Sew Over It Eve Top Hack

After posting on Instagram, I have had a few people ask me how I did the a-symmetric eve top hack using the Sew Over It Eve dress pattern. It was really simple and only needs 3 additional pattern pieces.

I used the same bodice pattern pieces as the eve dress with no amendments and then added the additional pattern pieces, I will refer to them as the peplum front left, front right and peplum back.

I traced the Yoke, Front piece and sleeve pattern pieces without making any amendments. I omitted the back seam on the back piece removing 1.5 cm from the centre back.

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The additional pieces I did add are simply a rectangle 20cm deep (and obviously the width or your pattern piece to match your back piece depending on your size) which is the back ‘peplum piece’

And then two from front pieces one with a dramatic point to create the a-symmetric style that hangs at the front of the top.

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Construct the bodice in the same way as the instructions for the dress and then sew both front peplum pieces to the back peplum piece at the side seams and sew them to the bodice.

Finish your seams in the desired way and hem the top all the way around including the neckline to give it a neat finish.

I used the same ties and just attached them near the waist seam. I left an opening in the left hand seam (like the dress instructions) to feed the tie through.

 

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Happy Eve hacking!

 

Thanks for reading

Samantha x

 

 

Jasika Blazer of Easter Glory

A review of the Jasika Blazer by Closet Case Patterns

Well what can I say about the Closet Case Patterns Jasika Blazer ‘Learn to sew a classic blazer’ Course…. Firstly, what a fantastic project and a great tutorial experience with Heather. Thank you to Closet Case Patterns for allowing me to up my sewing game and teach me new skills that I will have for life.

The course is designed for anyone that is wanting to tackle a meaty project and learn some ‘speed tailoring’ techniques. The Course is broken down into various short videos so you can take one step at a time and go at your own pace. The end result is a timeless, smart blazer that will be a staple piece in your wardrobe.

 

I had some Navy wool in my stash and wanted to add a contrast collar so chose a burnt orange velveteen which worked really well to add a pop of colour.

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After gathering all the supplies (I won’t bore you with the full list) that were recommended and using my handmade sleeve ham and a block of clean unvarnished wood for a clapper I was ready to go. I hadn’t used knit interfacing before nor horse hair canvas and not come across them in haberdashery stores before but managed to get them from UK sellers on eBay. I always buy a few reels of thread to see me through a large project like this so made sure I had plenty Navy and Orange Gutterman (other brands are available, but my machine is a thread snob and this is the brand that makes her happy 😊) threads before starting. Nothing worse than running out part way through when you are in the swing of things and I did get through a lot of thread.

Initially it did feel intimidating and there are a lot of elements to it not to mention the various pattern pieces but having sewn with wool and previously made the Sew Over It Chloe coat using the Online class I had some experience. The Jasika Blazer is more complex than that, another level of skill that I wanted to achieve, and I knew I would be better to spend a full day or two on it rather that chip away at it over evenings. I made some time over the Easter Weekend to complete it.

I am generally very organised and as a Project Manager by day I love a good list and planning for projects so with my organised nature this project was great fun, however you need to be organised or break it now into areas so you don’t get out faced by it.

I’m going to break this blog post down into the methods I used to create the Blazer and talk about the tips, highs and (very few) lows of this project.

Cutting pattern pieces

I had the pattern printed at a copyshop to save me sticking 70 (!) pages together. This was a good start to saving some time, I had it printed on 250g paper which is thin enough to trace through (more on that later). My measurements fell into the size 10 but I didn’t cut around the size 10 for each pattern piece, initially, I roughly cut around the shapes of the pattern piece without committing to the size 10 until I had made the muslin. This way I would be able to adapt my pattern pieces and cut them out correctly knowing that the amendments were taken care of.

I also used a colour coding method for the different type of pattern pieces, so I cut these ‘categories’ separately, again to break it down so it didn’t out face me and worked well with limited times in the evenings.

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Orange – Outer fabric pattern pieces

Green – Lining pieces

Yellow – Horse hair and interfacing pieces

Making the muslin

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So the tracing element comes into its own for the muslin, especially if you are using a calico or cotton muslin. I used a sharpie pen to trace the jacket pattern pieces directly onto the cotton duvet cover I used to make the muslin. This worked well as, thinking ahead, if the muslin didn’t fit well then I could easily adapt the changes on the pattern pieces and then cut them out as the ‘final’ version. (If you cut them out in the original form the you will need to stick bit on if you need to grade out etc. This is faffy and probably not as accurate).

I did refer to the fitting ebook which gave really great illustrations for how to amend the pattern pieces for the obvious changes needed highlighted by the fit of the muslin.

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You can see here the bagginess around the bust needed grading smaller and I also extended the front darts.

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Extra fabric is causing the lines around the shoulders.

 

The changes I made to the pattern:

  • Extended the bust darts by 1 inch and graded to an 8 at the bust
  • Graded out to a 12 at the hips as my muslin vent didn’t overlap as much as it should
  • Shoulders came up too wide so followed the adjustments in the fitting guide.
  • Note: Changes made to outer fabric and the lining pattern pieces in the brown pen.

Interfacing Pieces and prep work

 This is quite a complex process and not covered in the video tutorials so my advice is to check you have all the relevant Knit and Weft interface pieces before touching the iron. There is a great list of pattern pieces broken down into sections which are also numbered in the instructions, I just ticked them off once I had cut them out.

Take time to make sure you are interfacing the correct type to your jacket and again tick them off when you have interfaced them. Once you have interfaced then go and add the tailors tacks, they will not be much use sandwiched between your fabric and interfacing.

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I added tailors tacks and used chalk as well to for the extra visual lines to follow when sewing.

 Let the sewing commence…

 I did find it helped to watch the video first before I started to sew along with Heather as she mentioned a few things after the sewing took place that were useful to note e.g. sewing the bust dart as her version looked slightly different which would of thrown me off if I hadn’t heard her explain the differences first.

Once I had watched the video, I then picked up my project and followed along, watching it twice helped it sink in and give me the confidence to know what was expected of that section and also saved a lot of stopping a starting as I could just get on with that bit at my own pace.

 Sewing the front

Sewing the front darts were really simple, again the only bit that threw me was how far the cut into the dart but if you keep watching Heather explains after she has sewn her version.

She talks through some great tips throughout the process and one that sticks for me is the pressing techniques. You can see the seam allowance marks in the image below and Heather shows how to remove them by placing cardboard under your seam allowances.

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The construction of the front pieces and back including the Vent are really straightforward and you can’t go wrong following Heather step by step, the key is the accuracy of your tailors tacks and chalk markings.

The Pockets

I have done some practice welt pockets before but not to the standard I wanted so I was nervous about them especially as they are bright orange and a bold statement they had to look good.

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The fiddliest bit was adding the pocket bag as you don’t have a lot of space to sew onto, this is where you need a zipper foot to get as close as you can. My foot design is not great and so took a few attempts. The rest of the pocket bag is straight forward but was glad to move on from that part.

 The Sleeves

Honestly, I found these the easiest sleeves to set in. Yes, I did the steaming of the seam allowance and yes I hand tacked them in first. The pattern notches match perfectly and they went in like a dream, no lumps or bumps, no drama.

I didn’t feel like I needed any previous experience for these sleeves, if you follow Heathers advice you will be fine.

At this point I got very excited to try on the jacket and check the fit and consider any adjustments. I have long arms but the Sleeves are long (even with the 2” pressed up) and the sleeves did feel a bit loose. I was trying them out without a jumper on and they felt like they were flapping around a bit, after some further thought and consideration I have left them alone. I do need them to be loose enough as I want to turn them up for a flash of lining. Now the jacket is fully complete they are fine and I know I can wear it all year round even with a thin jumper underneath.

Happy with my finish of the jacket so far I moved swiftly onto adding the sleeve heads and shoulder pads.

The Lining

I chose the most beautiful silky floral lining which looks like an oil painting and should be in a fancy art gallery. I absolutely love it and as soon as I saw it in the shop new it would be perfect for a lining and one goal I wanted to hit off my list was to sew a Blazer.

It did turn out the be difficult to cut out and sew as it was obviously very slippery but totally worth the effort, it make the jacket feel really special and I like to see a flash of it when I turn up the sleeves

This was simple to put together following the involved previous classes of the collar and sleeves. **Warning** Just be aware of the temperature of your iron, I have been caught out with this before and accidently melted the lining as I didn’t turn it down after switching from pressing the wool fabric!

 

My #Blazerofglory

  

 

 Conclusion

I would definitely recommend the course, I think it helps if you have some sewing experience of varied projects especially setting in sleeves, having said that I think the way Heather explains things and guides you through most of the steps, a novice could attempt this project. You have to be accurate but the tailors tacks make you be accurate with your sewing.

The worst bit: For me was adding the pocket bags, which were fiddly due to the tiniest bit of fabric you are sewing to and my zip foot design doesn’t seem to get me close enough, hey ho.

The best bit: Apart from the finished jacket, definitely sewing the facing and collars together and then turning out the jacket facing. This had to be really accurate as I chose to do a contrast collar, any mis-alignment would have been really obvious.

Be prepared to be patient and for it to take several hours, but the skills you learn stand you in good stead and give you an amazing Jacket to wear with pride.

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I would definitely make another one and have read a lot of people saying the same, now I see people wearing blazers popping up everywhere in magazines, on the telly and in the street. This just proves they are such a classic item to have in your handmade wardrobe.

Thank you for reading.

Samantha x

**

A challenging make but definitely my proudest make.

If you want to see more Inspiration check out #blazerofglory on Instagram and Pinterest for lots of makes by inspiring sewists.

Sewing Meet Ups in the UK

So the lovely ladies Helen and Caroline of the Love to Sew Podcast have inspired me to create a map of the UK showing all the sewing meet ups.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’ve compiled a list of all the sewing meet ups that I can find on blogs and Instagram. I haven’t really touch the surface with quilting meet ups, which I am sure there are many. Please do let me know if I have missed your group / meet up off and I will continue to add to this list.

I have been lucky enough to go to a few meet ups in Yorkshire including Dewsbury, Leeds and I co-arranged an Afternoon Tea in York last year which I am hoping to arrange again this summer.

Our community is growing, and meet ups are getting ever popular. Some are on a ticket basis because numbers can be restricted due to venue size, health and safety etc. It is also worth following the organisers blog / Instagram if you are interested in joining their next event as I am sure they will be promoting it that way.

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Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

I have populated all the locations on google maps so you can see a broad spectrum of areas and events where the sewing community is getting together.

See Interactive Map Here

Map

This may also be an opportunity for you, if there is not a meet in your area, to start one. Make new friends and share your love for this creative hobby with people local to you.

Here are the details for each meet up and links the organisers and relevant blog posts.

# / IG Account Location Next Date Details Organisers on Instagram
#sewupnorth Leeds TBD Rebecca and Sally host an annual get together in Leeds which involves fabric shopping, food and an epic raffle raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. @redwsews, @theyorkshiresewist
#sewnotts
@sewnotts
Nottingham TBD Chantelle has a baby on the way but is looking forward to hosting more events in the near future @i_seam_sew_happy_xx
#sewbrum Birmingham Sept / Oct – TBC Charlotte host a very popular annual meet up in the centre of Birmingham for shopping and then sewists take a short bus trip to Guthrie & Ghani for tea and cake, more shopping and a fantastic raffle. Check out Charlotte’s Blog. @englishgirlathome
#sewnorthwest Bolton TBD Laura has hosted a sewing day in Bolton and has some other plans for sewing goodness in the Manchester area so watch this space. @fabricmagpie
#sewdowndewsbury Dewsbury 6th March
13th July
This was the first meet up I went to in February 2017. Ali hosts a meet up in Dewsbury to go fabric shopping and visit Fabworks then back to Wetherspoons for lunch and a fabric and pattern swap. More details here. @akathimberlina
#HandmadeHarrogate Harrogate 1st June Ali is also hosting a get together in Harrogate this summer. See her Instagram for more details @akathimberlina
#sewbeds Bedford 9th February This is the first meet up in Bedford and Hannah has plans to continue organising up to 4 per year after her baby is born. Details on Instagram. @ratherbesewing
#londonstitchersmeetup
@londonstitchersmeetup
London 2nd March Ana and Giorgia run monthly meetups changing locations every month. Since London is so big they try to have each meet up in a different area of London to help as many people as possible make it at least every once in a while.
The next meet up will be 2nd March at the Fashion Textile Museum.
@cocowawacrafts and @1stitchforward
#bathsews Bath 24th March Laura arranges a meet up for the Bath area which includes lots of sewing chat, coffee, cake and a pattern swap. Check out Eventbrite for the next meet up. @justonelaststitch
#sewscottish Edinburgh May TBC Lesley and Emma are the queens of Frocktails and afternoon tea meet ups in Edinburgh. Due to family illness Lesley cannot commit a lot of time but Emma is hoping to plan an event in May @sewdoitemma, @sew_sleep_deprived
#norwichsewcials
@norwichsewcials
Norwich 12th February Emma and Pippa arrange a meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month for drinks, pattern swaps and other events such as tackling zips and body measuring @CraftyClyde, @pippa_pease
#sewleicester Leicester TBD Sarah and Freya from CraftSew and So are the hosts of the Dressmakers Ball (22nd March 2019) and also arrange a get together for sewists of Leicester @craftysewandso
#sewonthetyne Gateshead TBD Samantha hosts a meet up every 2 months for sewing chat, fabric and pattern swaps. Join her Facebook group for more information if you are in the Gateshead area. @purplesewingcloud
#sewcam Cambridge TBD Jen arranged the first Sewcam meet up for a festive sewing day in December 2018. Lots of sewing, chatting and goody bags had by all! @gingerthreadgrl
@DressmakersAnonymousBelfast Belfast 21st February Sister duo Claire and Laura hold a monthly event in Belfast encompassing all sorts of activities. The next meet up is a sewing themed quiz evening. More details on meetup.com @claireggilmore

@laurabellewilson

#swindonsews Swindon TBD Tricia organised a meet up in Great Somerford near Swindon lst year. The organising duties may be shared between the group. @morrissews
#welshsewingmeetup Cardiff TBD A annual event organised by Tracy for sewists in Wales beingtrixielixie
#dorsetsewingmeetup
@dorset_meet_up
Dorchester TBD Jenny organises a meet a couple of times a year for lunch, chat and fabric shopping and sometimes a sewing day. More details on Eventbrite. @craftysewandsewindorset
#thebigsummerstitchup Hampshire / Surrey / Berkshire RG40 3AW July Sheona of Sewisfaction holds a Summer event at her shop for sewists in the Hampshire / Surrey / Berkshire area. Plenty of shopping to be had here. Sewisfaction
Margate CT9 1EJ Monthly meet up. Check out the Facebook group “Thanet Sewing Social” Sewbytheseamargate
#aberseamstress Aberdeen Caroline holds a small meet up group on an ad-hoc basis cme202
#sewityourselfmeetup Lincoln LN5 7HW A drop in on the second Saturday of every month at The Craftea Café in Lincoln thecraftteacafe

Thanks for reading and happy sewcialising 🙂

Textile Mill Tour & Talk at Marton Mills

**Save the Date – 8th May, 6pm**

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I am very excited to tell you that I have arranged a visit with Marton Mills, a working textile mill here in Yorkshire, who are very kindly giving a tour and talk to a small group that are interested in the production of fabrics made in the Yorkshire Dales.

It will be a taster into the production life cycle of how quality fabrics are manufactured and an insight into the textile industry.

Join me on the evening of 8th May and be ready to start the tour at 6pm and support this Yorkshire business. I hope you will find it a very inspirational and an insightful evening on the topic we love most – FABRIC! 🙂

The Details

The Mill: Marton Mills Co Ltd. Take a look at what they are all about and visit https://martonmills.com/

Date: 8th May 2019, 

Time: 6pm (ready to start at 6pm)

Location: Pool in Wharfedale, Otley, LS21 1TA

Tickets are free and available now (Get yours here on Eventbrite)

The Agenda

A ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Preparation Rooms where the manufacturing processes take place.

A presentation of the basic principles of weaving and dyeing and finishing and then a brief history of the Company and an insight into the future of the Textile industry.

Tickets

There are only 20 spaces available so please grab your tickets on Eventbrite to confirm your place.

Do let me know if you have any questions.

 

Hope to see you there.

Samantha

xx

#SEW3UNSEWN

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So I’ve been thinking about my handmade wardrobe plans for 2019 and I know we are not all flush with cash in the new year so I am encouraging you, my fellow sewists, to consider sewing three projects that need tackling (and hopefully those projects you have already spent the money on).

Using the hashtag #sew3unsewn I have come up with 3 categories that I am sure you will agree that can be sewn up, that may have been neglected for various reasons. It’s not an Instagram challenge with deadlines and prizes but simply a reminder to get them on your to do list without spending more money in the new year.

These are the 3 unsewn project categories.

  1. A pattern that you have bought but not yet sewn
  2. A fabric from your stash but not yet sewn
  3. A UFO (unfinished object) item that needs some TLC, UFO this maybe a project cut out but not yet sewn up, maybe it just needs the fastening completed or some final finishing touches that you have not got round to yet.

So No.1 – A pattern that you have bought but not yet sewn, i’m sure there are many options for this category.

  • Why not resurface that pattern you bought but have the dreaded fear to give it a go, maybe it’s a more challenging project. I kid you not it won’t be as bad as you expect if you just take your time over it and do some research beforehand. I have the YouTube videos and blog posts to hand if I get stuck.
  • Maybe it’s a pattern that you have been lusting over for a while, seeing some incredible versions popping up on Instagram. Well what are you waiting for if you love it then you will be especially proud once it is in your wardrobe for you to wear!
  • Is it a pattern that you have bought for a special occasion in the near future? I have got my ticket for the Dressmakers Ball and need to make a start on my dress. The sooner the better so if it doesn’t turn out how I want then it won’t be a stressful few weeks in the lead up to the event.

This is my pattern that I have not yet sewn:

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The Melody Trousers from Seamwork, I have already bought some lovely Navy Stretch Cotton in mind for this project so I will be making a start on these in January

No. 2 – A fabric from your stash but not yet sewn

  • Do you have a fabric that you don’t know what to make with it, why not have a look through your patterns and try matching to this fabric type
  • Have you splurged on some fabric and never cut into it? Well why not in 2019?
  • It a fabric for the wrong season, this may be one for later in the year.

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Apart from the stretch cotton I have referred to for the Melody Trousers, I also have this Cotton Lawn, which is not a fabric I often sew but I love the colours and want to make a simple Tee out of it.

No. 3 – A UFO

  • Maybe this is a project cut out but not yet sewn up,
  • Maybe it just needs the fastening completed or some final finishing touches that you have not got round to yet.
  • Maybe it’s a garment but doesn’t quite fit right so you need to amend to get it a perfect fit

The UFO I need to complete is the Rigel Bomber jacket in a beautiful stain fabric that I have already cut out and have all the notions ready, I think it was a case of a low priority item that got bumped down the list in 2018.

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What are your #sew3unsewn?

Happy Sewing in 2019.

Samantha xx

 

 

 

 

Sew for Cancer…..

My mum has sadly been diagnosed with cancer recently and has a syringe driver fitted to keep on top of her pain relief and anti-sickness meds. This involves having a small tube plugged into your body and then connected to a large plastic case which contains the syringe. It is quite big and clunky so I quickly made up an across the body bag for her so she can be hands free, I made it as light as possible with some poppers to fasten it. Her nurse thinks this is a great idea and would like more of them for her patients.

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I would like to welcome anyone that has a spare moment to join me in making these bags to donate to your local hospital or send over to me so I can give them to the nurse that expressed an interest in them.

It could also be a great scrap buster to use up those leftovers! Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

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If you would like to make a bag for patients with syringe drivers fitted here are the details:

 The Driver measures:  27cm x 12cm x 5cm

  • Use lightweight fabrics that are strong but not too bulky (I used fleece for the bag and a cotton strap)
  • Please ensure it is washable
  • Ensure the strap is adjustable so it is the most comfortable for the patient, suggest a slider or poppers at regular intervals.
  • Consider making for Men, Women and Children
  • Add a fastening for the bag such as poppers or zip but allow a gap for the tube to come out of the bag

 Idea: Make it out of your fabric scraps, small pieces could make up a patchwork style bag

Alternatively if you would like to donate fabric so I can make more of these bags please get in touch by email theruralsewist@gmail.com or find me on Instagram as @theruralsewist.

 Many Thanks in advance and let’s make having a syringe driver a little easier for patients.

 #sewingforcancer #cancerresearch #charitysewing #syringedriver #sewingleftovers #scrapbuster

If you are a patient that would like a bag for your syringe driver or know someone that needs one please get in touch, I am happy to make them and hopefully make it a little easier to have a syringe driver fitted.

Many Thanks

Samantha

 

November SewHub

This month I have been inspired by Frances Tobin from The Makers Atelier

Themakersatelier.com

I went along to an evening talk about how the Makers Atelier started out and had a chance to meet Frances the founder of Makers Atelier and see the samples from the book and pattern collection.

Frances started making her own clothes at the age of 8! Wow! And had various jobs for big designers in the fashion industry It was a really interesting to hear about her design career and transition to becoming an indie pattern designer.

The samples of the book and patterns were on rails to have a look at and it quickly dawned on me that the styles were really simple and therefore let all the fabric do the talking. It was a beautiful collection with very few prints which made me think more about making classic styles in solid colours which have texture and scream quality.

Reading…

ttp://www.thepatternpages.com/home/

The Pattern pages is a free downloadable magazine for dressmakers and fashion lovers. It has lots of interesting content and a great variety of designers and new things to check out.

Making…

A few more Tilly and the Buttons Agnes tops and hacks to add to my collection for the #owop17 challenge.

This is a sewing challenge to wear the same pattern everyday for one week running from 25th November through to 1st December. Head over to my instagram to see how I got on.

Loving…

Shopping! With all the very tempting Black Friday offers it would be rude not to support some small businesses and I also went along the knitting and stitching show and found some lovely new things.

I got my hands on the Papercut Otsu Jeans Pattern which I have had on the wish list.

Til the sun goes down very kindly offered up some free tickets so I went along on Sunday and purchased this beautiful satin fabric. The quality of her fabrics was AMAZING and they are original designs too.

Watching…

The Little Tailoress Podcasts on YouTube

I can’t get the hang of knitting but when I watch Ami’s podcasts I really really wish I could – she makes it sound so easy and makes the most gorgeous things and the colours of her hand-dyed yarn are edible!

She is really inspiring to me and talks about all kinds of projects from knitting, sewing, and furniture painting. I also love the chat about tv, film and books – you definitely need to prepare your favourite drink, find a comfy spot and absorb the loveliness.

Un-sewing-related…

Have you heard of Sheerluxe?

https://sheerluxe.com/

Sign up to get the SheerLuxe Newsletters which are full of great fashion inspiration, new trends, yummy recipes and also talk about new books and what to watch on tv. I really like the varied content and often read the articles in my lunch break – so definitely check this out.

Hello November…

I am Samantha, I live on a Diary farm in North Yorkshire with my husband  and German Wirehaired Pointer dog, Doug. I have been sewing for 10+ years but started dressmaking in September 2016. I love the fact that I can add my own style to garments, get the fit right and it makes you looking at high street fashion in a different light. I am looking forward to sharing my passion of dress making and taking you through my journey of building my handmade wardrobe and talking about all the other things I discover along the way.

 I would say I am an intermediate sewist but love a new challenge and plan on enhancing my skills to do more techniques and advanced skills. My goal this winter is to make my first pair of jeans and take on projects that take a little longer rather than doing the quick and easy makes. I encourage everyone to have a go at sewing but be warned it is addictive!

 Dressmaking has definitely made me more interested in fashion and makes me think more about styles and outfits. I have never been a follower of fashion trends and like to put my own stamp on things, in fact I would buy ‘ready to wear’ from the high street and go home and amend them. When you actually look into the detail they are poorly made and (in my opinion, not good value for money!). Dressmaking has also made me think more about my body shape, what suits me and also what colour pallet I should wear more of.

New patterns also encourage me to try new necklines, sleeve styles and shapes. I have added more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe since starting sewing my own clothes and steered away from plain ready to wear separates.

I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram and Youtube where I follow other seamstresses, sewists and knitters and join in with the organised challenges and meet ups that are organised by the lovely people in the community.