Catwalk to Cutting Table - LBD with a twist

Intern Kirstys, Catwalk to Cutting Table

London Fashion Week has JUST ended and you know what that means, we get to take a closer look at all the designers and see who’s managed to create something amazing.

Personally one of my favourite designers from this years LFW was RIXO. They tend to design fun, quirky and stylish dresses.

The design that caught my eye, was this off the shoulder, black velvet fitted dress, with a colourful dot fabric at the bust area. This stood out to me as the contrast between the soft black fabric and the bright dots at the top defined each section of the dress.

I have even managed to find the perfect fabric copies and similar pattern. Although this may look complicated and impossible to recreate yourself. ITS NOT! So why not give it a go.

Feel like you may need some extra help, or feel you want to take your knowledge further? Why no come along to one of our pattern classes. For more information on these classes please feel free to contact us.

Hope to see you soon.

Love, Kirsty

For the spot fabric, click here. For the black velvet, click here.

M7719 MISSES' DRESSES PATTERN

M7719 MISSES' DRESSES PATTERN

Mothers Day Makes

With Mothers day right around the corner (31st of March for those who may have forgot), it is time to get your thinking caps on to create your mum a beautiful unique gift! We have posted below some nice ideas we might even try for ourselves! Ditch the boring, usual flowers and chocolate and this year get crafty!

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Not only are these embroidery hoops beautiful to look at and make a great wall hanging, if your mum is as crafty as you are she will appreciate all the time put into that hand embroidery. You could even use your hand embroidered fabric and create a classic but one of a kind zip bag.

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How adorable is this cushion cover? To those who have been along to our beginners class you will be masters of the piped cushion! Machine embroidery (or as we like to call it, machine doodles) is then used to create the writing and hands, also making this gift the perfect scrap buster.

Speaking of scrap buster, this basic stuffed heart shape with a message wrote in fabric pens is the perfect simple quick make that is guaranteed to be a hit with Mums with young kids.

Last but not least, a beautiful hand made Memory Bear (as pictured below). This can be made using some personal old items of clothing such as baby grows or maybe just some old tshirts that can no longer be worn. Not got anything old to use? These bears look just as good made in a nice mix of different patterned fabrics.

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If sadly you just don’t have the time to get crafty with your gifts this year, you can still make your mothers day efforts original by purchasing some Sew Confident Gift vouchers which can be used to whatever class, whenever they want!

For Glasgow Classes: https://bookeo.com/sewconfidentglasgow

For Dundee Classes: https://bookeo.com/sewconfidentdundee

GBSB: Where are they now? [Guest Blog]

The Great British Sewing Bee – Where are they now?

Hi everyone, Sew Confident Loyal Amanda here! So, it seems we are all loving the return of the Bee!! Personally I consider myself a bit of a GBSB super fan and I’m not ashamed to say I’m often found re-watching episodes from the last 4 seasons. I have followed a few of the former contestants on Instagram for a while now but with the show back on our screens I wondered how many of the former contestants have been able to give up the day job and make their living from sewing?


Tilly Walnes – Season 1

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Although the name Tilly Walnes may not be familiar to you, I’m sure the pattern company Tilly and the Buttons is!  Series one contestant Tilly had only been sewing for two years when she featured on the first ever series of Sewing Bee. Since leaving the sewing room she has set up one of the best loved independent pattern companies. She has published numerous well know patterns and two best selling books. Her aim is to “demystify sewing” with her clear, jargon free instructions. Tilly has also won Favourite Sewing Personality at the British Sewing Awards 3 years in a row.

www.tillyandthebuttons.com

@tillyandthebuttons  


Stuart Hillard – Season 1

Series 1 contestant Stuart has kept very busy since the GBSB. Now a regular of the Sewing Quarter Stuart has also written two best selling books and has a range of fabrics available at Hobycraft. Although a “quilting expert” Stuart has also featured as one of Sew Magazine’s “Dressmaker of the Year” judges.

@stuarthillardsews


Lauren Guthrie – Season 1

Scottish born Lauren now lives in Birmingham with her husband where she owns the well-known fabric shop Guthrie Ghani.  As well as the bricks and mortar shop Guthrie Ghani are also online selling fabric, haberdashery and patterns. Lauren also runs sewing classes from the shop in Birmingham and often blogs about her makes.

@guthrieghani

www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk

Matt Chapple – Season 3

The first ever male winner of the Great British Sewing Bee, Matt can now be found at www.sewwhatsnew.co.uk a “creative lifestyle blog and is also the author of “Make it Your Own.” Matt has collaborated with Singer Sewing Machines and if often featured in our favourite sewing and craft magazines.

www.sewwhatsnew.co.uk

@sewwhatsnewcouk


Charlotte  Newland– Season 4

Season 4 winner Charlotte has left her former life as the editor of a scientific journal well and truly behind her! Now an award winning quilter she is a regular on the Sewing Quarter.  She also offers online tutorials on her website and often features as a guest columnist in popular sewing magazines.

@charlottesews

www.charlottenewland.com

Jade Earley – season 4

Still the youngest ever GBSB contestant Jade went on to be a finalist. She currently has her own column in Love Sewing Magazine and is working to develop her own line of patterns. Jade is also regularly involved with the Knitting and Stitching Show and The Great British Sewing Bee Live.   

@thegirlwiththebrightredhair2

Angeline Murphy – season 4

Irish Angeline is the resident sewer on Ireland’s RTE TV channel.  As well as this she has her own sewing blog and You Tube Channel. She is currently going live on Instagram every Tuesday after the GBSB to chat about the latest episode, often with a fellow contestant, perhaps we should invite her into the Sew Confident FB chat group!

@angelinemurphydesign

www.angelinemurphy.com

So for any of us hating the day job and dreaming of a life behind the sewing machine, perhaps The Great British Sewing Bee 2020 is your big chance to change your life! Where do we sign up!?

Sew Vintage - [Guest Blog]

Hey! My name is Dominic, I’m 21 years old and am currently studying at Strathclyde and work part-time in retail. This means, like a lot of people my age, money doesn’t spend a lot of time in my bank account. Whether its rent, travel or groceries - young adults are always having to budget and save money where it’s possible, and in my case I tend to save money on clothing. Up until recently, I was on the lookout for fashion sales in high-street stores or online retail platforms, however my foreign study semester in 2017 changed this mind-set; I found myself studying in a university in Malta, a country with limited retail options and expensive delivery charges. I decided to try vintage stores and charity shops to save money, and fell in love with the idea. Not only did I find clothes at a fair price, but the style and culture behind the recycled fashion experience allowed me to better express myself in an environment that was new to me. It was an activity that encouraged me to explore different areas of the country in an exciting hunt for outfits unique to me, all the while saving money and meeting new people doing the same thing. In a world where sustainability and reusing is more important than ever, it helped me feel like I was doing my part in reducing my carbon footprint as well as giving time and money to those who require it most, rather than multi-million companies where all you are to them is an order number.

I kept this mind-set when I came back home at the end of 2017, and made my resolution for the New Year to only buy clothes that have been used and loved before. Luckily for me, there is no better place to do this than in Glasgow! I have a love for retro looks, so I found myself at vintage kilo fairs more than I’m willing to admit. It is never a dull place to be and some of the clothes that I found were one of a kind. From jackets to footwear, there is something for everyone when you look hard enough. I always go and check out a charity shop whenever I walk by one, and Glasgow have so many to offer. The West End and City Centre provide a great variety to choose from, with a Bernardos in Merchant City being my favourite. The Glasgow outskirts are always fun to travel to as well, such as local charities in Giffnock and Inverclyde. You would be surprised how often new items come in to charity shops, and that’s what entices me the most. I manage to find a new outfit once a week usually, and never spend more than £15 in total. There are always big-brand items as well (some I’ve found include Ralph Lauren and AllSaints, as well as retail brands like River Island and Zara) which are always in pristine condition, with designs that make others turn heads. Some other items you find in charity shops would surprise you; things like bags I use for university, kilts and formal attire, sportswear and retro football shirts are just a few which might catch your eye.

And that’s what I would say to anyone that might be sceptical about shopping in charity or vintage shops; what is the worst that can happen? I have loved every second of my resolution and plan to continue it in to 2019. I even plan to learn some sewing skills, to help with mending and upcycling items I find to make them even more unique! It excites me to know that you won’t bump into anyone who shares the same clothes as you do, and you ultimately get to wear the unique clothes that define you at a fraction of the cost you might think, all whilst contributing to inspiring and meaningful causes. When someone asks me where I got something that I’m wearing, I take pride in telling them, “Vintage Shop, mate”.

Cat Walk to Cutting Table - The Skirt Edition

MINT MODA      Cushnie Spring/Summer 2019

MINT MODA

Cushnie Spring/Summer 2019

With it being New York Fashion Week, have you ever wondered how easy it actually is to make your own, ‘cat walk ready’ clothes. One of my favorite pieces from this years cat walk so far is a simple but effective skirt, from the Mint Moda Collection.

Although such a simple piece of clothing, a skirt is able to turn your body shape into something completely different. Hugging in at the waist and flowing down the body, is the skirt style that ‘Mint Moda’ went for at New York Fashion Week 2019. A simple design, yet with the colors they used, they have brightened up the cat walk.

Feel like giving it a go yourself, here are some patterns you may want to use. And you can make you very own cat walk ready skirt.



Feel like you may need some extra help or feel like you want to take your knowledge further, why not come along to one of our pattern classes. for more information on these classes please feel free to contact us .

Signing off Kirsty







Say hello to Kirsty!

We’ve recently been joined by another sewconfident team member! Kirsty is going to be with us for the next month!

Kirsty’s going to be coming along to one of our beginners classes as well, you can see them here if you want to come along to one too!

Here’s a little bit more about Kirsty . . .


What and where are you studying?

The course that I study is called Food, Nutrition and Textile Education. I study this at Perth College (University of the Highlands and Islands).

Why did you decide to study this degree?

I chose this course as at school I was extremely interested in Home Economics and every aspect that it offers young people. It is not only a fun and interesting subject, but it also offers many life skills for young people who may need them the most.

Why is Home Economics as a subject important to you?

I believe that Home Economics is important in schools as it teaches many life skills that most children may not be taught at home. These skills include knowledge on nutrition and a healthy life style, cooking skills that can be used throughout your life and textile and sewing skills that can always be helpful. All these skills are useful to everyone throughout a lifetime.

Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

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Being a teacher has always been what I have wanted to do. I enjoy passing on my knowledge and seeing others succeed after using the knowledge I have provided. I enjoy with both young and mature students.

While at school, what was your most liked and most disliked classes?

Well, of course my favourite class in school was Home Economics. The class I probably disliked the most was maths, it was never one of my strengths.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

With whatever free time I have, between balancing uni, part time employment and socialising. I enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. This includes going out for food and drinks and having cosy nights in, just relaxing and watching movies.

Have you done a lot of sewing/textiles? What is your favourite thing you have made?

Unfortunately, having only the limited skills that I was taught In my first year at High School, I don’t know a lot about sewing. However, I am extremely intrigued by it and can’t wait to learn more from my time at Sew Confident and throughout my four-year degree.

During my school placement that took course over four weeks, I was able to engage in many first-year textile classes. In these classes the children were able to make a pillow. They were asked to decide colours of fabric and, also the design that they wanted on the front of the pillow. I was also able to make my own pillow alongside the children, I decided to make it for my baby niece, and to be honest, it turned out great.                                                       

What about the cooking side, what is your go to dish?

Cooking is something I have always loved, and throughout the years I have massively improved on my cooking skills and knowledge. My go to dish is always pasta, my favourite being tagliatelle pasta with sweet chilli and garlic prawn, this one also never fails to impress.

 

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The Bothwell Studio and the Future...

Hello!

It’s with a bit of sadness that I write this blog today. Some of you might already know the news that our Bothwell studio is now closed. I wanted to let you know why and to do that I need to go back to the start.

Our Bothwell studio was always a risk. It’s 20 minutes up the road from our Glasgow one, it’s in a totally different area, and that is exactly why I picked it. You might know that our plans to grow our Sew Confident Community involve franchising. In order to franchise you need to give franchisees “territories” and in order to know how close studios can be I had to try it myself.

Did I think it would work? Yes absolutely but I was always aware of the risk - which is something you gotta just run with in business sometimes! The reality is it’s just too close to the Glasgow studio so we had a similar number of people coming to us but twice the overheads. We now know that our studios are a 1 per city kind of deal and that people are happy to jump in the car to come to their nearest studio.

If I could turn back the clock I would do it all again because what we as a company learned was invaluable, we met so many amazing people, had so many laughs and hours of sewing in that amazing space so thank you for being part of that. No regrets!

So what’s the future of Sew Confident?

Goodbye Bothwell!

Goodbye Bothwell!

Despite closing the Bothwell studio our Glasgow studio has NEVER BEEN BUSIER! Our Dundee studio is also offering more and more classes every month, surpassing expectations - they now have a massive list of classes for all our Dundee pals. And have you SEEN the Dundee studio? It’s absolutely gorgeous, there was talk of some of my Glasgow students jumping in the car to go and visit Sandra in Dundee just to hang out in that studio!

Big picture wise I want everyone in the UK to have a friendly, social, creative and safe Sew Confident space near them. That’s the goal. We’re creating opportunities for those who want to be their own boss and we’re making creative jobs where their previously were none.

I thank my lucky stars every day that this is my job. And I’m blessed to get to spend my working day with the amazing Colette, Rosey and the fab tutors - it’s a total dream team! Most of all I feel lucky that our customers become friends because we’re all on the same crazy fabric hoarding page over here and apparently that’s all you need to really click with someone! Seriously though, without you guys we wouldn’t be here so thanks for your continued support over the past 7(!!) years. Here’s to another 7 years of sewing, tea drinking and excessive biscuit consumption!

Jenny xxx

Sewing With a New Born - Guest Blog

Sewing with a new born…It’s not really a thing is it? I had grand plans to set my beautiful new baby in its bouncy chair and set to work sewing while the baby slept soundly.

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Ha ha…Reality came crashing down around me. Finding time to sew was impossible. I think the closest thing I came to being crafty during the first 6 weeks was knitting a single row on a scarf I was making (for myself).

Then came a rare day when my husband was off work and there was no housework to be done. Now don’t be hating on me, all this happened because of specific well timed events, mainly an in home lifestyle photo shoot for the arrival of our beautiful baby boy. I found myself with an hour to myself and I ventured into the sewing room and I made a garment. An actual wearable top. Sounds impressive I know but it was a pattern I’ve made twice before and I had already cut out all the pattern pieces pre-baby so all the hard work was done.

It’s 4 weeks later and I haven’t sewn anything else BUT I have had time to think. Sewing has now become just as much about the planning as it has the actual sewing. I find I’m taking more time choosing fabrics and thinking of what to use from my stash. I’m planning on investing myself in more quality sewing rather than too much of a sew and hope. Reading patterns before I sew them is becoming a thing, feels like I’m learning more.

Also I have booked babysitters to cover any upcoming classes and the sewcial for this month. Grans are awesome!!

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Have you seen my 'sewjo'? - Guest Blog

Hello pregnancy, goodbye sewjo !

I think that’s exactly how it happened, well I’m pretty sure of it anyway.  I was on a roll with my sewing, had a started my own sewing blog, curated my instagram, sorted out my sewing room and had sewing plans for the year made which did not include a new pregnant body I can assure you. 
 That’s pretty much what halted it, the pregnant body. All of a sudden I had to try and dress this bump. Everything I wore was stretchy. I had no motivation, no patterns caught my eye, it was either a pattern that suited pregnancy only or a pattern that I would need to wait until post pregnancy to measure myself so no point even embarking on it. I didn’t know what shape I was going to be once I had the baby so felt like I couldn’t even plan for new me made outfits. Meanwhile every insta blogger is churning out the latest patterns, it felt like there was a new indie pattern released every week.

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Then the hallelujah moment - enter Tilly and the buttons Stevie pattern. I adored this pattern while pregnant, it draped nice on my body and didn’t make me feel like a whale. I made four in total (two dresses and two tops, I've included a photo of one of the dresses) It’s best points being that it was simple and quick to make and felt like it could be worn as an oversized t-shirt dress post pregnancy, I’ve road tested it and it falls into the secret pyjamas category. Just throw an oversized cardigan on with it and wear it with tights and it looks fab.

The moral of the story - I don’t have one but does there need to be one? I lost my sewjo for a while but it’s coming back slowly. There are new ideas cropping up in my brain and suddenly fabric is making its way into my wish list again. I think I stressed out about having no creativity and thinking it wouldn’t come back but it did though plus I think I will appreciate my sewing time a little more now that it’s limited.

Baby news - We welcomed a baby boy on 13th October, Max, weighing 6lbs 4oz, literally a little bundle of joy 💙

(PART 2 OF LAURAS BABY BLOG COMING SOON!)

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New Year, Same Fabulous You.

Hopefully by now you have, sadly, gotten back into the swing of things at work/uni and recovered from the festive holidays! If like me you are probably sick of people asking the same questions; “How was your Christmas?”, “Do much for New Year?” and the worst of all… “What’s your New Year Resolutions?”

PERSONALLY, I don’t set life changing goals at New Year. I’m not going to tell folk I’m going to lose a stone and run a marathon because the chances are I’ll go to the gym twice this year, maybe three times if I’m lucky…then I’ll feel horrible about myself at the end of the year for not achieving my goals and it’ll be an endless cycle. I also feel that a lot of peoples (not everyone) goals focus too much on the ‘negative’ things about them rather than realising how great they already are! “I want to lose weight”, “I want to get my teeth done”, “I want to get a boyfriend because I’m lonely and bored on my own” …to quote just a few of my friends ‘New Year Resolutions’, and within the first few days of the new year people beat themselves up and feel they have failed for already giving into a slice of cake etc etc. (In response to the boyfriend ‘goal’ - YOU ARE A STRONG, INDEPENDENT GIRL/MAN THAT DON’T NEED NO MAN/GIRL.)

What we SHOULD all be doing this year, may it not be the start of this year…maybe not even next month over even this year, is to learn all about SELF LOVE. Focus on the things you are already interested in or good at, or even things you are bad at but enjoy & LOOK FORWARD to improving. In this case, being crafty.

Now i’m no life coach, I probably have a cheek to be talking about self love as I know I can be very hard on myself…BUT one ‘goal’ I do have for 2019 is to sew more. GROUND BREAKING, I KNOW, This isn’t even learning something new! I’ve had more downs than ups over last year, but the one thing that really helps is being creative and sewing, yet when people ask the last thing i’ve made I can barely remember. I’m so guilty for ‘knowing what’s good for me but ignoring it.’ I think that’s why I love the whole idea of Sew Confident so much. I can already hear everyone reading this saying I’m being biased haha - maybe I slightly am. Although class after class after class, the one thing that is always said is how people love that they have dedicated time to coming along and being crafty. That they are the same as me and often get distracted at home or feel guilty for taking time out of their busy lives to get creative.

Yes our classes cost money, which especially in the longgggggggg, poooor month that is January you might not have the disposable income. BUT, if you think about it long term, one of our knitting or crochet classes costs £40 (this is less than a normal night out for me - but i do go a bit OTT) and in one evening you learn a new skill that you can continue to use and improve for LIFE. I mention knitting and crochet as that is the only new skills I would like to hopefully master in the next year or two (See, again, no pressure to be a crochet queen by the end of 2019). As I also mentioned earlier, for me, using my creativity or learning a new creative skill is all about the positive effect it has on my mental state. Good Mental State = Positive Self Loving. Making things from scratch whether it be a quilt, a dress or evening a weaved wall hanging…getting to meet knew creative friends…or guilt free time to hang with current crafty friends -

IT HELPS MAKE THE SAME FABULOUS YOU, EVEN MORE FABULOUS.

Lots of loving and positive vibes,

Sew Confident Colette


A New Year, A New Sew Confident Employee. . .

Now that everyone is sadly back to work…We hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year!

Has anyone got any New Years ReSEWlutions? (See what we done there)! It is always good to set yourself a goal, whether its personal, work or relationship related! Want to be featured in our New Years ReSEWlutions blog? Send in your Christmas makes and ideas for 2019 to hello@sewconfident.co.uk , by the 14th of Jan.

THE IMPORTANT BIT…

There has been some changes already this year in the Glasgow studio…starting with a new staff member! Everyone say a big hello to Rosey, who has joined the team and is taking over from Colette as our new official studio manager -EXCITING!

Before Rosey introduces herself, if you were lucky enough to get any Sew Confident Gift Vouchers over Christmas make sure to book up soon as classes are filling up fast!


INTRODUCING… ROSEY

An outfit from my graduate collection!

An outfit from my graduate collection!

Hi everyone, I’m Rosey! I learnt to sew in high school and have been mad for it ever since! I recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art from a fashion design course. Whilst there I learnt how to machine knit, which proved to be crazy addictive! I knitted the majority of my final collection there as well! Creating my own patterns and making the clothes for that had to be the hardest things I’ve ever made!

I’ve always loved being surrounded by creative people so will be excited to meet all of you sewers, knitters and crafters and see your amazing projects! I’m still on my knitting craze so that's what I’ll be making at the moment, and whizzing everything together on the overlocker! I also like to make recycled outdoors wear, this is me in a recycled parachute windbreaker.

Frida Frenzy

Everywhere we look there is Frida Kahlo designs to be seen! What are your thoughts on this latest trend or are you still a little unsure on who this famous mono brow lady even is…?

Who is Frida?

Considered one of the Mexico's greatest artist, Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, Mexico City, Mexico.  Frida painted many portraits, self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artefacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.


Sew Confident does Frida

Never wanting to miss a trend, here at Sew Confident we have created our very own, super cool item. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… Ladies & Gentleman, now available via the website or from our studios - A Frida hand embroidery kit!


Wanting to see what else we are loving? Check out below some of Colettes best finds! Just click the image to follow on to the website I found them on.

Have yourself a homemade Christmas.

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With Christmas FAST approaching it is time to start panicking about if it is acceptable to buy your Dad socks for the 4th year in a row.

To put it bluntly, NO! Gone are the days of buying pointless (often expensive) gifts that your loved ones might not even need.

With the word BREXIT bringing fear into peoples eyes and the thought of climate change ending the world by 2020, Colette & Jenny are here to tell you the best ways to save some pennies while still supplying the best Christmas gifts in the family and maybe saving a wee bit of the planet too!


Colette

For me, homemade gifts are a win-win! There are so many benefits to making your own such as;

  1. You often save some money because lets face it, we all have TONS of fabric lying around that we could use up.

  2. You have an excuse to take time out to sew/be creative

  3. No need to stress that the personal already has this item as it is one of a kind!

  4. People LOVE thoughtful, handmade gifts & even something like a simple tote bag is impressive to those who can’t sew.

  5. It can be good for the planet; This Christmas I want to create more eco-friendly, re-usable gifts!

When it comes to gift giving you should always play to your strengths (e.g. Sewing, knitting, painting etc) and if you haven’t yet found your creative strength there is still plenty of time. At our overlocker class you not only learn how to use these amazing machines, you also leave with a wear-able top - all in one night!! (I plan on making one of these for my cousin in a Harry Potter print since she is a BIG fan).

Time depending, I have made a rough list of what gifts I hope to make everyone, for example;

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  • Travel bag set for Dad, similar to the one I done for the blog ‘sew-along’!

  • Cosy Jumper for my Mum

  • Toys for the dogs made from old denim jeans

  • Basic coat for my Gran

  • Tie/pocket square for Grandad

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I am even hoping to make my own gift tags. This will allow me to use up any scraps made from my projects and a good excuse to do some fun machine embroidery. The tags can then be kept and used as Christmas tree decorations for the following year!

The ONE gift I will be buying is a small beginners sewing machine for my 5 year old cousin Summer who can’t wait to ‘be a fashion designer like her big cousin Coly’. I am already looking forward to what homemade gifts I will be receiving from her in a few years time…!


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Jenny

Well how do I follow on from Colette? I’ll give it a bash!

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I’m definitely feeling more inclined to put more thought into this years Christmas gifts and not just because my favourite Martin Lewis told us to! Maybe it’s because I’m getting older(ripe old age of 31) but I’m starting to value peoples time more and more, whether they choose to spend it with me or if they use it to make me something lovely - so that’s what I plan to do this year!

In my household I am the crafty one - no suprises there but my partner is an amazing cook so as far as gifts go we’re actually a good team! He’s going to make loads of lovely foody things like chutneys, jams, fancy olive oils and flavoured alcohols. On the cooking front I might make some biscuits because I am pretty obsessed with the videos that keep popping up on my instagram of people decorating them…watch this space to see whether the decorating ACTUALLY goes to plan, or if any of them actually make it out of the kitchen without me or Steve eating them ourselves!

Sewing wise I’m going to be utilising my favourite machine - the embroidery machine - to customise some bits and bobs! Just like our Personalised Christmas Pressie class! I’m also planning some hand embroidery embellished items because I have been LOVING doing hand embroidery all cosy on the sofa in the evening! There’s definitely still time for you to get involved with our Hand Embroidery classes in November and December!

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I’m keeping this brief because I don’t want to give away TOO much incase any of my gift recipients are actually reading this :p

Whatever you end up doing, make sure you crank up the Christmas tunes and have a lovely festive time while you do it. And if like me you make biscuits and end up eating them all before they make it into the gift bag then make sure you take an Instagram of it before the get demolished so at least people know you tried!

💀3 Halloween Sewing Tips No Other Sewing Tutor Will EVER Tell You!🎃😁

Halloween is a Nightmare!

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As someone who doesn't even have kids I know Halloween can be stressful.

So here's my top 3 last minute sewing tips, to give yourself a break this Halloween!

Leave those raw edges raw!

Ain't nobody got time for the perfect Halloween costume, and I mean literally! You might never wear this again so why are you so worried about raw edges and perfection? The fact you are making it is AMAZING and will mean your costume totally stands out anyway.

If fraying fabric DOES really annoy you then opt for fabric that doesn't fray! Most stretch fabric don't fray and, well they're stretchy so you or your kid can wear it again next year haha!

Use the 3 S's - Staplers, Sharpies, Safety Pins...

I think I just heard some season sew-ers GASP at this one? Let me explain.

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Most people are time poor. Most people are feeling a bit of pressure to make a costume for themselves or their kids and can't believe how quickly Halloween has come around so give yourself a break. As your sewing tutor AND friend I am giving you permission to absolutely WING IT!

Not got time to applique the eyes on that dog costume? Use a sharpie!

Hem fallen down on a grim reaper costume making it trail on the ground at the last minute? Use a stapler!

Has a seam burst on pirate costume the night before the party? Safety pin it!

If all else fails, buy one!

You might be getting the vibe from this email is mainly to GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! So if you totally run out of time and you have to buy something, so what? You'll be more prepared next time right?

Sewing is a great skill, it's so useful but most of all it should be enjoyable and it should de-stress you, if the opposite is happening my advice is to step away. You're not a failed parent for not spending 3 weeks on your kids Halloween Costume, and if you own a sewing machine but bought a costume so what?

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Got any hilarious Halloween related disasters or confessions? I want to hear them to make us all feel a bit better about not being the perfect human. Get in touch and let me know!

We still have a few spaces on this Fridays Halloween Inspired Sewcial in Glasgow? Want to join Jenny? Go here!

10 Sewing Room Organisation Tips

Got a wee guest blog for you today all about organising your sewing room! Check out Annabelle Short's 10 top tips out below. What do you think and what would you add?

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Organising the sewing room is very important for a sewing expert. When things are arranged accordingly, not only does it make your work easier, it also shows that you know what you are doing. In this post, I will show you ten ways you can arrange the sewing room that’ll give you a professional edge above others who tend to wallow in the disarray of their sewing tools.

Apart from the fact that having your tools scattered here and there doesn’t portray you as an expert, it is also quite risky. You might step on a sewing pin that is not supposed to be where it is. Also, as a professional, you need to acquaint yourself with your sewing labels and tags and how you can organize them. Therefore, below are the tips you need to stand out as an expert in your sewing profession.

Store your sewing tools properly

First and foremost store all your quilting tools close to your work area. This is very important because these are the tools you frequently use whenever you work. For instance, your quilting rulers should be kept together in one place, like hanging them on a bar near your cutting table.

Close observation of patterns

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Carefully observe how you use your patterns. There may be some patterns you frequently use. These favourite patterns, however, should be kept in a 3 ring binder to keep them organised and easy to find. Paper patterns, for example, can be organised in a mini binder by using small page protectors to easily see both the front and back covers as you flip through them.


Securely backup your patterns and designs

There are thousands of patterns to be used. For future use and easy access, always save a backup of your PDF/Epub patterns on your hard drives or Clouds. You can quickly get to them and print any kind of pattern you want to use. After printing, however, you should store the hard copies in cardboard magazine holders. It would be very unprofessional just to leave them lying around.

Maintain a minimalist workspace arrangement

Every once in a while, probably yearly, try to sort through all your quilting magazines and books. To avoid littering your holders, give out the ones you think you don’t need anymore. Local quilting guides are perfect places to donate the quilts you don’t need. I wouldn’t advise you throw them into the trash or incinerator for there might be people seriously in need of those books. It is noble to give them out to people who want them. You never can tell; you may even find what you need in these local quilting guides.

Keep only parts of a magazine you need

There are some situations where you would like some particular magazine patterns but do not want the whole magazine. What you have to do in this situation is very easy; just cut out the parts you want and put them in page protectors in a 3 ring binder. Simple.

Store your fabrics according to the frequency of usage

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In fabric storage, always store your fabrics according to how often you use them. This solely depends on your style of usage. Some experts reach for certain designers first while some others try to work within a specific style. Just store your fabric in a manner you find comfortable whenever you work with it.

Keep your buttons sorted and organised

Sort your buttons in two ways. You can separate them either by their sizes or colours. For instance, you can store bigger buttons in 5-inch jars and smaller ones (including other trinkets) in 3-inch jars.

Keep your threads and other tools handy

In creating your sewing station, put folded and spools of lace on the shelves close to the thread rack. This will allow you easy access to your thread and your materials. Also, set your sewing machine in a position where you would not have to be rising up much whenever you need to make use of a material or tool. You can set your station in the middle of the room where you can have easy access to thing around.

Sort your stored scraps

Like the buttons, scraps can also be stored based on color and size. Saving your scraps in scrap bins is easy. When you want to sort through your scrap project, you will quickly know which bin to carry out and sort through. Sorting through them is fun itself as you can effortlessly make a colorful mess in the course of searching for a particular size (or color) and just stuff everything back into the bins, close the lids and put them back in their shelves after finding the perfect scraps for your projects.

Keep accurate records

Lastly, always keep track of your tools, materials, and projects. You can have a book to input all the stuff you have; and as you use them, you keep a record of your usage. This will allow you to know which particular tool or material is getting exhausted and you can easily restock those ones you think have been expended. Keeping records of your sewing and allied activities is very important.



 

About the author: Anna Carter Short is a freelance writer and a seamstress of more than 5 years. She is a craft lover and would like to start an Etsy store soon. Annabelle is a mother and she loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. You can check here blog here: https://wunderlabel.co.uk/blog/ 

Quirky Quilting

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Hi - let me introduce myself! I’m Jo and I have started working with Sew Confident to spread the word about the wonderful world that is Quilting. We started with some beginners’ classes on the Bothwell and Glasgow studios this autumn (with Dundee already being up and running) and hope to bring you lots of exciting and new classes in 2019 so I hope we can find something that will suit everyone. Not just quilts too – you’d be surprised what you can make with so many scarps of fabric from repurposed shirts and the like. If you fancy giving a class a go we’d love to hear from you, or if you have any ideas what you’d like to try do let me know and we can see what exciting ideas we can come up with!

As you might be able to tell already I am somewhat of an enthusiastic quilter and have loved having this opportunity to bring this great and addictive hobby to some new stitchers. I’ve been quilting now for about 20 years, having previously been a keen dressmaker and cross stitch fan. However, once I started quilting there was no going back, and my wardrobe has sadly had to stay high street based, and the dressmakers form was resigned to the loft. (I have to say though its seen the light of day again recently have been inspired by the goings on at Sew Confident). I struggle to put my finger on it exactly, but there is something slightly magical about the whole quilt process that I adore and sitting surrounded by lots of little pieces of fabric and a reel of thread puts me in a very happy place. Of course, friends and family are very happy about this as not only does it keep me quiet and out of the hair, but they know they will never be cold and reckon they save hundreds on heating bills, having been bombarded with shed loads of quilty loveliness over the years….Learning to quilt is not as daunting as you may think and once you have the basics you can make quilts and lots of other great things which your friends will find instantly very impressive. The Sew Confident beginners course starts with a baby quilt, but back in the day I, like a mad woman, decided to start with a full blown double bed sized quilt!!

Looking back now it is a very traditional quilt, in very traditional colours, and I still love it, but now though, you’ll find me in a far more colourful world as we have seen a revolution in the quilt world, with the arrival of social media and the very active on line quilting community. Not only is this spreading the word to a wider and younger audience, but its giving us all so much great inspiration, with colour, shape and textures we may not have found in our local shop or book shop. Do check it out- you’ll be amazed.

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At the moment I am trying to design a quilt to submit for my first ever competition at QuiltCon (this probably sounds like the quilt world’s equivalent of being a geek but is in fact a fantastic annual get together of the Modern Quilt Guild). It’s quite a scary prospect but a good way to stretch myself, so watch this space! We’d love to hear from you if you think this is a craft that’s calling to you so why not drop us a note now.

You can also follow Jo on Instagram here!

Our Dundee Superstar, Sandra

As Sandra prepares to become our first EVER Sew Confident FRANCHISE! (How exciting) Here is everything you need to know about this Dundee Sewing Superstar.


So Sandra, What made you want to start sewing?

I'm a bit of a craft addict! I have tried out so many creative projects over the years and love to throw myself right into them, buy all the supplies and then fall out of love with it a couple of weeks later, i dread to think about the amount of money i must've spent over the years. I'm glad to say that sewing seems to have stuck around and i'm still discovering new things to make and new techniques/tips all the time.

Don’t worry it is safe to say we have all been there with the changing of hobbies! (Sewing is 100% the best anyway). How long you have been sewing?

My mum gave me her old Singer sewing machine to try out as it was just lying around the house gathering dust. I used it to make some soft toys which I sold at craft fairs before I managed to break it oops! I then bought my own machine and used it on and off for a few years making bits and pieces but never really got to know it fully or try out many new things. I would say I really got into sewing properly around 5 years ago when I made a quilt for my little boy. I'd never done anything like that before but I followed a weekly quilt-a-long on a blog I liked and in 6 weeks I had a quilt - he still uses it to this date and it still hasn't fallen apart yet haha!

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Aw that is lovely that your son still uses your first ever quilt! Do you have your own sewing space?

My sewing space until recently has been a small box room / cupboard upstairs in my house sandwiched between my two boy's bedrooms - it's small but does the trick! I guess the only problem is i can't really sew at night while they boys are asleep, this is one of the reasons i got hooked on hand sewing quilts and into English Paper Piecing my quilt tops. I'm now lucky enough to have an amazing garage conversion i can sew in - i'm still moving all my bits and pieces in there but it'll hopefully become a nice little creative hub for the Sew Confident Dundee gang!

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I am SO jealous of this new sewing space of yours! It also sounds like you have made a LOT, but do you have a favourite thing you have ever made?

That's a difficult one. I start a lot of projects and finish very few but I think perhaps my favourite quilt might be the Altitude Quilt i made for Dashwood Studios to showcase their Altitude fabric line. It was my first large hand pieced quilt, unfortunately it is no longer with me - it has gone missing somewhere boo hoo! Although my Poppies quilt and Polaroid quilt are strong contenders too! Quilt's aside it might have to be the top i made recently at the Overlocker class - i'm now totally in love with the overlocker and how quickly you can make clothes on it - complete convert!

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Wow, Those quilts seriously make me want to give quilting a go!! With ‘vloggers’ & instagram etc being more & more popular, do you have anyone or anything that inspires you?

I can spend hours trawling through hashtags on Instagram and getting lost discovering new ideas, colour ways and people to follow. 

I’m sure there is many, but what is your proudest Sewing Achievement?

I was recently asked to be featured in a book all about English Paper Piecing written by Florence Knapp (she's a bit of a big deal in quilting circles haha). There's a wee interview in there with me and a photo of one of my quilts. It was such an honour to be featured and amazing to see my work in print.

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No way, that is so cool! Well done!! So for those of you who might soon see you at one of our Dundee classes, How long you have worked at sew confident?

I taught my first Beginners Class in May 2017 and fell in love with teaching straight away, i mean what can be better than spending hours sharing your passion with lovely people and getting lots of tea and biccies at the same time! I have since taken the Beginners class, Baby Accessory class, Hand Embroidery, Machine Doodles, Rope Bowl, Memory Blanket. I mean i love it so much i have just agreed to take on the Dundee Franchise and cannot wait to get stuck right in and see just how much more sewing we can bring to the City - exciting times ahead!

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Cat Walk To Cutting Table - The Denim Jacket

The denim jacket is an indispensable wardrobe basic. Each year the denim jacket can be seen on the Cat Walk as a designer tries to put their own twist on the classic. Lately we have seen some classy, embellished jackets on Elie Saab A/W 18 catwalk.

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Here are some images from my first attempt at a 'denim' jacket which I made for my holiday. The pattern is from seamwork & called 'Audrey'. I also used the brand new Sew Confident original printed fabric - it looks so fun, I want to make one out of all 4 prints we have!

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It wasn't actually that easy to source heavy weight/good quality plain denim but having made this Jacket now myself, you might want to start with a lighter weight material until you have gave it a go. There is a good few layers, button holes etc so do also consider what your sewing machine can handle! The Elna 340s which we use in our studios worked great with my jacket.

To create your own version of the embellished Elie Saab jacket, you might want to go through your cupboard of rubbish & see if you still have one of these beauties.... (TOLD YOU IT WOULD COME IN HANDY ONE DAY MUM!!)

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Crazy For Corsets

Corsets Today

In todays society, corsets are usually only seen when it comes to costumes, stage performance or "waist training"; although a few do still buy or make them for the uses that they were designed for hundreds of years ago. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Madonna & Beyonce often wear corsets on stage while touring to add drama and femininity to their performances. High fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen have been seen regularly using corsets or similar in their collections. Among many celebrities, reality star Kim Kardashion uses a waist trainer to "achieve a small waist" (DO NOT TRY THIS NONSENSE AT HOME!)

You are more likely to see a corset 'inspired' fashion piece such as the one pictured below which can be purchased from ASOS.com. (I must admit I am not a fan of these 'fashion corset/wasbie, over the tshirt' looks but each to their own!)

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The History of Corsets

If you read online there is various conflicting reasons for why corsets were created. Was it to change a persons body shape? Was it to supports ladies chests? WAS IT TO HELP WITH BACK PAIN? I just don't know the correct answer so I am just going with what wikipedia says since that is OBVIOUSLY true...

"The earliest known representation of a possible corset appears on a Cretan figurine made in c.1600 BC. The article of clothing depicted might be perceived as a corset, but is worn as an outer garment, and leaves the breasts exposed."

"The corset first became popular in sixteenth-century Europe, reaching the zenith of its popularity in the Victorian era. While the corset has typically been worn as an undergarment, it has occasionally been used as an outer-garment; corsets as outer-garments can be seen in the national dress of many European countries


Want to know more or learn how to make your own corset?

Whether you just want to push your sewing skills to the limit, have an interest in historical fashion or want to wear your handmade corset this is the class for you! Our fabulous tutor Emma with take you through the practical corset making process whilst also telling you all about the history of corsets - she's an expert!

At this course you will learn:

  • Corset Tailoring
  • Toile fitting
  • Pattern alterations
  • Working with synthetic whale boning and steel boning.
  • Hand finishing skills
  • Inserting eyelets.
  • History of corsets

To find out more or book on, follow the yellow bric...ok just follow this link: https://bookeo.com/sewconfidentglasgow?devent=42552P9MXRP164ACFAFAD4_2018-10-20_8cCcV6gciO0w