My Own Sewing Space

Some people may think that because I run a sewing business my space for sewing must be amazing!

Well I have to dispel any thoughts of a superbly designed sewing room with neatly stacked fabrics and everything I might need to hand. Painted in beautiful restful colours with gorgeous twinkling lights…. Well you get the picture. The image above is not my sewing space but from Andrea’s Notebook  and is an image I found on Pinterest. But I love the colours and simple quirkiness of the furnishings.

No – my sewing space is certainly not like that. I don’t actually have anywhere to sew at home. Unbelievable I know, but my house is rather on the small side, so I have to do any sewing I want to do at work. And it is more practical and by necessity than Instagram perfect that’s for sure.

Granted we do have a beautiful fully equipped studio where we run the workshops, and it can be very handy to have umpteen machines threaded up in different colours so I don’t have to stop and re-thread for top-stitching etc. But since moving to the new studio I’m finding that I need to have a corner of my own set up for sewing.

This is where I work at the moment. It’s not glamorous but it is basic and mostly practical.

This is the tidiest corner!
Patterns and Toiles
This is where I slave over my hot computers.
I need a bigger table

I have a cutting table, desk for my computer, some shelves and boxes of fabrics and I can shut the door.  But I am not by nature a tidy person. This may not come as a particular revelation to those that know and work with me! But I am hoping that by creating more of a personal creative space here in our new studio space I will inherently want to keep it tidier.

Hmmm…Maybe I need more boxes?
Yes definitely more boxes!

So, I have a wish list!

  • Enough table space to have my machine, overlocker and coverstitch machine out and available.
  • A system for storing all the tools I need making them close to hand but easy to tidy away.
  • Enough storage for all the fabric and old patterns I have. Yet stored in a system that means I can see and find everything easily.
  • Display space to have up images and inspiration for new patterns. Rather than storing them all in scrap books and folders.
  • A designated pressing area – sounds grander than it will actually be. Just a space to have the ironing board up and all the pressing paraphernalia close to hand.

I even have a Pinterest Board full of other people’s beautiful and practical sewing spaces. So I am making a plan and by telling you all about it, it means I really have to do it. And not make the usual excuses of being too busy!

Now you’ve seen my space maybe you have some ideas you can share with me on how to organise my sewing stuff and I’ll keep you posted on how the transformation goes.

Happy sorting

Jules

The Sewing Retreat – What it’s all about.

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Our Sewing Retreats are proving to be rather popular, in fact the May Retreat in Stratford upon Avon sold out inside a week.

So what’s all the fuss about?

The weekend is a chance to sew, chat, make friends, learn, fit, practice, perfect and just chill. All in luxury surroundings. Because let’s face it we all need a little bit of pampering sometimes and we can certainly provide some sewing pampering and support here!

We have looked at various locations for our retreats as, although we have a new large studio just outside the town centre, we need a bit more space with some accommodation on site. So we are using a couple of the larger hotels in Stratford to help us run the retreats. Having said that we are also thinking about moving the retreats further North and South to allow more people to join us for a bit of a treat.

The hotels have provided us with an excellent sewing studio space that we will fully equip with sewing machines, overlockers, cutting tables and pressing stations. But you can choose to bring your own machines if you prefer to work on something more familiar.

The Sew Me Something Sewing Retreat

The weekend is a Retreat, and that distinction is really important. You can read more about what a retreat is in another of our Blogs. But really it’s all about helping you to make the clothes you want to wear. If you need help fitting or with specific techniques or processes, you’ll have the time and space to work through any issues or projects with expert help and tuition on hand if you need it. So you may want to nail the fit on that pair of trousers you’ve been wanting to make for ages. Or have a go on an overlocker and whizz up a Bianca coat before working on a couple of other projects. Or perhaps you want some space to cut a few projects out and then decide which to make – the choice is yours!

I know there’s a camera in my face but I’m going to ignore it!

We are not going to give you a list of patterns to work from, but we will give you an idea of what’s achievable during the time we have.

There will be help and guidance on the machines when required and also we will be running a  few Masterclass Demonstrations on some key processes we know are the ones people find tricky.

So this Retreat really will move your sewing up to the next level as well as give you time to focus and relax.

There will be plenty of tea coffee and cakes to keep you sewing throughout the weekend and a gourmet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner too.

When you’re not sewing you can relax using the hotel facilities including gym, swimming pool, sauna and steam room to ease away any residual sewing tension.

(Yes that is a pun :-))

What’s included in the Sewing Retreat….

  • A cuppa and cake on arrival
  • Help to make your sewing plans for the weekend using our sewing planner
  • Use of all the sewing machines, overlockers and equipment from 9am to 6pm.
  • A chance to visit Sew Me Something to stock up on sewing supplies
  • Expert help and advice on all your sewing projects
  • Expert help and advice on fitting and pattern alterations
  • Masterclass demonstrations
  • Lunch and dinner on Friday
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday
  • Breakfast and lunch on Sunday
  • Comfortable bedrooms for three nights
  • Use of all the hotel facilities including swimming pool, sauna, steam room and gym

To be honest I have tried to create the kind of weekend I would love to go on myself. And you will certainly get plenty of Bang for your Buck during the time you have with us.

This is going to be the Ultimate Sewing Retreat, and I am so excited about what a great weekend this is going to be. Don’t worry if you are thinking of coming on your own you will soon make friends and we will do all we can to look after you and make you welcome.

This is what some of our past Retreat Attendees have said about joining us. . . .

“Very enjoyable. Venue excellent. 
Jules and CL were fantastic. So patient, attentive and professional. As well and warm fun and friendly.
Have left with a pattern block that fits!!
Invaluable! I’m delighted!” Susan

“Great weekend! Learned loads! The trousers I made were great and fit perfectly. I just wish I’d had time to finish the Agnes top too. 
CL and Jules were so calm and knowledgeable – amazing mentors! Thank you for a great weekend.” Ruth

“There was a great atmosphere and the venue was lovely. Excellent support from both Jules and CL, and huge thanks to both. I learnt a lot of techniques which I wanted to learn. Thank you both for your calm expertise and generosity.” Kate

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We deliberately keep the participant numbers small to make sure that all those that join us get a really good chunk of tutor time if they need it.

So I can guarantee you will leave the Sewing Retreat knowing more than you did when you arrived.  

We can’t wait to host the next Retreat, it is going to be wonderful and I can’t wait to see you there.

Book your place on The Sewing Retreat HERE.

See you there! x

Busy doing Nothing!

This is where I have been for the last couple of weeks – MY spot on the sofa.

Not ill – just hibernating!

I was discussing with my eldest last night his lack of motivation to find a new Saturday Job. “But I actually like doing nothing” he protested. And the problem is I totally get where he is coming from.

Having sat on the sofa for the best part of two weeks determined to “HAVE SOME TIME OFF” *she says with a slightly maniacal look in her twitching eye.  It was slightly scary how quickly I have become used to doing nothing.  

Now having just sat back and reread that sentence, it’s not quite correct. I have been doing stuff, just not necessarily work stuff.

    • I have read three books. All of them trashy!
    • I have nearly finished a rather scrumptious jumper from Mrs Moon.
    • I have planned out what seeds I’m going to plant for next years veg crop and where I want to put the greenhouse I have yet to acquire. (More about that later.)
    • I have watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for the 10 millionth time. (My daughter was obsessed by it as a littley, and we know all the words to all the songs!)
    • I have researched plant based recipes that might, just might be OK for all the members of my fussy family.
    • I have researched staying Iceland for my big birthday in November.
    • I have joined a new Gym and booked in all the classes I want to do. (Yes I know you can see the irony too.)

And, yes at times I have just sat with my feet up, eyes closed and just thunk thoughts. And yes, a lot of those have been about work.

So I haven’t really been doing nothing. I have just been doing ‘different stuff’. And it’s OK to have time away from what you do everyday. Well that’s what I have to tell myself as I’m not really very good at that.

When you run your own business, and you are the business and the business is you – to a certain extent – it is very hard to switch off.

But with the whole team on a break I have switched off and really enjoyed it too. Time off does have its benefits and the longer I am running my own business the more I am beginning to see that this is actually an essential part of running my own business.

Time off has made me want to come back with renewed vigor! Going Cold Turkey (please forgive the pun) has cleared my mind and allowed me to focus on this new year.

Last year was tough, both personally and professionally. We moved premises, lost team members, commitments to certain projects meant we didn’t produce as much new stuff as I would have liked and I have had to shoulder the financial burden after Charlie’s accident. But I have answered the call and last year we gained a new key team member, grew our audience, doubled our turnover, created 3 new patterns, ran our first sewing retreats and have completed a big new project that will go live next week.

And we have lots of plans for more ace stuff for this year too. I’m excited and can’t wait to get back into the studio on Monday.

If you want to find out about what’s coming and how you can join in sign up to receive our emails  and you won’t miss a thing! Just fill in your name and email and we’ll do the rest.

Happy New Year!

Jules x

Iris Top Pattern Hack #1 Button-up Back

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This is a wonderfully retro adaptation to both versions of the Iris Pattern, and is very easy to do.

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You will need to extend the centre back of the back pattern piece so it can overlap to do up the buttons. This is called the button extension.  And how much you need to add on depends on how big the buttons are that you want to use. A rough guide is to go for an extension of about 1.5 – 2cm. In this example I’ve used a 2cm extension as the buttons I want to use are about 2cm in diameter.

Altering your pattern

Draw in the centre back line on the back pattern piece. Add a piece of paper wider than your button extension and stick that to the centre back seam allowance.  I use proper pattern cutting paper with the dots and crosses on. It makes it so much easier to get nice straight lines and right angles. You can order yours by the metre online. 

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Personally I prefer to use Prittstick instead of tape, as it won’t melt onto your iron, but feel free to use whatever method of attachment you desire.

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When the buttons are sewn onto the back of your top and done up, you need to have the buttons sitting down the centre back line. So place your button on the centre back line of the pattern piece to see how much of an extension you are going to need.  Roughly an extra 0.5cm – 1cm past the button should be fine.

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Mark this onto your pattern piece and draw in the new centre back edge. 

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Now add your seam allowance onto this. I’ve used 1.5cm, but you can use 1cm if you prefer.

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That is the extension done but now we need to draw in the facing to neaten off the centre back opening and support the buttonholes.

The back neck facing already does the job of finishing the neckline, so all we need to do is curve that out and extend it so it continues all the way down the centre back.

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Lay the back neck facing on top of the back pattern pieces and match everything up. Trace around the back neck facing so you have the shape on the back pattern piece.

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Draw in the new back facing line parallel to the centre back, about 6cm from the original centre back line. Take it all the way down the centre back.

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Curve the new line in to meet the original back neck facing line. Make sure to blend it in so the new line is a smooth curved shape.

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When you have marked the new back facing shape onto your back pattern piece you can trace off the new back facing pattern piece.

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Cut out the new back facing and mark on the grain line parallel to the centre back line.

Because you have taken the new pattern piece directly from the bodice pattern everything should match up beautifully.

Sewing the Button-up Back adaptation.

When you make up the Button-up Back Iris, just make up the facing in exactly the same way as before and neaten the whole of the outside edge, from the centre back hem all the way around to the other side of the centre back hem.

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And when you attach the facing again just sew it together in exactly the same way as normal, pivot at the corners and continue to sew down the centre back edges. Trim the corners, snip into the curved neckline seam allowance and understitch as you would do normally.  

Marking the Buttonholes

Evenly space the buttons to mark out the buttonholes. Make sure the top buttonhole is not too close to the edge of the neckline. 

If you want to create horizontal buttonholes make sure to start the end of the buttonhole on the centre back line.  Buttons will always pull to the furthest end of the buttonhole. So rather than marking the button hole equidistant over the centre back line so the button sits in the middle, make sure you mark it on the centre back line. That way when the button pulls to the end of the buttonhole it doesn’t gape and pull open.

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Measure the end of the button hole so it sits on the centre back line.

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Sew the buttonholes in the correct places then mark and sew your buttons on the centre back line.

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And now you have a brand new version of the Iris Top.

Happy Sewing!

 

Sew a Metallic Zippy Bag

For this version of our Zippy Bag we have used some gorgeous new fabric paper in a metallic finish and have increased the size and shape of the pattern to create a larger opening. Perfect for your small toiletries, make up, pens or whatever!

We have used this fabric paper straight off the roll. It resembles card before washing but the paper becomes softer the more you wash it. Hand wash or machine wash (max 40 degrees). But DO NOT IRON the metallic surface.

You will need:

New Zippy Bag template: cut 2 in outer, cut 2 in lining. NB: The cut out corners are the bottom of the bag and will create the flat bottom of the bag.

Tag template: cut 1 in outer

12 inch metal zip

Washable Paper (outer) 

Calico Fabric (inner/ lining) 

Seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated. Use a longer stitch length (3mm minimum) to sew the paper. Small stitches would perforate it too much and weaken the paper strength. Be careful too when sewing forwards and backwards at the start and end of your stitching as again, too many holes weaken the paper.

Use 80 -90 machine needle.

If the paper is curling you can roll it in the opposite direction so it lies flatter. Please do not iron the metallic surface. 

Let’s Get Sewing!

Draw around the Zippy Bag template on the back of the paper. Cut out 2 x bag pieces in both the washable paper and the lining fabric. Cut out 1 x tag in the washable paper.

Tag/ handle: With the wrong sides together fold the tag in half lengthwise and fold the edges in towards the fold. You should have a narrow length of card with the raw edges enclosed. Edge stitch along the length of the open side. This forms the tag/ handle that you can insert into the side seam of the bag later.

Open the zip by half. With the right side of the paper facing you put your zip facing down along the top edge of the bag, centre the zip so there are equal amounts of overhang at either end. Do not use pins as they will make pin holes in the paper. If you have small clips or paper clips these would be useful to hold in place whilst you take it to the sewing machine.Photo 21-11-2018, 12 42 38.jpg

Using a zipper foot, sew the zip in place with a 0.5cm seam allowance using a slightly larger stitch on your sewing machine. You will need to move the zip head out of the way when you get to. Do this by ensuring your needle is down in the paper, then raise the presser foot and wiggle the zip head past the presser foot, lower the presser foot and carry on to the end.

 

Place the lining right side down on top of the bag and zip, lining up the raw edges. You should have a zip sandwich between the bag outer and the lining. Now flip the whole thing over so you can see the first line of stitching you did to secure the zip. The lining is now the bottom layer.

 

Sew another line of stitching straight on top of the first line, this time you will go through all the layers of the bag outer, zip and lining. Again, as you did before, when you get close to the zip head you will need to slide your hand between the layers to move the zipper head past the presser foot.

 

Fold back the bag outer and lining away from the zip leaving the zip exposed. You can finger press the layers back away from the zip. Do not use the iron on the metallic side if using the metallic washable paper.

 

Now repeat this process but with the other side of the zip. Just ignore the first side of the bag as you line up the zip.

 

Open the zip three quarters of the way along. This is really important later on when you are turning through. Change the zip foot to a standard machine foot.

Take hold of the 2 outer layers (the washable paper) and put them together so that the right sides are together, lining up the raw edges. Fold the tag in half widthwise and insert it between these two layers aprox. 4cm away from the zip. Use paperclips to help hold it in place. Make sure the short raw edges of the tag are lined up with the raw edges of the outer layers. I forgot to add the tag in the picture below but the arrow shows where it goes. Make sure the tag is tucked in-between the layers and the raw ends are just poking out.Photo 21-11-2018, 13 14 00

Photo 21-11-2018, 13 13 43Take hold of the linings and do the same as above except you wont need to insert the tab. Make sure the zip ends are pushed towards the lining.

 

You can pin the side seams of the lining. Stitch down the side seams making sure you use the hand wheel at the zip as the layers will be too thick at this point.

Stitch across the bottom of the outer bag. Stitch across the bottom of the lining but leave a very large gap to turn the bag through later. You will only need to stitch aprox. 4cm at either side of the bottom to leave a large enough gap.

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Now for the bottom corners of the bag. Open the corners and separate the seam allowances out flat. Squash the seam allowances together with your fingers and  match up the side seam with the bottom seam. Stitch straight across the corners.

 

Now you can pull everything through the gap in the lining, you will see why it needed to be a large gap and the zip needed to be open. It will be tricky and it will look a mess but keep going. The paper will crease but this will give it that vintage leather look. Use your fingers to poke out corners and finger press all the seams. Pull the lining out and tuck in the seam allowance and pin in place. Edge stitch the gap closed.

 

Tuck the lining back in and finger press along all the seams.

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We have these New Zippy Bag Kits in stock online now. Choose between Grey, Silver, Brown or Rose Gold. They make great gifts! Or you can buy the paper on the roll here.

Happy Sewing!

The Next Sewing Retreat and What’s Going to be Different

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Now the dust has settled from the last Sewing Retreat we’ve had a good think about what was successful and how we can improve things.

It was another fabulous weekend with some wonderful ladies making things to fit them and that they want to wear. We have already seen some of them back for more workshops too.

 

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Your feedback from the last two retreats has given us food for thought and we have decided to make some changes.

Save the Date for the Next Retreat

7th February – 10th February

Places are limited

 

Firstly we have changed venue. The next retreat in February will be at the glorious Stratford Manor Hotel. This beautiful hotel is just on the edge of Stratford on the Warwick Road, not far from the M40 turn off and a short taxi ride from Stratford upon Avon Station. It has all of the amenities we need including super comfy beds, lots of plug sockets, a pool and spa, where you can choose to book a treatment after a long day on your sewing machine. (It really does pay to do some stretches at the end of the day and a massage will definitely help!) It also has beautiful grounds to explore to get some fresh air and clear your head if you need a bit of headspace too. This is a RETREAT after all.

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We have also included an extra night at the hotel. Several of our past Retreaters did indeed arrive a day early and most others said how useful this would be; to be able to travel at leisure and be ready to start the next day.

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So for the next retreat in February you can arrive anytime you like on Thursday and check in Thursday evening. You can book dinner at the hotel separately or even go for a bit of a wander around Stratford upon Avon. If you’ve chosen to bring your own sewing machine you can unload everything and set up ready to start afresh on Friday morning.

 

Bit of planning was one of the things that cropped up after reviewing the chats we’ve had with the previous Retreaters, deciding what projects to make beforehand will really help you get more out of the weekend. So we will be letting you know what you should be able to achieve during the time we have and suggesting some patterns or projects you may like to consider. It’s better to have a couple of smaller quick and easy makes as well as something more meaty. We will be sending you out some handy checklists and ‘things to think about’ before you arrive to help you get the most out of the time we have together.

 

We have also decided to include some designated tutorial spots. Where we can demonstrate specific techniques and show you how to sew particular processes. Over the last two retreats there have been several people working on similar projects that needed support on the same things, like concealed zips or particular fitting techniques. So it makes sense to be able to cover those as a whole group, or even two smaller groups, at specific times over the weekend. That way you will be equipped to tackle more independently, but know we are there to help if you need us. You can let us know in advance if there is something you would like us to cover.

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And lastly but I think most importantly we have decide to reduce the numbers. Now there are only 12 places. This means you will have much more 1:1 time with both of us and we will all feel part of a whole group of lovely individuals who are just nuts about sewing and creating a handmade wardrobe of clothes we really want to wear.

This, I feel, is really what the weekend is all about. It’s a bit of time away from everything else spent with people who get what sewing your own clothes means to us as individuals. It is a retreat from the world , albeit temporarily, and a bit more than just a workshop.

We do appreciate there is a cost attached to this weekend so we have made it easier to pay in installments. A deposit of £220 will secure you place and then two further payments will cover the balance.

Book Your Place NOW!

So you can come and join us for a wonderful weekend where you will improve your sewing, and that’s guaranteed!

Remember there are only 12 places and we have a waiting list from the last one too. So book early to make sure you can join us.

See you soon.

Jules x

 

Sewing Quarter (2nd Oct 2018) – Julia & Portia

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 YouTube Channel and you can watch Jules in action.

The Julia Top starts 17.56 and the Portia Trousers starts at 2.09.14

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You can order your own Julia Top and Portia Trousers from our online store.

Happy Watching!

Enjoying the Good Life

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This little blog has been somewhat delayed so apologies.

This was a return visit to the Good Life Experience for us. Last year was the first time I had visited this little pocket sized festival of joy and went with @thetallphotographer as his assistant. Well not that I actually know one end of a camera from the other but I was very good at carrying stuff! And we absolutely loved it!

So this year we decided to return, Charlie doing his photo thing and me running sewing workshops. Yes we were sewing in a tent!

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Our sewing studio in a very big tent.

We packed up a few machines, fabric, scissors and anything else we could think of and headed for North Wales.

I tried to think of something beautiful yet practical that would be handy to have at a festival, but that would also be easy to sew as well for complete newbies and I came up with a Festival Bag! This handy little gem was made in either robust demin or practical dry oil cloth to keep out the damp. It was fully lined with some simple calico and fastened with a clip buckle. AND you had a choice of colours for the webbing straps. What’s not to love. (It will be available as a pdf pattern very soon.)

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Even complete beginners managed to make their own festival bag!

It was rather popular and we even had one young lady come back to make another one for her Dad.

We had our youngest ever workshop attendee, little 3 year old Joshua who was very intent on making his own bag without his Dad’s help. My lovely chum Claire-Louise came along to the festival too and popped in to help. She was great and had so much patience with this young man while I helped the others in the workshop to sew their own bags.

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CL at her most patient with our youngest ever workshop attendee.

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A very proud and happy young man.

The whole weekend was a joy! And although I was teaching during the day I didn’t miss out on the evening’s entertainment. The highlight for me was Friday night with DJ Trevor Nelson taking me back to my clubbing days and throwing some shapes on the dancefloor with CL.

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Rather too much of the superbly delicious Rhubarb & Ginger Gin produced by the Harwarden Estate was consumed that night too. But the morning after was worth the night before!  

One of the reasons I love this festival so much is that there is so much to see and do.

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You can have a go at screen printing…

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…a bit of extreme knitting…

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…try spoon whittling…

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…or Thai Chi.

 

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There’s camp fire cooking…

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…and really interesting talks from people like Ben Fogle.

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And one I want to try next year – Fire Walking!

We topped off the weekend with a delightful meal at the Glynne Arms Pub in Hawarden village for Charlie’s birthday. A bit of a Busman’s Holiday for me but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend.

 

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Claire-Louise and me completely pooped after a blast of a weekend.

And its all due to these lovely people Charlie and Caroline Gladstone (that run Pedlars) who along with Cerys Matthews (yes from Catatonia) and her husband Steve Abbott founded this delight of a festival. It’s ethos is something that resonates with both Charlie and I, particularly since the last time we were here our lives have changed quite considerably following Charlies accident! 

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Charlie and Caroline Gladstone whose fabulous home Hawarden Castle hosts the Good Life Experience.

All pictures by The Tall Photographer

Now we are planning on how we can do it better and what we can make on more Festival Workshops. If you go to festivals do let me know which ones you enjoy and what would YOU make at a festival? Would it be practical and useful? Or just fun?

Hopefully you can join us next year, but get in quick as tickets are going like hot cakes!

Happy Festival Going!

Jules x

 

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