Notions: Add a Waistband to a Skirt

This is a great technique to know & can be used for Up-Cycling Vintage finds- cut the top off a Vintage dress if it doesn’t fit but make a great Skirt for instance, or if you are making a Skirt, or re-sizing a Skirt. Once you know the Skirt fits, you can construct & attach the Waistband. Cut a band …

Notions: Insert a Zip

The following instructions illustrate how to insert a Zip simply, which can be used in Dresses & Skirts. It is not specifically concealed however; when sewn correctly there should be two folds of fabric which fit neatly over the Zip as in the final photograph. It is hands down the simplest way of inserting a Zip, very difficult to sew …

Notions: Cutting Patterned Fabric

From McCall’s Complete Book of Dressmaking, Marian Corey  1951 You will always need a little extra fabric when using Checks, Plaids or Patterns. This will sometimes be noted in the Dress Pattern however, it is advisable, when using large Pattern Prints, to allow an extra drop. A drop is a repeat of the pattern- find a distinctive piece of the …

X-Rays’ of Women in Corsets

From Retronaut, 1908 X-Ray images of Women wearing Corsets.   Despite being glorious, Retronaut give no further information however; upon further investigation these images- along with many more- are from From Doctor Ludovic O’Followell’s Le Corset written in 1908. Despite popular belief, & as evidenced here, they didn’t do quite the damage many think, specifically relating to the movement of internal organs. Further images from …

Notions: Pretty Lace Edge

To achieve this pretty Lace edge detailing- ideal for Slips, Pyjamas, Lingerie or Skirts- first decide upon the Lace & measure the garment to ascertain the length needed. There are some beautiful, & colourful, Lace edgings out there & it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Next, fold the wrong side of the material over to the right side, to …

Notions: Fabulous Rouleau Loops

I have been obsessing about Rouleau Loops ever since they were challenged with them on The Great British Sewing Bee! I’ve never used a Loop Turner however; preferring to use needle & thread. This is simply because this is how I was taught to make the small, narrow & neat fabric loops, & not for any other reason. Always up …

Swedish Pattern Paper

         Part pattern paper, part Toile, I am left a little unsure about this! I have used various different versions of sew-able pattern paper in the past & I normally decide just to make a Toile up! This, I am sure, is because when I am making a pattern it can become very messy!! I adapt & change on the …

Pleats Please!

I get so many questions in my workshops and classes often about the simplest of things… or at least I think they’re simple! I think what I am really being told with all these questions is that poeple aren’t finding it as easy as they should to find somewhere that will help them to sew. Hopefully my upcoming posts about …

Book review: Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing

Now, I have the proper old school copy of this, and I’m fairly sure I stole it from my Mum many moons ago! I find it is synonymous with good sewing techniques, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Often found in charity shops (my second copy for classes was just £4), this hefty tome is clearly laid out & …