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#GBSBSewAlong: Big Prize Preview

The day is here and we couldn’t be more excited because guys, guess what…..Sewing Bee is finally coming back into our lives. Starting tonight (Tuesday 12th February) at 9pm on BBC2, shortly after which we’ll be announcing our first Great British Sewing Bee Sew Along challenge theme, so stay tuned into our Instagram and come back to the blog to find out more!

But what’s a challenge without amazing prizes? We’ve been working very hard over here to secure some really exciting sewing goodies for all our lucky winners and we think you’ll be as excited as we are. We are so overwhelmed with how so many businesses within the community are getting on board with the challenge and sponsoring an INCREDIBLE host of prizes. Please make sure to check them out and show them your support during the series.

As well as multiple weekly prizes (read on for the current full list), we’ve added three Highly Commended prizes for three lucky winners at the end of the challenge. As we’ll be awarding the prizes throughout the challenge, we thought it would only be fair to pull together a panel of esteemed sewing judges to help us pick the Highly Commended winners.

Highly Commended: The Judges


Charlotte Newland – @Charlottesews

We couldn’t have a judge for #GBSBsewalong without a Bee and we’re delighted the current Sewing Bee Queen, Charlotte is on our panel! Charlotte was the winner of the last GBSB, Season 4, and we instantly fell in love with her signature sense of style and the way she nailed the challenges week after week. Charlotte is still a big part of the sewing community, an expert teacher and we’re really excited to have her as one of our judges.

Elisalex de Castro Peake – @Elisalex

Co-founder and Head of Design of pattern company By Hand London, sewing teacher, columnist and maker extraordinaire, Elisalex constantly has us drooling over her incredible makes over on her Instagram grid. An absolute Queen of print and pattern, she knows a beautiful make when she sees one!

Kate Underdown & Rachel Walker – The Fold Line – @Thefoldline

Kate & Rachel are the co-founders of the amazing online community and newly launched, one-stop pattern shop; The Fold Line. Packed with inspiration, reviews and patterns, this is a must visit for your me-made inspiration. Experts at spotting amazing makes, we’re super lucky to have them as part of  our judging panel.


Highly Commended: The Prizes

The three lucky winners of our Highly Commended category will be awarded with one of the following prizes:

 Janome 9300DX Overlocker – RRP £269

An essential part of any sewists collection, an overlocker is your sidekick in all things finishing and Janome will kindly be giving one lucky winner this brand new Janome 9300DX. This compact machine contains everything you need to polish off any garment and we’re already very jealous of whoever scoops up this prize.


Sewing Jeans Weekender with Charlotte Newland at Sewisfaction – RRP £295

Want to spend a whole three days sewing with a small, fun group, learning amazing new skills and being taught by a Sewing Bee Winner herself?  This prize is sponsored by us here at Sewisfaction and will teach you everything you need to know about sewing your own jeans with the lovely Charlotte Newland on one of our sell out courses. We’ll even include 2m of one of our perfect denims so you really do have everything you need! *Please note this course will run on 8th/9th/10th June 2019 and does not include transport or accommodation. 


Adjustoform Supafit Standard Dress Form from Sew Essential – RRP £110

An adjustable dress form is the perfect addition to any sewing room, whether you’re a beginner or experienced sewist, this fantastic dress form is kindly offered to one lucky winner by the team at Sew Essential. Helping you to get the perfect fit, straighter hems and fully adjustable to mimic your body shape we know whoever wins this will find it invaluable.

Weekly Prizes

As you know, there’ll be weekly challenges set after each show airs, and the following week, we’ll be announcing our weekly winners. When each challenge is announced, we’ll let you know the prizes you could win that week. Here’s our current (we may have some more to add!) full list of prizes and amazing sponsors.

The Avid Seamstress – 3 Printed Pattern Bundle

By Hand London – 3 PDF Pattern Bundle

Brother Sewing Machine Brother Innov-Is A16 Sewing Machine

Cashmerette – 4 PDF Pattern Bundle

Closet Case Patterns – $75 Gift Card

Cocowawa Patterns – 2 PDF patterns & Exclusive new paper pattern

Crafty Sew & So – My Handmade Wardrobe Pattern Bundle 

Creative Industry – 2 rolls of Swedish Tracing Paper & a Makers Workbook

Ernest Wright – 10″ Shears and Stork Embroidery Scissors

Foxglove & Field – 2 Sets of Handmade Pattern Weights

Girl Charlee Fabrics – £50 Fabric Bundle

Happy Fabric – Project Bundle & Gift Voucher

Helen’s Closet – 3 PDF Pattern Bundle

I AM Patterns – 3 PDF Pattern Bundle

Korbond – £75 Haberdashery Bundle

Makers Atelier – Makers Atelier Magazine & The Keira Fogden Dress pattern

Maven Patterns – 6 Paper Pattern Collection

Minerva Crafts – £100 Gift Voucher

Named Clothing – Entire FW17 Paper Pattern Collection

New Craft House – £50 Fabric Voucher

Nominette Labels – Personalised Labels & Clothing Care Label Pack

SewHayleyJane – Lucky Dip Box

Sew Me Sunshine – £50 Gift Voucher

Suzy Magazine – Issue 2 – 5 Bundle

Tilly and the Buttons – Online Class

The Fold Line – £50 Voucher 


Please note all prizes are non-transferable. The competition is open internationally and we will let you know each week if certain prizes are UK only.


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Gold is the new black: A Schnittchen Coco from Amanda

Hi, I’m back again with another make and I am super pleased with this one as it encompasses two of my favourite things – denim and the colour mustard. I recently watched Sheona’s Vlog highlighting some of the gorgeousness she had just added to the shop and from them all this Old Gold Denim really caught my eye.

I was trying to think of something that I could use it for that would be a little different from anything I had made before.  I had been toying with the idea of making a Sew Over It Coco for a while but I wasn’t keen on the way it was unlined.  I could have of course drafted a lining myself but then I stumbled upon the Coco Jacket by Schnittchen Patterns.

I really liked the fact the Schnittchen Coco was slightly longer and had shaping in both the front and back.  I also really like the curved detail on the front pieces at both the collar and hem.

To compliment the denim I chose this gorgeous Mustard Sprig Rayon which I have also had my eye on for a little while.  The fabrics were even more gorgeous in real life and went straight in the washing machine as soon as they were unpacked (pre-washing is crucial with viscose as it shrinks so much).

As indicated above the jacket is fully lined and the pattern provides separate pattern pieces for the lining rather than instructing you to cut the outer pieces down which is brilliant as I am not a tracer.

I have never used Schnittchen Patterns before but I have to admit if you are relatively new to sewing be warned the instructions are sparse.  When I say sparse I mean sparse.  The instructions are clear but there are no diagrams or images to help with construction just a bullet point list of steps.  The steps are pretty clear but you really need to have an idea of the construction of a jacket to understand what you are doing.  I have made quite a few coats/jackets before so the construction appeared relatively straightforward.

For me, everything came together really quickly and easily save for the darts which I found slightly confusing to start with.  Unlike other patterns I have used in the past you are required to partially cut the darts out of the fabric and then line up the cut edges and sew using the same seam allowance as in all other areas to sew the dart to the point.  I noticed from the website that there was a helpful photo tutorial on the Schnittchen website for the jacket which made this step a lot clearer.  I didn’t experience any other problems or make any alterations and the sleeves went in first time without any puckers which alone gives this pattern a massive thumbs up from me as hate inserting sleeves!!  The whole thing took me just a few hours to complete.

One thing I did change was to sew the lining to the sleeves at the hem before I turning the jacket through to minimise hand stitching.  This is a method I learnt when sewing my first Closet Case Patterns Clare Coat and I always use it.  I also hand stitched the lining to the outer of the jacket at the underarm to stop the sleeve lining from pulling forward when I put the jacket on.

The pattern doesn’t tell you to catch the hem to the centre back seam allowance either which I think is a must to ensure it doesn’t fold down whilst you are wearing it.  The jacket is turned through a hole in the sleeve lining and therefore it has a really clean finish along the hem and the lining is secured all around with just a little hand sewing at the lower corners.

I am in love with this jacket and think I will get a lot of wear out of it both as part of my casual wardrobe but also with my smarter pieces.  The colour of the denim is amazing and both fabrics such lovely quality they were both a dream to work with and sew.

This is also a really economic pattern as the lining only uses 1 metre of fabric and the outer 1.2 metres.  I am really pleased with the fit and would definitely make this jacket again.  I have seen some really lovely versions online and it would be perfect in a wool for the winter.

Anyway that’s all from me – Happy sewing!!

Amanda xx


Old Gold Mustard Denim

Mustard Sprig Rayon


Matching Thread

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A Quick and Easy Delphine Skirt

Hi everyone,  it’s Kathy from Sew Dainty and it’s great to be back on the Sewisfaction blog.

I know I am not alone when I say that I am a huge Tilly and the Buttons fan. Her designs suit my style and I am always excited when she releases new patterns. Something that I have neglected, however, is her first book ‘Love at First Stitch’

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf and been meaning to sew something out of it for a long time, but keep getting distracted by other patterns – I know lots of you will totally get this! However my handmade wardrobe was really needing a simple A-line skirt like this, and I have finally got around to sewing it up.

My fabric choice is this wonderful medium weight Japanese cotton canvas. I knew that I wanted a fabric with some structure so that it would show off the A-line silhouette of the skirt. I also knew that working with cotton canvas would be a dream – having no stretch, it holds its shape wonderfully when cutting out and couldn’t be easier to sew with. I also completely fell in love with the bold retro floral design, particularly the bursts of burnt orange and teal colours amongst the navy and cream background.

Other suggestions for this fabric, if you don’t own the Love at First Stitch book, might be a Sew Over It Tulip Skirt, a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress or even home furnishings such as cushion covers or a Roman blind.

This skirt is a perfect project for a beginner, or a quick satisfying make for the more experienced sewist. It is super simple to cut out, and I love that it only took me an afternoon to sew. In addition to your fabric and thread, you’ll need a zip and some interfacing for the waistband. The recommended zip is a 9” invisible zip, but as I have recently made a skirt with an exposed zip, and I am now slightly obsessed with them, I could not resist adding an exposed zip into this skirt too. I should mention that I used a couple of strips of interfacing along the edges where the zip was sewn in, just to give it extra stability.

The skirt has turned out so well. I must admit I was thoroughly expecting to have to alter the side seams after sewing to soften off such an exaggerated A-line shape, but no, it’s perfectly lovely as it is and I made no changes to the pattern (other than the zip) – oh and the length, but I always have to shorten things as I am only 5’2”.

Have you seen the pretty needlecord fabrics that Sheona has in at the moment, I can imagine these working wonderfully with the Delphine pattern. Also what about a denim one too?  Tempting …

Thank you so much to Sewisfaction for the beautiful fabric. I now have the cutest little skirt to make me smile through Autumn and Winter. On milder days it works well with bare legs and a t-shirt and cardigan and when the temperatures are cooler why not pair it up with cosy tights and a cropped top like the Seamwork Astoria.

Sew Different Tulip Dress Pattern

The Tulip Dress is a gently fitted dress with a soft bubble hem. It has a shallow V-neck and a front pleat giving it extra room around the waist and allowing it to be pulled on over your head – no zip required.


There are little swing sleeves that come midway down your upper arm and big pockets in the side seams.


Fabric type: most mid-weight fabrics such as cotton, linen, denim, corduroy and lightweight wools.


Sew Different Everyday Chic Dress Pattern

The Everyday Chic Dress is a softly fitting A-Line shape with a boat neck and V opening neckline. The (optional) smocked panels at the back and under the bust pull it in for flattering and comfortable fit.

It has deep integrated pockets and generous raglan sleeves.


Fabric type: suitable for light denim, needlecord, heavy cotton and most other medium weight fabrics.


Other supplies: Shirring elastic (optional)

Sew Different Scoop Pattern

The Scoop Pinafore is a casual, over-the-head tunic designed to wear with a top underneath. It’s statement square neckline contrasts with the scooped sides, which house large and comfortable pockets (who doesn’t love a pocket!). The skirt has a slight bubble hem and sits just above the knee for a 5ft 8 height. And, NO ZIP REQUIRED. Hurray!

The Scoop Pinafore works well in most medium to heavy weight fabrics. It looks great in denim, corduroy, velvet, wools, scuba, linen and double knits.

Tilly & The Buttons Ness Pattern

Elevate your sewing with this classic fly front skirt pattern. Ness looks stylish year-round, paired with a t-shirt in summer or a roll neck in winter. The straight skirt has a shaped waistband and curved back yoke for a flattering fit.

Choose from mini version or below-the-knee hemline with centre front split. Details inspired by denim include a zip fly front, topstitched mock felled seams, belt loops, all-important in-seam pockets, plus optional back pockets for stashing your essentials. Let’s get stitching!

Ness includes jargon-busting instructions, helpful sewing tips, and colour photos showing you each step – making it easy for you to create gorgeous clothes you can be proud to say you made yourself.

PRINTED PATTERN – You’ll receive a gorgeous printed package in the post containing full scale pattern sheets and a colour instruction booklet. (Alternatively you can order the digital version to print and assemble at home, or have the A0 format printed at a copy shop.)

SKILL LEVEL – Improvers

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS – Medium- to heavy-weight woven fabrics such as denim, corduroy, jacquard, gobelin (tapestry), drill or wool, preferably with a little stretch for comfort.


  • Fabric – Mini skirt : 1.20m (1 3/8yd) x 150cm (60in) OR 1.6m (1¾yd) x 115cm (45in)
    Knee-length skirt: 1.4m (1 5/8yd) x 150cm (60in) OR 1.8m (2 yd) x 115cm (45in)
  • Matching thread
  • 0.3m (3/8yd) medium-weight cotton fabric for pocket bags
  • 0.5m (5/8yd) x 90cm (36in) wide iron-on interfacing (similar weight to your fabric)
  • 12.5cm (5in) jeans zip
  • 15-18mm (5/8in) button with shank
  • Optional: Contrast topstitch thread and topstitch/embroidery machine needle
  • Sewing machine and basic tools, including zip foot or adjustable zip foot
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Top five sewing patterns for beginners

Taking the first step to sewing your very own me-made workshop can sometimes be confusing. There are so many patterns out there from the independent brands as well as the ‘big’ and ‘scary’ top four. So if you’re thinking of taking the leap and joining the community, never fear, we have your back. Read on for our top five beginner patterns.

1. Tilly and the Buttons – Cleo

Great for: Easy to follow instructions

Sew in: Woven fabrics, including denim, cord or even upholstery fabrics

Cleo is our go-to pattern for all seasons, from cosy corduroys and knits in the winter to denim layered over t-shirts in the summer.  We love Tilly’s patterns for a range of reasons, from the simple to follow instructions to the easy to use measuring charts; you really can’t go wrong. This on trend, style has no fiddly zips or buttons to contend with and the dungaree clips are super simple to use, in fact, the only difficult thing about this pattern is choosing how many versions to make!

2. Grainline Studios – Scout Tee

Great for: A quick, simple sew

Sew in: Lightweight to medium fabrics including cotton lawn, linen and denim

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the perfect top exists, but we think the scout tee comes pretty close. A great, quick sew, this top has no darts or pleats but does show you how to handle bias binding on the flattering neckline. This top is one that suits all body shapes, which we love and can be made again and again in so many different prints and colours that your closet will be packed with them before you know it!


3. Leisl & Co – Everyday Skirt

Great for: A well-drafted, wardrobe staple

Sew in: Medium weight cotton, needlecord or flannel

We LOVE the everyday skirt – so many variations, so little time. This A-line, classic shape has a flat front, with elasticated back, which sits perfectly on the hips of any body shape. There are no zips and fastenings which is great, but you can get to grips with adding pockets (who doesn’t love pockets) and also adding elastic to a garment. This is sophisticated, simple sew which you’ll be swishing around in forever.

4. Tilly And The Buttons – Coco

Great for: Getting to grips with sewing jersey

Sew in: Medium weight jersey including Ponte Roma or double knit

Another favourite from Tilly And The buttons, the Coco is the ultimate jersey top AND dress all in one pretty package. Crying out to be sewn in a classic Breton stripe, the super clear instructions strike again, not only that, the handy guide shows beginners how to sew stretch without the use of an overlocker if you aren’t quite ready to take that leap just yet. Sewing with jersey may seem scary, but this will most definitely help you along on your ‘jersey journey’ – thanks Tilly!

Sew Over It - Ultimate Shift Dress

5. Sew Over It – The Ultimate Shift dress

Great for: A simple dress with lots of variations

Sew in: Cotton, viscose or crepe

Last, but by no means least, the ultimate shift dress is a wonderland of sewspiration, from the long-sleeves to short, ruffled ones and even a top variation – it really does have something for everyone. Again, there are no zips but this pattern will help you to get to grips with bust darts and neck facings, in a simple, easy to follow way. This one is great for showcasing bold prints and if you feel like ‘stepping it up’, try stitching something in drapier fabrics for a challenge.

So there you have it, our top five patterns for beginner sewists, we love the variation of all of these and the great thing is, you can add your own flare once you really get going on your sewing journey.

Ready to begin but still a bit overwhelmed? Don’t panic, we’ve covered all basis, check out our gorgeous kits for each of the patterns which contain everything but the sewing machine! From a perfectly paired Cleo/stripe combo to dreamy denim ready to be made into dungarees, we have plenty to choose from, so what are you waiting for? Shop the kits here.

To see Sheona talk in more detail about her favourite beginner patterns watch the vlog below:

**PREORDER Please Read** Sew Your Own Jeans Kit

**PLEASE READ – We’ve had an overwhelming response to our jeans kits again this month so we have adding them for preorder ensuring we have enough stock for everyone. We will be opening pre-orders on 13/2/2019 and closing preorders on 18/2/2019.

Kits will be made up and sent out on a first come, first served basis from 20/2/19 and all will be dispatched within 10 working days.**

Our dressmaking kits are perfect as gifts or a treat for yourself! They contain everything you need to make a garment, including the pattern, fabric and all notions so are perfect for beginners who aren’t sure where to start, or more experienced sewists who just want to have everything to hand. Plus, buying the kit works out a minimum of 10% cheaper than buying everything separately, so you get a great deal too!

Our Jeans Kits include everything you need to make a brilliant pair of professional looking jeans. Included is the either the Closet Case Ginger Jeans Pattern or the Cashmerette Ames Jeans Pattern, our high quality stretch denim in either Indigo or Black, metal rivets & jeans buttons (including enough to practice with!), interfacing, matching jeans zip, as well as a set of Top Stitch needles and contrasting Gutermann topstitching thread!

Kits are available with and without the pattern, so if you already have it or want to use a different jeans pattern, simply select “Without Pattern” from the drop down menu above.