dress has quite a lot of ease. When I first tried it on, I had the dreaded ‘nooo, it’s all wrong!’ feeling, but now I’ve worn the dress a few times I’m really glad to have the wiggle room. I have worn it with a belt to pull in the waist a bit, but other than that it’s really comfy having a bit of space on the bodice, while the sleeves sit in the right place on my shoulders, so it doesn’t risk looking like it’s just too big. 

Although this is very much a statement dress (that print isn’t subtle, is it?), the style is so versatile, and the fabric is so comfortable to wear. I’ve worn it for a family outing, to work, and to a party, and it can be styled with layers, heels and flats, so you get a lot of variety from the one dress – perfection! 

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Sewisfaction Christmas gift guide

With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, there’s never bee a better time to get those gift lists finished and presents purchased. Our Sewisfaction gift guide is the ultimate place for Sewist shopping whether you’re purchasing something for you or a friend.

Scroll on to see our ultimate round up of patterns, haberdashery and even other indie brands we love – you can thank us later!

Haberdashery & crafts

Whether you’re looking to top up your tools or buy the essentials, we have something for every sewist this Christmas in our fully stocked haberdashery.

Prym Love Starter Sewing Set – £34.50

Kylie and the Machine labels – From £5.50 per pack

The Make Arcade Craft Kits, from £8.95


We’re all about ‘New Year, New Skill’ and these classes are perfect for learning a thing or two no matter what place you’re at in your sewing journey.

Improver Sewing Course (Starts Jan 15th for 5 weeks) – £159

Introduction to Dressmaking Course (Starts Jan 14th for 5 weeeks) – £165

Introduction to Sewing Course (Starts Jan 14th for 5 weeks) – £155

Indie brands – our top picks

What would a Christmas Gift Guide be without support for our fellow Indie sewing brands – check out our round up of crafty and sewing favourites.

Pattern Storage envelopes from Patterntrace – From £7 for a pack of 5

Pattern Weights from Foxglove and Field – From £24

Katch Skinner pin cushion from Beyond Measure – £24.00


Sew Dainty Acrylic Jewellery – From £12

Glass pendant supporting Children with Cancer – POA (Founded by @sew_sleep_deprived and her daughter Lily)

Seams Handcream for sewists – £14

Let them choose for themselves with a voucher from Sewisfaction – From £5 at Sewisfaction

So there you have it, our gift guide that should make any sewist in your life happy – keep your eyes peeled on this post as we’ll be adding some more exciting gifts over the coming weeks!

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#OWOP19: All of our favourite looks and winners

One Week, One Pattern is back for 2019 and we are absolutely loving your makes so much already! We would like to officially welcome you to the number one place to see our favourite looks and of course all of the winners for the week.

We’ll be updating this post every day so make sure you come back and scroll down for a daily dose of #OWOP19

Day one

*WINNER* Tilly & the Buttons Online class & printed pattern of your choice⁣ – @sophysewshk in her Nina ‘Fleet top’

@akramsideas in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Coco’ dress

@englishgirlathome in her Grainline Studio ‘Tamarack’ jacket

@sew_sleep_deprived in her Grainline Studio ‘Moss skirt’

@thebakerthatsews in her Nina Lee ‘Southbank’ sweater

Day two

*WINNER* £50 Netprinter voucher – @stienmakes in her Knipmode dress

@beyond.thepinkdoor in her Glass House Patterns ‘Nemesia’ dress

@dogsinstitches_and_me in her Grainline Studio ‘Linden’ sweatshirt

@sewabigail in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Indigo’ dress

@marythimble in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Coco’ dress

Day three

*WINNER* @foureyedbetty in her Sew Liberated ‘Hinterland’ dress

@theruralsewist in her AK Patterns ‘Suzy’ dress

@pinkcoatclub in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Freya’ top

@vladivos in her Seamwork ‘Astoria’ top

@voiceofacreative in her True Bias ‘Shelby’ dress

For more amazing looks and lots more #OWOP19 inspiration, head over to Instagram and follow the hashtag to fill your feed! You can also click here to see what wonderful prizes are up for grabs for the rest of the week!

Day four

*WINNER* 130g set and 290g set of Pattern weights from Foxglove and Field – @raquel_sewing_knitting_in_asia in her ‘McCalls’ 7969

@threadquarters in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Stevie’ dress

@sew_dainty in her Cocowa Crafts ‘Chestnut’ sweater

@sometimes.sewing in her Helens Closet ‘Yanta’ overalls

@sewstainability in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Stevie’ top

Day five

*WINNER* PDF Pattern bundle from Named Clothing@sewabigail in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Indigo’ dress

@petitepassions in her Astoria sweatshirt


@memadelo in her Seamwork ‘Ace’ top

@sew_bee_it in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Freya’ top

@vicky.carrie in her Muse Patterns ‘Jenni’ cardigan

Day six

*WINNER* A sewists bundle from Pattern Trace@cath_craft in her Tilly & the Buttons ‘Freya’ top

@sarahknitsandsews in her Pattern Trace ‘Anna’ dress

@semeisew with her in her Kalle Shirt dress

@suestoney in her Pattern Union ‘Sumekko’ dress

@rachelpcreations in her Cielo top

Day seven

*WINNER* £50 voucher from Sewisfaction – @sew_alice in her ‘Monroe’ turtleneck

@corinneapplebymakes in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Freya’ dress

@thedressgarden in her Tilly and the Buttons ‘Coco’ dress

@she_thrives_and_sews in her Kalle shirt dress

@doobis71 in her ‘Mandy boat tee’

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One Week, One Pattern: The prizes

It’s nearly here and we have been sewing our little hearts out over here at Sewisfaction HQ ready for the launch of  One Week, One Pattern 2019.  If you haven’t pledged yet or if you’re eagerly awaiting day one of the challenge (23rd November) then we have lots of exciting sewing goodies to share with you in this very blog post.

These are all prizes that can be won throughout the week, so keep your eyes on our Instagram & Facebook each morning to see who to tag and be in with a chance of being that days lucky sewist.

A Tilly and the buttons online sewing class and printed pattern – RRP £55 

A £50 voucher from Netprinter – RRP £50

8″ Dressmaker Scissors from Ernest Wright – RRP £87

130g set and 290g set of Pattern weights from Foxglove and Field – RRP £50

PDF Pattern bundle from Named Clothing  – RRP £50

A sewists bundle from Pattern Trace – RRP £47

A £50 voucher from Sewisfaction – £50

What an amazing bunch of prizes right!? Thanks so much to all of our sponsors for #OWOP19 – you’re all amazing!

So if you want to  be in with a chance of winning, simply follow this link though to our ‘One Week, One Pattern’ blog post and make sure you pop your pledge in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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A cosy make from Lesley

Every time it’s time to blog for Sewisfaction I get really excited which is almost immediately followed by paralysis of choice. Every. Single. Time. I found this time round particularly challenging as it was just as the season was changing. We’d had a lovely warm September weekend followed by a cold snap. My head was still in the lovely summer dress mood but my body was craving some warmer makes.

Eventually after setting myself an internal deadline for browsing the website (sorry if your stats were up that week Sheona – twas entirely me dithering) I chose this Royal Passion French terry. French terry is like a lighter weight fabric for sweatshirts. So a great autumn weight fabric. This fabric from Sewisfaction has a nice brushed back to it which is lovely and cosy but also means the fabric doesn’t fray at all.

I chose an old pattern that is so well tested it works every time the Toaster sweater from Sew House Seven. There are 2 views to this pattern both of which I’ve made a few times. I went for view 1 with the lovely funnel neck and raglan shape sleeves. It can come up a bit short so I lengthened the bodice by 6cm. I also shortened the sleeves by 3cm though could have shortened them more as they are showing below my jacket sleeves. From my measurements I cut an XXL but slimmed it down once I started sewing to the point where I think an L would have been a better fit. I also ditched the bottom band. I had the piece cut out but once I started assembling the jumper I didn’t think it would benefit from the band. It’s quite springy fabric and I thought the bottom band might look a bit lumpy.

I was going to put a smug bit here about how if you don’t have an overlocker you could easily use a stretch stitch on your normal machine. Except I managed 1 inch of a seam on my overlocker before it chewed my fabric and made a horrible ominous sound. Turns out I’ve done something awful to my overlocker and it’s going to need a service. So instead this served as a useful lesson on sewing stretch fabrics on a normal sewing machine. Its slightly less professional looking on the inside but looks great on the outside. So much so that my mum asked if I’d bought my new jumper in Joules. Result!

First thing is you need is to select a stretch stitch which looks like a lightening bolt (a straight stitch is liable to break over time in stretchy fabric). You can also use a zig zag though it can leave bigger gaps between stitches and may look a bit loose on the outside. I also top stitched most seams with a zig zag to keep it neat though it’s not necessary for this jumper pattern.

All in all I’m very happy with my new jumper. So much so that I wore it 4 times in the first week. It’s a lovely yet practical layer for the changing seasons. Also as I had just enough fabric left for some contrasts I actually made a 2nd jumper. This is white french terry and sadly didn’t come from Sewisfaction. That’s very clear when you see it close up as it’s far inferior quality and will fray and bobble quite quickly I think. But it shows that 2m of French terry will make 1.5 toaster jumpers!

Thank you to Sheona for the fabric and thanks for reading.

See you some time in the future!

Lesley (@sew_sleep_deprived)

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Meet the maker: Maddie Wills

We’re never more excited in sewing when the younger generation not only takes an interest but in Maddie’s case blows our mids with her first make. That’s why there was no doubt in our minds that she would be this month’s #MySewisfaction and a more than deserving one at that. We asked this brand new sewist to answer a few questions for us so you can get as excited about her impending memade journey as we are.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Maddie and I’m 15 years old, I live in Hertfordshire. I’ve always loved art and textiles, and they’ve always been my favourite school subject. (Helen: She was always making things. I used to feel guilty because crafting isn’t my thing, so we rarely did it. But as soon as she was able, she’d just ask for supplies and get on with it herself!)
How did you get into sewing?
I’ve only recently gotten into sewing, but it’s something I’ve been interested in for a while. My grandma used to make clothes and it’s always been one of my goals to learn. Last year I received a sewing machine for my 14th birthday, and I did a few odd bits of sewing (I made a cushion cover), but it wasn’t until this summer that I really learned how to sew.
Where do you do your sewing?
I’ve got a little station in my bedroom, with a desk and a lamp, and my sewing machine. I decorated it with a mixture of fashion inspired pictures, a collage of pictures with my friends and a few retro black and white prints (including one of Audrey Hepburn that I love). Photo via Helen Wills
What’s your proudest ever make?
My proudest make would probably be the dungaree dress; it was the first proper piece of clothing I had ever made, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Because it only took about 5 hours, it was a quick make that helped me get to grips with the basics of sewing and learn key skills.
What next on your list? 
I would really like to make something with a pattern by Tilly and the Buttons because I found these patterns simple to follow and would probably be the best thing to help me take my next steps into clothes making. Maybe a t-shirt or a pyjama set?
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One Week, One Pattern 2019

Exciting news – One Week One Pattern is back!

Originally launched in 2012 by Tilly and The Buttons, the baton was passed to Sewisfaction and we’re delighted to be hosting again this year. We want as many people as possible to pledge, so we’ve pulled together a handy FAQ below so you can get the lowdown on this exciting challenge.

What is One Week, One Pattern?
Affectionally known as ‘OWOP’, it’s a photo challenge to try and get as many sewists as possible making the most out of their sewing patterns, by wearing garments made from ONE pattern for ONE week. This might be your favourite pattern you’ve made in lots of different fabrics, it might be one or two garments from the same pattern that you want to style in different ways, or you could be a pattern hacker who’s used the same pattern to make lots of different versions. The beauty of the challenge is that it’s totally up to you to choose which pattern and how you interpret it.

When is OWOP 2019?
Saturday 23rd November – Friday 29th November 2019

Who can join in?
Anyone! From complete beginners wanting to get more wear from their first makes, to more experienced sewers who love a ‘Franken-pattern’ and want to get hacking or show off their me-made wardrobes.

What pattern can I use?
It’s totally up to you to choose! You can use an indie pattern, a big four pattern or even your favourite vintage pattern. It could be a pattern you’ve made lots of times, or one that’s been gathering dust and needs a little love. The only thing you have to commit to, is to make it part of your outfit for seven days!

Do I need lots of versions to take part?
You decide! If you’ve only made one skirt so far, you could take on the challenge and style it a different way each day. If you’ve got the same pattern in lots of different fabrics, you could wear a different one everyday of the week! If you’ve got a pattern you’ve hacked, you might wear all or some of the versions.

Do I need to panic sew a whole weeks wardrobe for OWOP?
No! Absolutely not! The aim of OWOP is to show off the versatility of sewing patterns, and the creativity of the sewing community. You don’t have to sew up anything new to take part if you don’t want to. As we’ve said, we’ll be uber impressed if you can style one garment in seven different ways and not spill your lunch down yourself! If you do want to add to your handmade wardrobe, then maybe OWOP can give you a reason to look at your patterns in a different light or tempt you to use that fabric you’ve been stashing.

How do I actually take part?
You sign up following the info below, then when Saturday 23rd November rolls around, you take a pic of yourself in your handmade OWOP outfit each day. You can post on Instagram and use the hashtag #OWOP19 or if you’re not on Instagram, you can join our ‘Sewisfaction Sewcial’ Facebook Group which you can post into, or if you’re feeling particularly social you’re very welcome to post in both. The most important thing is that you sign up below first, as we’ll be cross referencing prize winners with the sign up post.

If you don’t want to post a pic of you actually wearing your outfit, that’s totally OK too. You could style it on a dummy, hanger or do a flat-lay on the floor.

I’m in! How do I sign up?
Leave a comment on this post with the following details:

Pattern company + pattern name + garment type (garment type can be hacked so just the original version is fine!) If you want to take part but don’t know what pattern you want to use, that’s fine, just put TBC.

Eg – Tilly and the Buttons, Coco, Dress

Please also say how you’ll be participating, either Instagram or Facebook and if it’s Instagram we’ll need to know your Instagram handle.

Can I post on my blog?
Yes please do! Feel free to share your thoughts, tell people you’re participating and share your outfits during OWOP 2019. If you could link back to this post so others have the full details on how to join in themselves that would be great.

So there you have it! I hope lots of you will join in with OWOP 2019, it’s such a great way to show off the creativity that the sewing community is just bursting with. There’ll be guest posts over the next few weeks to give you some inspiration and ideas, and we’re also compiling an AMAZING collection of prizes – more details to follow!

Sign up or ask any questions in the comments section below.

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A Stylish shirt sew from Amanda

Hi there,

Its Amanda (@amanda_isewalot) and here I am back on the Sewisfaction Blog with a new post for you.

Once again when asked to do a post I was completely undecided on which fabric to choose as Sheona has so many amazing options at the moment.  I have found recently that I have been struggling with solid colour options to go with the prints in my wardrobe so I steered more towards the plains when making my choice.

Now if you have been following me for a while or seen some of my previous Sewisfaction blog posts you will know that I love to sew shirts and shirt dresses.  I have made a couple in the past for my blog posts namely the Sew Over It Libby and also the Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse.

I know some people find shirts a little daunting but I love sewing them.  I find the process of working through the steps quite therapeutic. Also once you have made a couple and mastered the burrito method and attaching a collar the construction in generally the same and it is just perfecting your method to get it as neat as possible.

This time I have made the Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt.  I have had this pattern for at least a year maybe even longer and I’m not sure what it was that stopped me making it before because I am so glad I did.

I have used a 4oz soft washed denim in the indigo colourway.  I have used Sheona’s soft washed denim before in a lighter colour and knew that it would be the perfect weight for this shirt.  I love sewing with denim as it is so stable, does exactly what you want it to and presses really well.

I went for the cropped version of the pattern which, as you can see, has a lower hemline at the back and is very cropped at the front.  I have to admit I was a little unsure as to whether I would like this style but now its finished I am glad I didn’t level the hems as I had intended as I think it definitely adds interest.

I also went for the standard collar and the hidden button placket.  I haven’t sewn a hidden placket before so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity and I have to admit I really love this feature.  I sized down and made a size 0 as the finished measurements showed the shirt was very oversized my measurements are B33”, W25” and H26.5”. I think the fit is just right.

I had a couple of issues whilst sewing this shirt.  Firstly the instructions for the hidden placket were a little sparse and I am still not sure that I have sewn it correctly.  I now realise there is a sewalong on the Closet Case website for this placket and I would strongly advise you use this if you haven’t sewn one before.  The other area which was a little tricky was the hem where the front and back facings meet. This was not difficult but just a little tricky to get the finish right.

All in all I really enjoyed sewing this shirt and I was right the fabric was perfect and the indigo colorway is definitely a great option for the cooler months.  I think this shirt is also great as a layering piece as you can wear it over vest tops and polo necks as the weather gets cooler.

Anyway, that’s enough from me.

Happy sewing and until next time.

Amanda xx

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#MySewisfaction September Makers Gallery

We’re quickly making the transition from summer to autumn and so this month we’ve really enjoyed reminiscing back through all of your September sewing – remember sunshine? Us neither!

We were spoilt for choice this month, but as always we HAD to pick just one and our winner is a corker. Maddie had never made a dress until she whipped up this very stylish Tilly and the Buttons ‘Cleo’ dress at one of our ‘‘Young stitchers workshops‘ and we are in awe – remember how many bad makes we had at that age?

Maddie is well and truly on the way to becoming a sewing superstar and is more than deserving of a £25 Sewisfaction voucher to help her on her way.

Makers gallery

Bryony (@beasews) in her Keilo Wrap Dress made in our ‘Sunshine Jungle Stretch Crepe

Ceri (@ceri.luna) in her pattern hacked dress

Jo (@sew_in_a_frenzy) in her Sew Over It ‘Eve Dress’

Loraine (@lorainemunro) wearing her Closet Case Patterns ‘Ginger Jeans’ in Sewisfaction Denim

Amanda (@amanda_isewalot) in her Closet Case Patterns ‘Carolyn PJ’s’

Angela (@fabricoverload) in her Deer and Doe ‘Sirocco Jumpsuit’