Best Tips, Notions and Tutorials of 2013

Roll up!, Roll up! The first Laura After Midnight retrospective is upon us!

2013 has been quite the whirlwind! Here are my favourite Blog posts from each month… so without further ado, and not a whiff of preamble take my hand and follow me down the yellow stitched road!  

January   Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace by Cari Chapin

As Fella tells it, I just ‘had it one day’; and to be honest I can’t remember where I found out about it, or heard about it or even saw a copy. I really did just have it one day and I haven’t looked back since! I strongly advocate a read if you are in the first stages of starting a business- hand made or otherwise!- or if you find yourself in a rut as following Cari Chapin’s words of wisdom has helped me through more than once!

February   Notions: Measuring Yourself for a Perfect Fit

WELDONS The Correct Way to Take Measurements          TAPE MEASURE          MODERN NEEDLECRAFT How to Measure Yourself

So, you’ve picked out the perfect Pattern, you’ve chosen your fabric & are generally wildly excited about learning how to make your own clothes, but where to start? With accurate measurements of course! Using beautiful Vintage Illustrations like the above and sage advice from my collection of Vintage Sewing Books this post illustrates exactly how to take your measurements, which ones to take and how to do so accurately.

March   Notions: Herringbone Stitch

Quite literally my all time favourite stitch, ever! I use Herringbone Stitch for stunning invisible hems and this Tutorial will take you through the steps. March also saw my popular article on The Best Haberdashery Shops in London, which is well worth a read too.

April   How to Make a Simple Pattern Free Skirt

header 3 patternless skirt 2 skirt 3 patternless skirt 4

In April I hosted my first Sew-a-Long… only I didn’t know then that’s what they were called! The Patternless A-Line Skirt is a technique I teach many Beginner Sewers’ and these Tutorials take you through each stage of creating your very own, fitted A-Line Skirt. Watch out for my soon to be released Skirts Zine too, which will take you through adapting the Pattern you draft in this Tutorial to make different styles such as a Circle Skirt, Pleated Skirt and more. Click each picture above for each stage.

May   Notions: How to Pin

Continuing my ever popular ‘Notions’ series this is a handy little Tutorial for an oft asked about technique.

June   My first Zine…


High excitement was in the air as I researched, designed, hand illustrated (no Wacum Tablet back then!) and put in to production the first Zine in the Notions Series. Understanding Vintage and Modern Patterns has been updated and reprinted and has sold out again, and again much to my absolute joy. More have since joined the first and what started out as a bit of a personal challenge has now turned in to one of the true Laura After Midnight pleasures. Many more are planned and I can’t wait to release the first colour one! Click here to buy.

July   Notions: Fan Darts

fan pleat 1fan pleat 2fan pleat 3

A lovely technique to make alterations or hand made dresses unique.

August   Notions: Concealed Zips

Fully illustrates guide to insert these tricky little buggers!

September   Pattern Month!

What a month September was! Pattern Month was a huge, rip roaring, smash of a success with competitions, tutorials on Drafting Patterns, Re-Sizing Vintage Patterns and more, interviews with independent Pattern Companies like the gorgeous Gals’ over at Colette, with all sorts of additional hints, tips and tricks it has to have been the most fun one girl can have Blogging! Planning the next one has started already…

October   Techniques and Tutorials

Finally, slightly exhausted after September I’m not gonna lie!, I organized myself and designed the now familiar Vintage Techniques and Tutorials Page. Here you can find all of the Tutorials I have written, projects and very much more. Enjoy, and don’t forget to make a request!

November   Hand Made Gift Baskets

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Prompted by an image I shared on Facebook, I whipped up this little Tutorial as part of the many Christmas Tutorials I did throughout November and December. From Stockings, to Pyjamas I had your Hand Made Christmas covered and they’re well worth a look through!

December   How to Make a Mans Tie inc. Pattern

Throughout December I was rained on… lots!, made over 100 meters of Bunting for sale on my (rainy!) Market Stalls, worked harder than I had all year, managed an (almost) completely Hand Made Christmas, hosted a Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium and posted some Christmas Makes in amongst the madness! It was a satisfying end to a year which has been incredibly interesting to live/survive through.

I am not entirely sure I enjoyed all of 2013, but I am damn certain it has taught me valuable lessons, encouraged me to work harder in 2014 and given me a firm grounding with which to take Laura After Midnight to the next level. In my plans for next year I have more Pop Up Sewing Emporiums, Kits for some pretty exciting and super cool makes and patterns, Zines a plenty and so very much more!

Happy 2013, Happy New Year, and here’s to 2014… each and every one if you!!

Happy stitching!


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