Thursday, 10 May 2018

Sewing workshops

In January this year I started running a series of sewing workshops at a lovely local venue Workshop & Play in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. They were so much fun. During each of the cosy Sunday sessions, we mastered sewing machines, drank tea, chatted, ate cake, chatted some more and made some fantastic tote bags and girl's skirts. I can't wait to do it again.

So, with the addition of some new venues and classes, here are the upcoming workshops for May/June.

Sunday 27th May
Workshop & Play, Ampthill
Sewing for Beginners: Make a Tote Bag (complete beginner)

Tuesday 29th May (Half Term)
Workshop & Play, Ampthill
Hand Sewing for Kids: Make a Book Bag (age 6+)

Tuesday 29th May (Half Term)
Workshop & Play, Ampthill
Machine Sewing for Kids: Make your own Bunting (age 10+)

Sunday 10th June
The Work Club, London
Sewing for Beginners: Make a Tote Bag (complete beginner)

Sunday 24th June
Workshop & Play, Ampthill
Dressmaking: Make a Girl's Dress (intermediate)

The price for each workshop includes all materials, refreshments and a digital version of the sewing pattern/instructions to keep and make again.

If you have any questions about the workshops you can contact me at

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Hobbycraft sewing event: top picks

Hobbycraft have just launched their latest sewing event, with some fab bargains to be had. If you're new to sewing, need to update some of your sewing tools, or just need a bit of January cheering up, check out my top picks.

Singer Bluebird Sewing Machine

£129 (reduced from £169)

This is a perfect beginner's machine with everything you need for basic dressmaking from a brand you can trust. It gets 5/5 from customer review on their website. It would also look very cool in any craft space.

Blue Spot Sewing Machine Bag 20 x 43 x 37 cm

£15 (reduced from £30)

When you're taking your new sewing machine to sewing classes, or social sewing meet-ups, you really need a sturdy bag to carry it in to stop it getting damaged. This one is a half-price bargain!

Blue Spot Craft Bag 13 x 39 x 35 cm

£10 (reduced from £20)

Just because I can't resist matching accessories...

Gutermann thread

£0.92 for 100m (reduced from £1.85)

Using good quality thread is so important when sewing. Cheap thread really is a false economy when you get in a tangled mess. In my opinion Gutermann is the best out there and at half price won't break the bank either. Stock up while it's on offer. Only 92p for a 100m all-purpose spool (in many many beautiful colours).

Kirstie Allsopp Button Jewellery Making Kit

£10 (reduced from £15)

If you fancy trying something different, this Kirstie Allsopp button jewellery kit looks like a fun way to spend a cold January evening. And what sewist doesn't love buttons? Wear your hobby with pride!

Happy shopping x

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017: Sewing, chronic pain and more sewing

Last January I wrote a blog post just after I'd had diagnostic surgery, where my local hospital failed to find the endometriosis that has been the suspected cause of the pain I'd been experiencing. That was a pretty bleak time. 2017 was an ongoing battle for me, not only dealing with the horrendous symptoms, but convincing doctors to believe me and do something about it. Nearly a year on from that surgery, and I'm still waiting for excision surgery, but thankfully now under the care of a specialist centre who have diagnosed endometriosis and I have a proper treatment plan to deal with it. It's just a matter of waiting for my turn, but surgery should be in the next few months.

So, for me, 2018 is the year of getting better. Getting back to feeling more like my normal self again, being better at work, at being a parent, at being a wife, at being a friend. Oh, and all those usual good intentions about losing weight, exercising more, being more organised, blogging more. 2018 is also the year of fighting back at the way I've been treated by my local hospital and trying to make the process easier for the next women going through it.

2017 also featured a lot of sewing, and sewing-related design work. It continues to be the thing that keeps me going, feeds my need to be creative and inspires me to keep trying new things. Here are a few of my highlights:

In late Jan/early Feb I took a short shirt-making course with Janet from Kitchen Table Sewing. Over a 4 week period I made a Granville Shirt and finally got my head around plackets! I love and wear that shirt a lot, and still have plans to make more (eventually).

PVC raincoat
In April I made a raincoat for my daughter in soft PVC. That was the trickiest fabric I've ever worked with - it sticks, stretches and melts if you try to iron it. It very nearly got thrown out the window. But I persevered and finished it. That, in itself, was a big achievement.

Vintage shirt dress
In June I made a Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress. I loved all the details of making that and enjoyed wearing it to a special anniversary lunch with my hubby. It wasn't the best fitting garment I've ever made though and will definitely need to make a few adjustments before making another.

Baby clothes
In July I made a set of baby clothes for my newborn nephew using the lullaby layette set of patterns from Oliver+S in beautiful Liberty tana lawn and organic cotton jersey from Stoff & Stil. A very satisfying project and lovely to see him wearing his little outfit over Christmas.

Sew Me Wear Me
Alongside all the sewing projects, throughout 2017 I also took an online digital pattern design course and learnt how to digitise the children's sewing patterns I'd been designing. It was a steep learning curve, but I got my head around Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to create graded PDFs of my patterns and step-by-step instructions. I also took a free course in Adobe Muse to design and build a responsive website. It was a a bit of a detour from sewing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and with a bit of help on the logo and photos, have the beginnings of a small creative business to grow and nurture in 2018 - Sew Me Wear Me.

So, what next?

First up, I'll be prepping for a series of beginner's sewing workshops I'll be running at the gorgeous Workshop & Play in Ampthill in Jan/Feb. I'm really looking forward to those and hope it will be the start of many more. I'm also involved in the promotion of Wendy Ward's new book with a heap of other bloggers, so have a jersey project up next on my sewing table.

On the business side of things, I'm hoping to develop the teaching (both face-to-face and online), release some new patterns I've been working on and venture into the world of kits.

On the personal side, I have a special little baby outfit to finish first off. Then I'm back to a bit of sewing for myself and a real effort to use my fabric/pattern stash. The Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt is definitely one to finally make this year. Oh, and that half finished Liberty Betty Dress in time for spring...

Happy creative 2018 everyone xxx

Friday, 17 November 2017

Homemade Christmas magic

For the last few weeks I've been busy sewing up some very festive makes for the small people in my life. Working with some beautiful fabrics and notions from Minerva Crafts, I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. All the details of the patterns and fabrics below.

There is currently a 20% discount code on all Sew Me Wear Me patterns. Just use the code XMAS20 at the pattern shop checkout. Valid until 8th Dec.

Happy Christmas sewing x

Dreamland Pyjamas

The Dreamland Pyjamas pattern blends the classic style of poplin pyjamas trousers with the comfort of jersey. If you’re new to stretch fabrics this pattern will teach you how to work with jersey and add a simple neckband for a professional looking finish. The pattern comes with a choice of appliqué motifs, or you can let their imaginations go wild.

Made with...

Flo Dress

The Flo Dress is a classic little girl’s dress. It has a lined bodice, invisible zip and gathered skirt. You can play around with fabrics, ribbon colour and the amount of gather on the skirt to achieve a gorgeous party dress. Perfect for twirling.

Made with...

Concealed Invisible Closed End Zip (light grey, 9 inches)

Pat-a-Cake Apron

The Pat-a-Cake Apron is an easy kid’s apron pattern. Perfect for using up scraps, it can be made over again as an ever-popular gift. The bias binding edges gives it structure and the personalised detail is a hit with every little baker.

Made with...

Twinkle Twinkle Skirt

The Twinkle Twinkle Skirt is a great beginner’s project. The simple construction of the elasticated waist is not only easy to make, but comfy to wear too. You’ll also learn how to sew concealed pockets (perfect for sweeties) and embellish with appliqué star motifs.

Made with...

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Win patterns + fabric

To mark the launch of the Sew Me Wear Me website and Etsy shop, we are running a fantastic competition sponsored by the lovely folk at Minerva Crafts. There are 4 prizes up for grabs: one of each of the Sew Me Wear Me digital sewing patterns, plus all the fabric and notions you'll need to make it. All the patterns can be found on the website, including the Dreamland Pyjamas pattern due to be released in a couple of weeks.

To be in with chance of winning one of these bundles, head over to the Sew Me Wear Me Instagram page. You'll need to follow @sewmewearme and repost with the hashtag #SewMeWearMe. The competition closes at midnight on Friday 20th October. The winners will be selected at random and contacted by DM.

Good luck! x