We are Hiring!

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Are you always the ‘organised one’ in your friendship circle or at work? Are you always sorting out every detail of your life, from booking dinners to sorting out travel arrangements? And do you find yourself secretly enjoying it?

Then we need you!

Sew Me Something is seeking a reliable Office Administrator.

Someone who is motivated and highly organised to help coordinate and maintain the smooth running of everything behind the scenes. 

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Job Title: Office Administrator

Hourly Rate:                      Commensurate with experience

Contracted hours:            Mon – Fri 9:30am – 3:00pm (but could increase to full-time)                        with some weekends

Overview

The main focus of Sew Me Something is to help people, and this should be yours too. It is important to go that extra mile and put a smile on someone’s face to brighten up their day. 

This role is an integral part of our team and you will need to be able to work alongside others but also be happy to work on your own, undertaking administrative tasks to ensure the team has adequate support to work efficiently.

You will need to have excellent organisational and communication skills, be able to work unsupervised, be quick learner and used your own initiative to prioritise tasks. 

We have regular meetings to monitor the progress of the business so you will need to be approachable and friendly, but equally able to voice your opinion if you can see a better way of working. 

Flexibility is also key within this role. Although your hours will be mainly during the working week, we attend a number of exhibitions and shows throughout the year and your participation in some of those will be required.

This position is currently part-time, but there will be scope for increasing the hours and level of responsibility in due course.

 

Main Duties

Fulfil online orders accurately and timely to meet the high standards our customers expect for service and delivery. Completing the necessary paperwork to maintain accurate online sales records and communicating directly with customers as and when required.

Maintain and add to our CRM system to enable us to track sales and bookings.

Sorting and taking the post. This will mean driving to the local post office at times. 

Receiving and booking in new stock items, photographing new products and uploading them onto the online store.

Help with printing and packing our patterns.

Maintaining and monitoring the online store to ensure its accuracy.

Assist with the implementation of advertising and promotional strategies and activities including social media – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Assist with the preparation of resources and studio space for up coming workshops and other events.

Attend exhibitions and shows helping to set up and breakdown the stand as well as speaking to the public about our products.

 

Education / Qualifications

Essential:  Excellent Numeracy and literacy qualifications,

Clean Driving license

Desirable:  Fashion, Textiles, Sewing or Pattern cutting qualifications.

 

Skills and Knowledge

Essential:   Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Excellent knowledge of office software applications, Mac or PC

An understanding of social media platforms – including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

Desirable:  Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite – Illustrator or InDesign

Regular user of social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

 

To apply please email your C.V. and a covering letter to

Jules Fallon at jules@sewmesomething.co.uk.

Closing date for applications will be 23rd September 2018.

What Are We Doing Now?

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Most of you probably know by now that we have moved out of the Minories Courtyard in Stratford upon Avon to a much bigger studio about a mile or so from the town centre, although we are still getting a few calls asking “Where have you gone?” 

So I thought I would explain and clarify what we are doing now.

This may seem a bit odd because we are still doing what we have always done, running friendly and inclusive workshops where we share our knowledge to help you to sew better to make the clothes you want to wear, designing and producing stylish dressmaking patterns, and providing you with high quality fabrics and haberdashery items.

But we are doing it a in slightly different way now. . . .

The high street is changing and I know it’s annoying and frustrating when you can’t find what you want in the shops in your local town, and I am with you. The choice and variety of shops in Stratford is reducing and we have to look to much larger towns now for most of our retail fixes, but it’s going to continue to change and we as businesses have to recognise that and adapt.

That is one of the main reasons we decided to move ‘out of town’, another being that there just wasn’t anywhere big enough to accommodate us within our budget in the town centre.

But this has brought its advantages, every cloud and all that. It has meant that we had to think about what we do overall, what we do best and how we use this to take Sew Me Something into the future, because we plan on being around for a while yet.

My original plan when I set up Sew Me Something was as a vehicle for me to produce patterns. I am a pattern cutter and would happily design and produce patterns all day everyday and not get bored – EVER!

So the original shop was a marketing tool and platform from which to launch the pattern range. Workshops were a bit of a sideline to attract people to the shop where they could buy the patterns.

Well that was the original plan!

Over the 6 years we have been going now the popularity of our workshops has grown hugely.

Without blowing our own trumpet too much, teaching is something we do extremely well. People have travelled hundreds of miles to do our workshops, and we have ladies that have been coming to them ever since we opened. So the proof must be in the pudding, or in our case the cake, as we have been keen right from the beginning to be as inclusive as we can and to make people feel very welcome.

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To this end, teaching and running workshops has become the biggest area of our business. And this is wonderful, I never imagined that this would be the case, but it just shows how your ideas and directions can change.

I also never imagined that we would have our patterns on the telly. The Sewing Quarter have been amazing in their support for our patterns and I have really enjoyed being on screen chatting sewing.

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Again this has made us rethink the patterns that we are able to offer and what we want do in the future as our audience grows and we want to help more people to be able to make stylish clothes that fit.

You can see now that the emphasis of the business of Sew Me Something has altered from its origins. This has meant that the retail side of what we offer has changed too. As with so many high streets, footfall has reduced and the same is happening in Stratford upon Avon. It’s a beautiful town but one that has, for better or worse, decided to dedicate itself to the income derived from tourism. This has changed what the town has to offer, and along with other decisions made by the Powers That Be, fewer locals are shopping in Stratford itself, including me.

By moving away from the town centre and losing a ‘shop front’, this has allowed us to focus on what we do best, which is provide excellent levels of teaching in our workshops, to design and produce stylish and creative dressmaking patterns that allow you to challenge yourself while making a handmade, personal wardrobe. And we can support your making by providing you with high quality fabrics and haberdashery either during our workshops or through our online store.

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All of this, I hope, explains why we are not just a walk in shop anymore. We do understand if you’d prefer to come and see us in person and that’s not a problem at all, just let us know by phone or email when you’re coming as we may be teaching, or designing new patterns, or shooting a video, or even printing patterns for the next Sewing Quarter show.

Or any of the other stuff we do to help you to sew better and make the clothes you want to wear.

You can find all of our contact details on our contact page, here. And I hope you can join us for a workshop very soon. 

Jules x

 

Sewing Quarter – 22rd August 2018 Imogen and Cordelia

Several people have asked where they can watch the episodes of the Sewing Quarter that feature Jules and the Sew Me Something Patterns, so we have decided to add them as pages to our Blog so you can find them more easily.

Click on the image and it’ll take you to the Sewing Quarter You Tube Chanel. So you can watch Jules in action.

The Imogen Top starts 17.58.00 and the Cordelia Dress starts at 2.06.04.

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You can order your own Imogen Top and Cordelia Dress from our online store.

Happy Watching!

Making More From Your Patterns – How to alter a woven pattern to make up in knit fabrics

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My Celia Top in Striped Apart Pink Jersey.

One of the ‘frequently asked questions’ that often comes my way is whether you can use the same pattern for wovens and for knits.

In effect is it possible to make Kate or Celia and some of our other patterns in a jersey knit fabric too.

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The Kate Dress and Celia Tops were both designed to be made out of woven fabrics such as linen or cotton lawn. Nice sensible, stable woven fabrics. But they do make up beautifully in jersey knits too.

So the answer to this question is –  ‘Yes, BUT…”

Here are a few things you might want to consider before taking the plunge:

  • The best patterns to use as a crossover from woven to knits are pretty simple shapes that have no darting through the waist, so both Kate and Celia tick those boxes.  
  • Choose your knit fabrics carefully. Anything with too much stretch will probably not work. A more stable jersey or something that will hold its shape and have a good return will give you a better result. The Art Gallery fabrics we have in store are the perfect cross-over fabrics.
  • Jersey or knit fabric clothing tend not to have darts, even at the bust. It is a very simple alteration to remove, or partly remove, the bust dart. All you need to do is fold out the dart all the way across the front. (There is more information below so read on).
  • Woven patterns require a lot more ease than knit ones do. So you may find that you need to drop down a size or even two.
  • Knit garments are made up slightly differently in that the sleeves are sewn in flat, like a shirt sleeve, and then the sides seams sewn. This means you have a chance to judge how much ease to allow and you can take it in through the side seams if need be.
  • You may need to finish the neck slightly differently too. I tend to go for a very simple neck band and you can see how to work out how big to make the band in the Woven Peaseblossom Tutorial.

 

This is how I pleated out the bust dart.

Mark on the seam allowance at the side and then draw parallel lines across the front level with the ends of the darts. Then fold the pleat out so the lines match up removing the dart.

Showing how to pleat out a dart in a woven pattern for knit fabric

Tidy up the side seam to remove the point at the edge of the dart.

How to pleat out the dart on a woven pattern for knit fabrics

But… and this is one of those big buts, if you have a fuller bust you may wish to keep part of the bust dart in place to give you a bit more shaping over the bust.

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I have a fuller bust and frequently have to do an FBA, so I felt I needed to retain some of the dart to give a better fit. All I did was pleat out half the dart and then redraw in the dart.

I made this one a teeny bit longer and left off the frill at the hem. But you can change and adapt your pattern to suit you. That is the beauty of making your own clothes.

I hope you give the adaptation a go and I’d love to see the results so do tag us on social media.

Jules x

 

Why a Retreat is All or Nothing

Sewing Retreat Feb 2018 Web Images-0020I have been asked, more than once, regarding our own Sewing Retreat if people “could just come along for the sewing bit without the accommodation or meals?”.

Maybe they live too close to Stratford to warrant staying somewhere else, or would prefer to not to stay overnight, whatever the reason it’s a perfectly valid question. And I could say ‘yes come and join us”.

But that would be missing the point. This weekend is a retreat, albeit a sewing retreat, but a retreat nonetheless.

Retreats, regardless of whether it happens to be a sewing retreat, a yoga retreat or even a religious retreat, are different from a normal workshop environment. Everyone is together for the duration of the retreat and separate from their normal lives.

The word retreat is derived from the Latin verb retractus which means –  “to pull back”.

So a retreat is a place where you pull back from the world.

This is perhaps the main reason for going on a retreat.

But here are 10 reason why I think retreats are important and different to normal workshops.

They help you to:

  1.   Pull Back

This is a strategic retreat. Almost in a military sense, and sometimes, as with all military campaigns a strategic withdrawal gives us time to reassess.

Pulling back from life allows us the time and space to gain a new perspective, you can re-group, and re-energise.

Gather your forces and refocus your energy onto something you love. You can find new inspiration and then put that into action.

Just getting away from it all; life, work, families, gives you the time you need to focus on what inspires you.

 

  1.   Find Space

Space can mean time. Time away from all the constraints and interruptions we face on a daily basis.

A whole block of time, not just dipping your toe into a bit of ‘me time’, but a whole chunk of free time to yourself.

More time than you would spend in a normal workshop.

Time to fully immerse yourself in what you are doing.

You might find that you need a bit of clear head space to work out why things aren’t working a well as you’d hoped. What alterations you need to do to a specific pattern for example.

Or you may literally need space to cut out fabric for certain projects.

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  1.  Be Inspired

Having that head space allows you the freedom to focus on what excites and inspires you.

We are all creative in our own ways and finding the time and space away from everything else allows you to alter your thinking and find new ways to reignite those sparks of creativity.

Spending time with other people who love doing what you do and seeing what they  make can install a renewed vigour into your own sewing too.

 

  1.  Listen

What do you hear? Hopefully you can hear yourself at last above the hubbub of daily life.

What do you enjoy doing, making, reading? On a retreat there will be others willing to listen to you too.

You may even find others worth listening to. And their stories may enlighten and inspire you in your own sewing practice.

 

  1.  Detox

Everyone needs to unload, clean out and empty their mental desktop.

You will leave a retreat lightened, clearer, recharged, refreshed, and better equipped to deal with any sewing or fitting issues that crops up.

Because you will have a new perspective on how to deal with the problems you arrived with.

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  1. Lose The Fear

So many times I have heard people say “Oh I don’t make anything with zips in” or “I avoid buttonholes”.  

Being fearful of trying something outside your comfort zone is perfectly normal.

But being in the safe and supportive environment of a retreat with expert tuition will allow you to learn to overcome those fears through practicing and making mistakes.

It’s only sewing! Make friends with your unpicker.

 

  1.  Remember Who You Are

In our daily life we are so many things to so many people, wife, husband, parent, child, friend, lover.

We need to be reminded that we are also individuals.

You can ditch all the other roles you have and just focus on being a better dressmaker, sewist or sewer. What ever you prefer to describe yourself as.

 

  1. Find your Tribe

We are all the same yet all different too.

On a retreat you will meet people who, like you, find joy in creating sewn projects.

You don’t have to justify your stash of fabric or vintage patterns. The seriousness of which is taken as a given.

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  1. Help others

When you take time away from your life, those in your life get time away from you too.

This brings appreciation. They realize what it’s like when you’re not around, to work, cook, clean, love them.

Without you taking up your usual place, people will shift their roles to fill that space and life takes on a new shape. Life is actually different when you return and you are free to take up a new space within it.

This is growth.

 

  1. Establish a Routine

Trying to find time to sew in an already busy daily schedule can be very hard. If you have a space at home to leave everything out and setup it’s much easier, but if you don’t making time and space can be nigh on impossible.

Listening and learning from others will help you understand how you can fit time into your own life back at home.

Establishing ways of working on a retreat is much easier as you are encouraged by the example of others.

You go back home and re-establish your life in a new way to accommodate your sewing.

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Retreats are important because people have time to spend on themselves and leave rested, happier, clearer and having learnt new skills and techniques.

Who doesn’t want some of that?

You can join us on our next Sewing Retreat in August 

 

Making More of Your Patterns : A Sleeveless Kate

Kate is just the most perfect dress for this hot weather as it’s infinitely hackable.

This is how you can adapt the pattern to make a sleeveless version just right for the long hot Summer days.

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Pattern alterations

The pattern needs a little bit of tweaking as the armholes are designed to take a sleeve.

First of all a I drew on the seam allowances around the armholes and across the shoulders. This makes it easier to see where and how the alterations need to be made.

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The shoulder point on the pattern needs to be brought in slightly so the arm hole sits better over the ball of the shoulder.

As the Kate Dress has a visible binding to finish the neckline this works well around the armhole too. But it means that the edge of the paper pattern will be the finished edge of the dress, with the binding wrapping itself around the cut edge of the fabric. Something to bare in mind!

First  I matched up the shoulder seams to make sure that both the armhole and neckline alterations were nice smooth flowing curves.

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For this dress I wanted to widen the neckline slightly too. So I made a mark 1.5cm in from the neck edge and then redrew the neckline curve blending it in to the original line.

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The shoulder point was moved in by 3cm and as it is going to be an open armhole I wanted to raise the underarm point a bit too so it would be too gapey.

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I raised the underarm point by 1.5cm so it was level with the cut edge of the pattern piece, then re-drew the armhole from the raised armhole point on the front to the new shoulder point, and around to the back underarm point.

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I cut the pattern through the new armhole and neckline while the paper was still pinned together to make sure the lines followed true.

I also lengthen the pattern by 10cm to make it more dress length than tunic length. I did this directly on to the fabric as I pinned out the pattern pieces.

Making it up

The Kate Dress has two options for the front of the dress. Plain and simple or with a bit of gathering at the centre front neckline.

As I am more than amply catered for in the bosom department I usually opt to go for the version with a bit of extra gathers just to make everything a bit more comfortable around the bust. You can do a Full Bust Adjustment too if you prefer.

Gathers are a form of ‘suppression’ and like their confederates; pleats, tucks and darts, basically just suppress the extra fabric to create a 3D shape. They can be interchangeable too.

For this dress I wanted a flatter finish at the neckline but to keep that bit of extra fullness in the fabric. So I turned the gathers into an inverted box pleat, a bit like the one I created in the Woven Peaseblossom Hack

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An inverted box pleat on the woven Peaseblossom

The additional fabric is marked on the Front pattern piece and I marked this onto the fabric.

Kate Sleeveless pattern hack front inverted box pleat pleat

I measured down 20cm as I wanted the opening of the pleat to be just below bust level, and marked this as the base of the pleat. I stitched along the new pleat line and then pressed the pleat open evenly to create the inverted box shape.

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It can be a little bit fiddly doing it on one this little but it’s worth getting it neat.

The rest of the dress was made up in exactly the same way as a normal Kate Dress. The pockets were bound across the top edge and sewn in place.

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I know you can hardly see the pockets here, no contrasting top-stitching this time.

The armholes were finished in the same way as the neckline. I measured the armhole first to work out how much bias binding I would need. 

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I used a visible binding finish, to matched the neckline. And it was sewn in exactly the same way as the neckline and pockets.

This is a simple and easy pattern hack to do. I hope you give it a go and make several Kates for the Summer.

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Happy Sewing!

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How to Keep Your Kids Happy this Holiday

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Our Kids Craft Club Tutor Marie-Jeanne is an experienced child care practitioner and teacher.

And she knows no bounds when it comes to creativity! We all want to join in with some of the activities she has planned for this Summer!

We have a regular Craft Club every Monday and Wednesday 9am – 4pm from 23rd July. These sessions will include a whole range of projects to engage and encourage children in their creativity. Sessions will include, sewing by hand and machine, paper marbling, weaving, smash journaling and all sorts of other things too. These sessions are £40 for one child and there are discounts for siblings too. Just let us know if you’d like to book for more than one child.

Call us on 01789 330588

Children are welcome from age 8 upwards and will need to bring a packed lunch with them. Drinks and healthy snacks will be provided to keep them crafting all day.

There will be workshops for the slightly older creative youngsters too.

August

7 & 13        Young Photographers – Learn how to understand and use your camera to take                great pictures.

14 am        Learn to use a Sewing Machine and get your Sewing Machine Driving License

14 pm        Sew your own Shortie PJ’s – super comfy shortie PJ’s, perfect for the holidays!

16               Make your own Lampshade – a great accessory to add to your room.

22              Young Photographers – Learn how to understand and use your camera to take                great pictures.

23              Sew Your Own Summer Skirt – a pretty gathered skirt with an elasticated waistband.

31             Learn to use a Sewing Machine and get your Sewing Machine Driving License.

To make sure the young people that attend our workshop have all the support they need we keep numbers limited to ensure that have plenty of 1:1 time with MJ and the other tutors. So please make sure to book early.

Have a look at our other Summer workshops too.

 

 

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Necessity is the Mother of creation.

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I know I’m paraphrasing here, but I think you’ll kind of get what I mean.

Not long after we moved into our new studio space I rashly agreed to become part of the Warwickshire Open Studios. “What better way of showcasing The Tall Photographer’s beautiful pictures and helping him kick-start his new career as a photo and videographer.” I thought.

“But what will you be exhibiting?” asked said Tall Photographer.

“Errrm?!”

And now you can see where my mis-quoted statement comes in. With only a few weeks to go until we joined the creative throng in Warwickshire I had to come up with some stuff to show.

When push comes to shove and you really have to hit a deadline it’s amazing how the creative juices can flow.

Being pushed for time meant I had to look around me for inspiration and our new studio is surrounded by the most beautiful countryside. Right outside our door we have a green haven of meadow grasses, cow parsley and daisies. Perfect for translating into stitch. Anyone who has done our Free Machine Embroidery classes will understand how liberating this can be. Literally using the sewing machine to free draw stitches onto the fabric to create a picture.

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Then I began playing with cut out shapes, in fabric of course, using our good old GoBaby die cutter. So much quicker than hand cutting shapes! And from a pile of leather, silk and linen scraps a hydrangea grew.

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Looking through my images on my hard drive, all the photos I’d taken over the years, the ones that sprang out were some taken in Istanbul on our honeymoon. The almost iridescent colours of the cerulean and cobalt blues with viridian greens brought back some wonderful memories.

As an aside – why do we not print off images anymore? Or flip through photo albums? Or is it just me that has thousands of images laying forgotten on a hard drive somewhere?

But what resonated with me where the red and white ceilings of the walkways in the Topkapi Palace Hareem in Istanbul. I love the contrast of colour on white, the simple patterns and repeats. So playing with this idea led to experimenting with the auto stitches on our machines.

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Now I don’t claim to be the most creative of individuals and I’m reasonably pleased with the work I have produced. But I so enjoyed the process of creating these pieces of work, having to think a little outside of the box of ‘dressmaking’ and to do some sketching again. Planning out ideas and experimenting.

Which is why I’m really excited about a new workshop we have coming up.

“Let’s Sketch” with Evegenia Golubeva.  Evgenia is an internationally renowned illustrator and has had won multiple awards for her work. You can find more about her here

If you would like to learn to draw, or just give yourself time to play and sketch, or even if you think you can‘t draw at all you will learn a huge amount from Evgenia. Her beautifully colourful illustrations are such a joy. And she will show you techniques you can use yourself to allow your creativity to flow.

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Drawing and sketching doesn’t have to be scary. As adults we worry so much about ‘getting it right’. About accurately representing what you see in front of you. But that’s what photos are for! Ha ha! I have found it’s more about trying to convey a feeling or mood or an idea that’s more important. And like any new skill, you get better the more you practice.

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So I fully intend on practicing much more now I have rediscovered my love of sketching and creating. Are you going to join me? 

Jules x

 

The Importance of Under-stitching – or -How to keep your facings in their place!

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This post kind of follows on from the Concealed Zip with a Facing tutorial and is part of the process for making up the Miranda Dress and Celia Top.

Under-stitching is one of those funny things people often don’t see the relevance of. I have even found it skipped in several commercial pattern instructions. Now I’m not sure if that was deliberate, maybe the pattern writers assumed that everyone would already understand the value and place of under-stitching or whether they had just missed the point themselves? Who knows?

But, under-stitching really is one of those processes that you shouldn’t avoid. It will elevate your sewing from ‘homemade’ to ‘handmade’ and give you a much more professional finish and make your clothes sit a lot better too.

As with so many terms in sewing it kind of does what it says on the tin. Under-stitching holds another part of the garment underneath so it doesn’t bounce out and reveal itself, particularly neck facings.

I have come across several methods for understitching but this one I find is the easiest and most effective.

Once you have attached the facing to the neck or waist line, layer and clip into the seam allowance.

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Layering or grading the seam allowance ensures that the seam allowance fades out into the rest of the garment rather than ending in a big step of fabric which can often be visible from the right side of the garment, especially after pressing.

Clipping into the seam allowance enables the seam allowance to fold back on itself and releases the tension on the outer edge of seam. Each clip in the seam allowance needs to be right up to but not through the row of sewing.

Turn the facing and garment out to the right side, but don’t press them first. The trick with under-stitching is to sew it first into the correct position. If you press the facing first and it’s not quite in the right position it can make it harder to get it corrected.

Lay the garment and facing flat with the right side uppermost. Spread them flat with your hands and make sure that all of the clipped into bits of seam allowance are pushed towards the facing.

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We will be stitching through the facing and all of the seam allowances, but NOT the garment.

If the facing is attached down the centre back or front don’t worry about getting in too close to  the corners. Start about a 5 – 8 cm away from the corner but make sure all the seam allowance is towards the facing.

Line up the machine needle about 2mm away from the seam line onto the facing.

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Sometimes it can be easier to line up a marker on the foot with the seam and then swing the needle into the correct position.

Start sewing through the facing and all the seam allowances spreading everything flat and away from the seam with both hands as you go.

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Allow the facing to dictate how it all sits by keeping that flat and letting the garment bunch up as it needs to to follow the curve of the facing.

Remember to lift up the facing and check that all of the clipped seam allowance is still pushed towards the facing.

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Finish as you started about 5 – 8cm from the corner, or if sewing in a circle, back to the beginning.

The action of spreading it all smooth and flat with your hands as you sew – no pinning, means that the facing and seam allowances are joined very close to the seam. Because of this the main garment fabric has to roll over the depth of the attached seam allowance and therefore when the garment and facing are pressed you should be able to see a very thin line of the garment fabric above the facing.

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Understitching means you can achieve a really neat and clean finish to an edge or opening of a garment.

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We have used this technique in several of our patterns including, Celia and Miranda. and you can see the clean finish it gives in the Celia below.

Celia Print Quality-7175 (Charles Budd's conflicted copy 2017-10-01)

 

I hope you give this method a go, do let me know how you get on.

Jules x

 

Retreating to move forward

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The most amazing setting in the woods at Cornish Tipis.

Life can be a bit of a slog sometimes. We can find ourselves on the Hamster Wheel Of Life, or just facing the daily grind without really thinking about what we are doing or where we are going. Sewing for yourself or anyone else for that matter just gets pushed out of the picture or put on the back burner until you have “more time”.

Sometimes we just have to stop and temporarily move away from life. Take a side step or just retreat from the coal face – just for a day or so.

I did this recently with my good pal Claire- Louise, also known as @thriftysticher on social media, complete sewing guru and all round fabulous person. She had told me about a Yoga retreat she was going to in Cornwall and did I want to come along. My first thought was ‘well yes it would be lovely but I have so much on my plate a the moment … blah blah blah’ and I didn’t really give it much thought.

Several weeks later even busier and with yet more ‘stuff on my plate’ I realised that I had to take a step back, or retreat from my life temporarily as I had lost sight of where I was going and beginning to feel that mild panic that can swiftly build into overwhelm. So I booked and managed to grab the last place on the retreat.

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Home for the weekend – chez Jules & CL

The weekend was a truly magical one in the most beautiful of settings. We were totally off grid and the wonderful Jules @pureplantnutrition (on instagram) cooked all our delicious meals for us. Amy from @nextwave_yoga lead the yoga sessions for us in the morning as the sun peeped through the trees and in the afternoons with the sun full on our faces.  Evenings were spent chatting around the campfire swapping stories and experiences.

We even went wild swimming in a freshwater lake with water so clean and clear you could drink it – literally, once you’d caught your breath back from the shock of the freezing cold water of course!

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No! You really don’t need to see me in a swimming costume!

There was no mobile signal and that meant freedom from outside intervention or work as most people call it. It was just time to think about and focus on what’s really important and how I can put those things to the front of my life and move towards them.  It also made me realise how un-bendy I am and that I really need to do some more exercise.

 

Apart from that particular fact I have also been able to take away several key things from that wonderful weekend.

ONE        I need to book time off  – Time off is not some random idea that happens to other people. I can have space away too and it makes me a better person for it.

TWO       Meditation really does calm the soul – I had forgotten this and was overjoyed to have rediscovered it.

THREE    Having a change really is as good as having a rest. It was actually quite hard work for me to do nothing. But changing where you do stuff can be just as beneficial.

FOUR      I need to hang out with my mates more. All work and no play makes Jules a dull girl and laughter IS the best medicine.

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I think our moustaches would rival even those of @thetallphotographer!

So where do you retreat to to help you find the clarity and focus you need? Is it just into the garden for a long G & T or for a walk in the woods early evening? Or maybe you just bugger off with some friends for a night out? Do let me know as I’m always looking for more ideas for ways to re-charge.

You can join Claire-Louise and me for our next Sewing Retreat if you fancy a bit of a chill and some sewing space just for you. Our expert tuition will see you sewing as you’ve never sewn before!

See you soon.

Jules x