Shirt Sewing Masterclass

People can often be put off from sewing shirts as the techniques involved can feel daunting. Don’t be scared of shirt making any longer – our masterclass will teach you all the skills and techniques you need to know!

This class covers the key elements of sewing a shirt including collars, button plackets, sleeves and cuffs. As this class focuses on the key elements of shirt making, you probably won’t complete a whole shirt in the class, however you will complete the all techniques you need to be able to finish the rest at home.

The class uses the popular Closet Case Kalle Shirt pattern, with a loose, body skimming silhouette and a number of interchangeable features, the Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress is the ultimate in chic, easy dressing.

View A is cropped with a wide faced hem, View B is a tunic length shirt inspired by classic men’s oxfords, and View C is a stylish shirtdress with a high-low hem. All versions feature a subtly curved yoke, kimono sleeves with arm cuffs, and a dramatically shaped hem. If View A is more cropped than you’d prefer, it’s very simple to lengthen.

Our sewing classes are relaxed and friendly, taking place at our beautiful studio at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire.

YOU WILL LEARN

  • Making a collar and collar stand
  • Attaching a collar and collar stand to your shirt
  • Creating a button placket.
  • Sewing a shirt yoke
  • Creating a sleeve cuff

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The class includes expert instruction, use of the Janome machines, tools, threads etc, a copy of your shirt pattern plus tea, coffee and biscuits!

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING

  • Your pattern will be sent to you in advance of the class, you will need to cut your fabric and pattern in advance of the class and bring the pattern pieces with you. Great fabrics for shirts include cotton poplin, cotton lawn, lightweight denim and brushed cotton. The amount you’ll require will depend on your size you choose. (If you aren’t sure which size to choose, please contact us).
  • Matching thread – we provide a wide choice of coloured threads to use during the class but if there is a specific colour match or top-stitching colour you would like, we recommend bringing your own

EXPERIENCE LEVEL

Intermediate (4) You will need to be comfortable sewing and have made a few garments before

TEACHER

Claire Louise Hardie

More questions? Take a look at our Class FAQs, these also cover our Class Cancellation Policy.

 

 

Young Stitchers Sew a Dungaree Dress

This class is for children aged 11 – 16.

The Cleo dress is an on-trend dungaree/pinafore dress with either buckles or buttons on the straps and two length options and is a great first dressmaking project to get started on a handmade wardrobe. Students will need to have used a sewing machine before, if they haven’t then please check out our Sewing Bee Club first.

Our sewing classes are relaxed and friendly, taking place at our beautiful studio at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire. You’ll get to use our brand new digital Janome sewing machines and class sizes are capped at six to ensure everyone gets the time and attention they need.

You will learn

  • Measuring yourself and choosing the correct pattern size
  • Understanding a sewing pattern
  • Cutting out your pattern & fabric accurately
  • Sewing and finishing seams
  • Perfecting top stitching for a professional finish
  • Adding patch pockets
  • Button holes or attaching buckles and jeans buttons depending on whether you’d like a pinafore or dungaree style dress
  • How to hem your dress

What you need to bring

  • 1.5m of medium to heavy weight fabric (min 145cm wide). We suggest 10oz denim, corduroy, canvas or even furnishing weight fabric – you want something that will hold its shape.  If you aren’t sure, please contact us.
  • 0.5m fusible interfacing (you can purchase this on the day or online here)
  • Matching thread – we provide a wide choice of coloured threads to use during the class but if there is a specific colour match or top-stitching colour you would like, we recommend bringing your own
  • Dungaree buckles & jean buttons (you can purchase these on the day or online) OR 2 buttons of your choice.
  • Students will need to bring a packed lunch, and any snacks (there’ll be an AM & PM break plus lunch).

What’s Included

The class includes expert instruction, use of the Janome machines, tools, threads etc, your own copy of the Cleo pattern so you can make again at home plus refreshments.

Experience Level

Newcomer (2)

Who’s teaching?

Various

More questions? Take a look at our Class FAQs, these also cover our Class Cancellation Policy.

 

 

 

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Sew the trends: Summer staples

Do you ever find yourself walking through the high-street shop, saying to yourself, “I could make that”? Us too and as makers, we’re lucky that we can take stylish shapes from the high-street and turn them into a garment perfect for our body shape.

No more confusing ready to wear sizing or scrambling around the shops for the ‘latest piece’, here we give you a round up of some of our favourite fashion from the high-street, paired with the perfect fabric and pattern combination – enjoy!

Dungarees – Monki

Dungarees really aren’t going anywhere are they? We love this stonewash style from Monki and we can already see the most perfect me-made pair when we combine our 8 oz Soft Washed Denim and the Tilly and the Buttons ‘Mila’ Dugarees. Simply layer up with a basic tee and trainers to achieve a super-casual look.

Short Sleeve Blazer – In The Style

Hot tip, short sleeve blazers are big news for this season – tapping into the seventies trend we all love. This boxy, oversize silhouette is perfect for any body type and using the Nina Lee ‘Richmond’ blazer as a base, combined with our beautiful, ‘new in’ Sevenberry Duckegg Cotton, we think this look will be a nice easy one to recreate.

Leopard print dress – All Saints 

This leopard print dress from All Saints is just beautiful – perfect for pairing with Chunky boots in the day time and heels in the evening – plus leopard print is a neutral too, so you’ll wear it forever right? Save yourself some serious pennies by pairing our Untamed leopard print cotton with the Nina Lee Kew Dress.

Linen stripe sun dress – & Other Stories

Even though the sun is a little..intermittent at the moment, we can still dream of holidays and summer dresses. This one from & Other Stories is dreamy and we particularly love the way the pockets are slightly contrasting. To recreate this one, pair our super soft Lilac Stripe Cotton Linen with the Tilly and The Buttons ‘Seren’ Dress.

Printed shirt dress – ASOS

Midi shirt dresses are big news at the moment and we are fans – worn with trainers now and with tights and boots in the winter, this might be one of the most versatile garments in your wardrobe. This bold and beautiful Ava Peachskin paired with The Sew Over It ‘Vintage Shirt Dress’ is the perfect way to recreate this on-trend style.

Linen Shirt dress – H&M 

Last but not least, a plain white shirt is always a wardrobe classic and this season it’s all about linen so it’s time to get sewing. To recreate this versatile style, pair the Closet Case Patterns ‘Kalle’ Shirt Dress with our Washed Rayon Linen. Not a fan of white, or cant be trusted to wear such a light shade like us? This stunning fabric comes in a whole host of colourful shades too – we think we’ll have one of each please!

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Meet the Highly Commended Makers: Catherine Middleton

Over the next few weeks, we promised, we’ll be getting you inspired all over again with the winners of our Highly Commended award which was part of The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Along.

Next up on the blog is the amazing Catherine (@catherinemakesstuff) who wowed us every week with her makes but she really wowed both us and the lovely Kate and Rachel from The Fold Line with her quilted Tilly and the Buttons Stevie top. Catherine is the lucky winner of 3 day Jeans Sewing Weekender taught by Sewing Bee Winner, Charlotte here at Sewisfaction HQ.

Tell us a bit about your sewing journey?

I’ve always loved making things, with varying degrees of success – but it’s good for the soul having an output for creative energy wherever the medium, and enthusiasm is more important than competence!
My Mum taught me to knit and sew as a child, she always made everything by hand which, I confess I never had the patience for and then my Aunt taught me how to use a sewing machine as a teenager, I made a couple of bits but wasn’t that interested. Although my career as a fashion design got off to a flying start – then abrupt end – with a spectacularly ill-fitting, gold glittery, reversible denim, bucket hat with insane topstiching and a ginger kitten applique!
15 years went by and I didn’t really think anything more about it. Then in March 2018 I rediscovered my sewing machine in the attic, bought my first pattern on a whim and dived right in!
I’ve become more than a bit obsessed, and have been quite prolific ever since, steadily building a me-made wardrobe, and sewing presents for everyone I know – whether they want them or not. I can’t throw anything away, and hated seeing all these beautiful scraps of fabric going to waste, so a love of quilting developed in tandem.

Tell us about your winning make and what inspired you?

I’m not a very precise person but there’s something so pleasing about the precision required for quilting. The joy in cutting tiny squares or triangles and assembling them into something larger. I hate waste, and I love the opportunity to use up scraps – so the sustainability week sew-a-long challenge was the perfect marriage of the two.

My previous attempt at making something out of scraps was made from crowd sourced cast offs for a novelty sound of music hen do scrapbook dress! This time I wanted to make something a bit more sophisticated. The fabric was all scraps from other projects, with a bit of a bed sheet thrown in their for good measure. I didn’t have any elastic for the button loop either so cut up a hair bobble – did the trick nicely.

Because there were so many pieces I was worried it would be quite bulky when finished, to combat this I went for a cropped Stevie top as it’s got a great boxy fit.  Once I’d pieced together the front panel I cut an additional front bodice out of some leftover lining fabric to encase all those seems and stitched the rest as normal. Top stitching the neckline was a bit of a pain. There were so many seems with the chevron pieces it was a bit of a fight to get it to lay flat.

What was your highlight from The Great British Sewing Bee?

That red dress Juliet made in the final… just wow! Oh and that black and white monochrome tutu Leah made in children’s week – impeccable. And just Ricardo generally. Also the speed in which those guys can sew, it’s phenomenal.

What’s next in your sewing pile? 

Currently dragging my heels on a Sew Over It 1940s wrap dress for a friend using vintage lace from a charity shop – the lace is very fiddly and annoying so I’ve been procrastinating! Have also been having a blast making a sea side quilt for a friend’s son – complete with a pieced crab Emoji and lighthouse.

For more about the amazing Charlotte, follow her on Instagram – @catherinemakesstuff

Did you enjoy reading this? Keep an eye out on the blog for our other two amazing sewists and their stories over the next few weeks.

 

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A bright, seasonal sew from Amanda

Hi Everyone,

Its Amanda here back on the blog and this time with something a little different.  I have made the newest pattern from Tilly & The Buttons the Eden Coat from this fabulous Fleece Backed Soft Shell fabric.

The pattern includes two different styles one being a duffle coat which is longer in length and the other a shorter fisherman style raincoat. Given we are now in May I thought a new raincoat would be perfect given this is prime time in the UK for showers.

I toyed with the idea of taping the seams to make it super waterproof but I do already own a raincoat which withstands even the heaviest of downpours and so a showerproof jacket was what I was going for.

When I saw this fabric I immediately knew the yellow colourway would be perfect as I had some navy padded lining in my stash which would compliment it perfectly.  As you can see the jacket fastens with snaps and also an open ended zip, however, the zip is in fact optional and you don’t need to add it if you don’t want to. I have only inserted a couple of open ended zips before so I thought I needed the practice and also felt it would add to the warmth of the jacket.

When the fabric arrived it was incredibly soft but a lot thicker than I expected and as I had a padded lining in mind I was slightly concerned everything would be too bulky.  The colour of the fabric was just what I had in mind and the right side has a neoprene type feel. As you can see from the images the jacket turned out to be more of a winter style coat and due to the Soft Shell having a fleece back it is super warm.

I had intended to add pockets and really liked the pleated version.  However, when I attached the first pocket it was clear that, firstly the pockets were way too high for me, and  secondly that the fabric, when lined, was too bulky. I therefore chose to leave the pockets off and may go back in and add some inseam pockets or the patch pockets but leave them unlined.

As I was leaving off the pockets I wanted a bit of interest and therefore chose to add the storm flaps on both the front and the back.  I really like this feature and think it definitely makes the jacket stand out.

Everything sewed up really well on my machine, which is a bit of a beast, but I had to understitch and topstitch everywhere I could in order to make everything sit correctly.  Due to the thickness of the fabric I used a jeans needle and changed it frequently to ensure it stayed sharp and didn’t skip stitches. As you can probably see I actually attached the storm flaps on the front of the jacket to the front bodice pieces to stop them from poking out when worn.  I have also run a line of topstitching around the hood to keep the lining flush and also an extra line of stitching around the bottom of the jacket to keep the hem facing in place.

Whilst it’s not strictly what I had in mind I am pleased with how the jacket has turned out and it is perfect for the cooler weather.  My husband has taken a shine to it and tried it on whilst asking “so is it a unisex pattern then?” He also asked me what other colourways Sheona had to see if he could put in an order for one!!!

If I were to make this jacket again a less bulky lining would definitely be preferable and I note the pattern suggests a single jersey lining but I was worried this would be a pain to slip on and off.

I used some 15mm Prym Anorak Snaps for the front and hood and I really love these snaps they are perfect for outerwear and also for use with denim. I used just plain silver for this make but they come in a range of finishes.

Anyway that’s all from me. Until next time!

Amanda xx

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#MySewisfaction March Makers Gallery

Well where did March go? We’ve seen so many amazing makes from you lovely sewists this month and we can’t wait to share them with you. First up, it’s time to announce our March winner who is the lucky winner of a £25 Sewisfaction voucher is *Drumroll* is Jen Legg from @jenlegg4

Jen made this beautiful vintage dress made in our Dusky Blooms Viscose and we love that it looks like a beautiful vintage garment straight from the 70’s! Look out on the blog for more from our lovely winner soon.

March Makers

Loraine (@lorainemunro) in her Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans using our jeans kit

Rebecca (@Becsewcrazy) made this Grainline Studio Hadley in our Peacock Paradise Viscose Crepe

Lynn (@Lynn_the_knit) in her Sew Different Geo Dress using our Wow Leopard print jersey

Rachel (@scissorspapersewn) in aSimplicity New Look top made in our Floral Waters Cotton

Karen (@sewbyheart) in her Grainline Linden made in our Dita Jacquard Jersey (Sold out)

Patsy (@Patsypoomakes) in her Jennifer Lauren Handmade Ivy Pinafore using our Stretch 10oz denim

Izzy (@izzysews) in her Tilly and the Buttons Ness skirt, made in our black, stretch denim (sold out)

Sew & Fit Ultimate Trousers Class

We all know how daunting sewing trousers can be, but fear not, we have the perfect class for you!

On our Sew & Fit Ultimate Trousers Class, you will learn how to adjust a trouser pattern to fit you and your shape.

You’ll start by flat measuring your pattern and learning how to make adjustments, from this you’ll then sew up a quick toile (practice) version to check the fit. After a fit check with our expert teacher and making any necessary adjustments which can then be transferred back to your pattern pieces, you’ll then sew up your final pair and leave feeling like a sewing ninja!

YOU WILL LEARN

  • Measuring yourself and choosing the correct pattern size
  • Understanding a sewing pattern
  • Cutting out your pattern & fabric accurately
  • Adjusting a pattern to fit
  • Sewing and finishing seams, with the option to use an overlocker for a professional finish
  • Inserting an invisible zip

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The class includes expert instruction, use of the Janome machines, tools, threads etc, a copy of the trouser pattern so you can make them again at home plus tea, coffee and cake! The class is capped at six to ensure everyone gets the time and attention they need.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING

  • You’ll need 2m of fabric for your final pair; we would recommend triple crepe, stretch cotton, lightweight stretch denim, stretch corduroy or other medium weight woven fabric with some stretch (If you aren’t sure, please contact us). Your fabric should have approx 3% stretch.
  • You’ll also need 1m of fabric for your toile, with a similar stretch percentage. You could use a cheaper fabric, fabric from your stash or just extra of your main fabric.
  • 9” Concealed Zip
  • Matching thread – we provide a wide choice of coloured threads to use during the class but if there is a specific colour match or top-stitching colour you would like, we recommend bringing your own

EXPERIENCE LEVEL

Intermediate (4)

TEACHER

Gillian Payne, Layla Totah

This pattern is sized for a UK 8 – 20 if you are a UK 8, 18 or 20 please contact us prior to booking so we can arrange to grade the pattern for you.

Please note, depending on your sewing ability and speed, you may not leave the class with a completely finished pair of trousers, but we will ensure your pattern has been updated with relevant changes and you’ll know exactly how to put the finishing touches to your trousers at home.

More questions? Take a look at our Class FAQs, these also cover our Class Cancellation Policy.

 

 

Nina Lee Camden Pinafore and Skirt

Fun, versatile and fully-lined, Camden is a joy to sew and wear! Choose between the full pinafore or the skirt option (with two lengths); both are lined and feature stylish patch pockets! The pinafore has a deep V-neckline and princess seams that pleasingly flow into the lines of the skirt. The close-fitting bodice and waistband make the Camden pinafore perfect for layering over finer tops, or wearing on its own in the summer! The simple skirt on the other hand is there for you all year round, ready to be paired with chunky knits and woolly tights through to camis and espadrilles!

Skill level: confident beginner

Suitable fabric:

Camden is suitable for medium-weight fabrics with body, e.g. denim, lightweight wool, corduroy, velvet

Plus: lining fabric

Notions: 

For the pinafore: 1 x 56cm /22-inch invisible zip
For the skirt: 1 x 23cm / 9-inch invisible zip
1 x hook and eye, optional
1 strip of interfacing for the waistband, optional

 

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#GBSBsewalong: Challenge Six

For week six of the Sewing Bee, the contestants took on British and Irish fabrics including some amazing outerwear pieces and so for this weeks sew along challenge, we’re all about outerwear too.

The Challenge

For week six of the challenge it’s time to get seasonal, with a me made outerwear piece to get protect you from the elements.

From coats, to jackets, blazers and capes the possibilities are endless and a great way to tackle some tailoring. And with a whole host of great patterns and sewing inspiration out there we can’t wait to see what you all make!

The Prizes

We’ve  said it every week and we’ll say it again, we’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with how talented you lovely lot are and so to celebrate, we’re giving one more lucky winner a chance this week – that’s right, we have FOUR PRIZES for challenge six! So read on to see what you could be in with a chance of winning.

Cocowa Crafts Pattern bundle – RRP £33.50 

Instagram: @Cocowacrafts

We’re pretty excited for this little bundle – a gorgeous set of patterns from the lovely Ana over at Cocowa crafts, which includes 2x PDF patterns of your choice PLUS, a paper version of ‘that’ pattern that you’ve seen all over Instagram, the newly launched Maple Dress – swoon!

£100 Minerva Crafts voucher 

Instagram: @Minervacrafts

Minerva Crafts is an online fabric and haberdashery that also boasts a whole range of knitting, crochet and other crafty tools. This week they have kindly gifted one of our winners with a whopping £100 voucher – perfect for stocking up on supplies for your next project!

Dovetailed fabric bundle 

Instagram: @Dovetailedlondon

Lovely Juliet from The Sewing Bee has well and truly put African Wax print fabrics on the top of our sewing wish-lists. This week we have a beautiful bundle from independent fabric store Dovetailed London – we truly hope the winner makes their own version of ‘that’ jumpsuit!

Cashmerette pattern bundle – RRP $64

Instagram: @Cashmerette

One of the things we love so dearly about the sewing community is the inclusivity and Cashmerette create beautiful, on trend patterns for women sized 12 – 28. The lucky winner of this fantastic bundle will be able to take their pick from any 4 PDF patterns of their choice – new wardrobe anyone?

Inspiration

This week it’s time to get going on some outerwear and we have you covered with plenty of inspiration:

Tilly and The Buttons – Eden Jacket

Say hello to the hottest new jacket pattern on the block, The Eden Jacket. From the team at Tilly and the Buttons, it boasts the simple instructions and varied views that we love from their patterns. If you’re a beginner to outerwear, this is a great starting place for you.

Best sewn in: Medium- to heavy-weight woven fabrics such as wool coating, cotton drill, waxed canvas, Gore-Tex, ripstop, PUL and cotton laminate. For the lining, try viscose, acetate, polyester or cotton lawn, or even low stretch jersey for a casual anorak lining.

Cloud 9 Organic Laminate – Cosmos Garden

The perfect companion to the Eden Jacket, this organic laminate is made from the softest cotton with a laminate finish which are both super stylish and ready to protect you from all the elements.

Sew Over It – Chloe Coat

The Chloe Coat gives us all sorts of retro feelings with its 60’s inspired shape and a tailoring details. With lots of variations from a zip to a press stud finish, this is a coat that you can really make your own.

Best sewn in: medium to heavyweight wool fabric, such as tweed, boucle, boiled wool or melton. For a lighter coat, you could also try a jacquard, linen or viscose linen blend.

Blue check ex-designer wool blend

This luxury wool blend in navy and coral check is the perfect investment if you’re thinking of making a coat to add to your me made collection. Super soft to the touch and a huge print for the upcoming season, this is one that everyone should have in their closet.

Closet Case Patterns – Jasika Blazer

We love this new pattern from Closet Case patterns, it’s been flooding our Instagram feed and we can’t wait to tackle this piece for a touch of work wear chic. Plus, who doesn’t want to rock an elbow patch!?

Best sewn in: medium to heavyweight suitings or lightweight coatings with surface texture such as wool melton, wool flannel, crepe and tweed. Velvet, medium-heavy weight cotton, seersucker and linen may also be used.

Goldshot Herringbone wool – Charcol

And what better fabric to compliment the Jasika blazer? Our very own Goldshot Herringbone Wool is the perfect choice for this pattern – a classic herringbone in monochrome colour ways that will go with every outfit? Yes please!

Sew Different – Cocoon Jacket

Slouchy and comfy are two words we love when it comes to outerwear and this Sew Different Cocoon jacket ticks all of those boxes. Perfect for throwing on over jeans, a tshirt and converses this is a look that we’re really loving. Oh and best of all? IT HAS POCKETS!

Best sewn in: medium to heavyweight wool fabric, such as tweed, boucle, boiled wool or melton. For a lighter coat, you could also try a jacquard, linen or viscose linen blend.

Old Gold Mustard Denim

And last but not least, why not get ready for the summer with a wardrobe staple, the denim jacket. We’re still so in love with this Old Gold Mustard Denim and we can see it being the perfect accompaniment to a summer dress or skirt.

So hands up sewers, who is joining us for week five? Comment below and let us know what you’re sewing and don’t forget to use the hashtag #GBSBsewalong so we can see your makes. Finally, click here to sign up to the Sewisfaction newsletter to get all the challenge and prize details first.