Capsule Wardrobe: The Top (Free pattern included!)

After covering all things coats and jackets in the last capsule wardrobe blog post, it is time to move on to one of the essentials: Tops. Whether its’s shirts, vest tops, blouses, bralets or off the shoulder - you can’t leave the house without one. (Well you could, but it isn’t exactly seen as socially acceptable).

In my opinion a top can make or break and outfit…I’d even go as far to say it is the most seen item of clothing you will wear, if you think about it. Sitting at a desk/restaurant or in photos, it is normally the next thing people will notice after your face.

That is why when planning your ‘me-made’ capsule wardrobe it is important to not only pick something versatile but something that will also show off your style at a glance.

In this quick blog post I am going to tell you about one of the tops I am going to create, and which some of you might already have made; the hemlock tee! This is the beauty that we cover in our overlocker class and it is just a great dress-up or dress-down item. The pattern is by Grainline Studio and best of all, it is FREE! You can download it for yourself >> here <<

What I love about this pattern (along with the fact is is free), is that by simply changing the fabric you make it in, it almost looks like a totally different design! So don’t be scared to experiment with various weights of jersey or bold/fun prints. You can also mess around with the size/length of this top making it go from off the shoulder crop top to front knot tied cami !

Wanting to try one for yourself but unsure about where to start when it comes to stretch fabrics or the overlocker? Just give us a shout!

Sew Confident Founder Jenny modelling some of her lovely hemlock tee makes!

Taking part in this months capsule wardrobe theme? Remember to tag us @sewconfident and use the hashtag #SCcapsulewardrobe to win some prizes and be shared on our social media pages and mailing list. Not yet on our mailing list? Sign up here to be the first to hear about all things Sew Confident and receive some mailing list only deals.

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

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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SUMMER IS COMING...slowly. - PS, FREE PATTERNS

There may still be some slushy snow on the ground but my head is already thinking ahead to Summer and booking as many holidays as my small bank balance can afford!

When it comes to holiday there is nothing more annoying than turning up at ocean beach in Ibiza (or even your hotel pool in Benidorm) wearing the same swimwear as everyone else. Maybe it is just me, but I would much rather be tanning myself up in a unique fun bikini than comparing myself to 4 different girls all in the same Primark 2-piece as me.

Sure there is a lot of online independent designers making more unique swimwear but at AT LEAST £40 a pop, it is money I would much rather be putting towards on a first class flight out of here (ok maybe a £9.99 Ryanair flight...)

Lucky for those who are still with me on this fashion faux pas, I have found 4 FREE, YES FREE!, swimwear patterns to make your own .

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When it comes to making swimwear it is important to consider the following: 

  • How do you make a swimsuit?
  • What fabric do you need to buy to make swimwear?
  • Where can you buy swimwear fabric?
  • Where to source hardware?
  • Sanitary requirements for swimsuits?
  • Where to buy hygienic liners?
  • Standard swimsuit sizing?

Modern swimwear is sewn with knit fabrics. Most readily available fabric that’s labeled as “swimsuit fabric” is a combination of nylon and spandex: The nylon is lightweight, easy to care for and dries quickly. The spandex gives it stretch and allows for a figure-hugging fit. Most swimwear fabrics are 80 to 90 percent nylon and 10 to 20 percent spandex.

This type of knit fabric is woven to create a four-way stretch, which means the fabric will stretch about 60 to 70 percent in either direction. Be sure to check for adequate stretch in your fabric. Plus, if your fabric has a print or pattern, see what happens to the pattern when stretched, so that the print looks good all over your finished swimsuit.

When shopping for swimsuit fabrics, check the section labeled “dance wear” or “exercise wear.” This is usually where you’ll find nylon-spandex blends along with various linings. Whichever fabric you choose for your, swimsuit make sure you carefully choose the other components like elastics, thread and lining. Swimsuit elastics are available and have resistance to the degradation of pool chemicals and sunshine. If lining your swimwear, choose one which has similar properties of stretch and fiber content as your main fabric. 

OK! ENOUGH OF THE BORING (but important) INFORMATION, HERE ARE THE FREE PATTERNS:

1. Free Bikini Triangle Top Pattern - How to make it in 8 easy steps -
http://www.sirenapatterns.com/blog/2016/7/11/diy-bikini-triangle-top

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2. Ruched 2 piece Bikini from Sew Mama Sew- http://www.sewmamasew.com/2011/05/summer-sewing-free-swimsuit-pattern-tutorial/

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3.  Free pattern and tutorial: triangle bikini from Pattydoo

 https://www.pattydoo.de/en/blog/2015/07/free-pattern-and-tutorial-triangle-bikini

4. Small collection of basic swimsuit blocks from ralphpink.

https://www.ralphpink.com/free-swimwear-sewing-patterns/

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Lots of love, Colette x

Dress Like Royalty For Less

Who doesn't love Prince Harry?! And it seems everyone loves his Bride-to-be (and previously, suits actress) Meghan Markle, who today joined the Queen and senior royals for her first official engagement with the monarch.

Often hitting headlines for her outfit choices, Meghan isn't the first member of (soon to be) royalty that everyone is obsessed with - who can forget Princess Dianas AMAZING outfits?! 
 

As Miss Markle was pictured today heading to Westminster Abbey this afternoon, social media was going crazy for her jacket pictured below. I took it upon myself to find where this Jacket was from as I ALWAYS look at something and wonder how much it would cost me to make. (I'm hoping i'm not the only one who does this...)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave following the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon (Monday 12th March - 2018)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave following the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon (Monday 12th March - 2018)

 

I found the exact coat Meghan Markle is wearing on www.amandawakeley.com . This cream sculpted tailoring crombie coat would only set you back £895... bargain eh? FEAR NOT, I am about to suggest various patterns & fabrics which will allow you to make this key waredrobe piece for much, much less!

 

 


The Patterns

I have found 3 different patterns, none of which are an EXACT match but could be easily manipulated to be! With the most expensive pattern being £8.99 and all 3 coming with various other patterns...we are already on to a winner with our budget royalty knock-off!

K4225 MISSES' PRINCESS SEAM JACKET AND COAT - £8.99

NL6163 MISSES SEPARATES | EASY - £6.95

BD8292  MISSES' COAT - £7.19

The Fabric

Again I didn't spend a lot of time on finding the BEST fabric, if you go to do this for yourself i'm sure you will find something to suit you better but in the mean time, here is some possible fabric options: 

1. Designer 'Lady McElroy' Graceful Cream Wool Mix Felt Coating - £29.50 p/m  - Available from www.sherwoodsfabrics.co.uk

2. LIVIA - A Superior High-Demand Pure Wool with Stretch - £17.90 p/m - Available from www.sherwoodsfabrics.co.uk 

3. 'Soft Coat Fabric In Cream' - £8.95 p/m - Available from www.myfabrics.co.uk 


Going for even the most expensive pattern and fabric that I have found, you can make a version of this Meghan Markle coat for under £100!

Be sure to send us in a photo to hello@sewconfident.co.uk if you decide to give this a go at home, and if you would like some help remember you can come along to one of our pattern classes or monthly sew-cials

Lots of love, Colette x

Sew Confident sew-along! (Week 1)

WELCOME!

This first week is just more of an introduction, I will tell you where I got everything I needed for the project...my chosen fabrics...why I picked this pattern for the sew-along and more!

We will be making the 'Portside travel set' from Grainline studio. (available here) I picked this pattern, since as we all know, 'WINTER IS COMING' (said in the best game of throne voice of course) which means it is time to start thinking about Christmas gifts.

I like this pattern as it would make a lovely gift for ladies and gents & there is endless possibilities on fabrics you can mix & match to make it look totally different each time! I also picked this pattern as I think people would be more interested in giving themselves a bit of a challenge while still being able to get a bit of help too! I haven't had a test run at making this set yet myself so who knows...maybe you lot will be giving me hints and tips!!

Where I got everything I need

  • The pattern - Grainline studio
  • The interfacing - Sewconfident website
  • The Zips - smaller zips from Sew Confident, (large 21" zip I got on ebay!)
  • D rings - Sew Confident
  • Swivel clips - Sew Confident
  • Fabric 1 - Canvas fabric from Ikea (only £4 a metre!!)
  • Fabric 2 - Fake leather look fabric from The Cotton Print Factory (£7 a metre)
  • Lining - Remenant kings
  • Webbing for straps - For the sizes mentioned in the pattern I ordered this on ebay in big 10m rolls as it worked out cheaper than buying just the 2m ... guess ill just make a few bags!

What is the sew along all about?

The sew-along is all about bringing all us sewing lovers together and helping/showing off to each other our great talent!! I will be posting an update of my progress once a week for about 3 weeks (maybe more if anyone joining in wants extra tips!) So make sure you tag us in any photos/videos on any of your social media and use the hash tag #SCsewalong !


If you have any questions just drop me an e-mail -  colette@sewconfident.co.uk ,

Love Colette x

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Ultimate Sew-ers Guide to Halloween

So it's almost Halloween, and if you are a customer of mine you have already armed yourself with the ULTIMATE Halloween skills...the art of sewing! Those of you who know me might have witnessed my competitive side, if there is a costume competition on the go YOU(my lovely Sew Confident Customer) are winning it and here is how!

1. We've got to assume that someone with  bit of imagination is judging this. I honestly think it should be some kind of social law that costumes from a shop be immediately disqualified. No imagination. So already that wipes out about 75%* of the competition. The odds are in our favour already!

*These statistics are made up

2. Since 75%* of the party have shop bought costumes, and most shop bought costumes are TERRIBLE, you're costume is going to look amazing in comparison. I mean how many crap witches will you be up against?!

*These are still made up
 

Be better than this crap witch!

Be better than this crap witch!

3. The WORLD is your costume oyster! If you want to go out dressed as a cheque book, you can do it. A biscuit? No bother. A map of the world, absolutely! Think outside the box and you're already halfway to winning. 

4. Anything is actually possible. You can combine sewing skills with papier mache and tin foil, maybe you'll even embroider some parts. Are you wondering how? Let me tell you how I made my favourite bacon and egg costume.

sew confident bacon and egg

The story here is I actually had a mermaid costume until my friend who lived in London at the time announced she was coming up and was up for coming out for Halloween. So after a few texts back and forward I had offered my skills to make two ridiculous costumes.

These are SO simple. You need the heaviest interfacing you can find. It's almost like a fabricy cardboard but you can sew through it. Draw your shape straight onto the interfacing. Cut a back and a front that are exactly the same shape and size except for the head hole(which is only on the front). Cover your front piece and back piece with cheap white fabric. Stitch all the way around the outside and around the head hole. Now Cut out and stitch on your red or yellow bit. You can even use fusible web or fabric glue for this bit. Place your front pieces and back pieces wrong sides together and stitch around the edges leaving space for your arms and your legs of course!

YOU HAVE A COMPETITION WINNING COSTUME!

Of course If you have an idea or you want to make your own Bacon and Egg you can come along to our Halloween Costume Workshop here

5. If all else fails and you run out of time to make a costume, remember all you need is a white sheet with two eye holes and you are STILL better than a shop bought witch!

 

 

Easy Ombre Cushions | Sewing Tutorial

Spring has almost sprung, it actually smells different outside today doesn't it? Here's a quick tutorial on make the cutest spring inspired ombre mini cushions!
 

sew confident ombre cushions
sew confident ombre cushion

You Will Need:

- You can use any fabric you like, I found these ombre tea towels in Primark of all places and had to buy them. The cost £3.50 for 3 and are the perfect size to make some tiny cushions. If you are buying regular fabric you will need 0.4 metre per cushion.
- 1.5 metres pom poms

Making the Cushion:

1. You will be cutting 1 square and 2 rectangles from your fabric. I am covering little cushions that measure 35cm x 35cm. You need a front piece that is the entire size of your cushion plus 1cm seam allowance all the way round. One that is half the width of your front piece plus seam allowance and one that is 3/4 the width of your front piece plus seam allowance. So the pieces I am cutting out are:

Front: 35 x 35cm + seam allowance = 37 x 37cm
Back 1/2 piece: 35 x 17.5cm + seam allowance = 37 x 19.5cm
Back 3.4 piece: 35 x 26.5cm + seam allowance = 37 x 28.5cm

2. Cut your pieces and zig zag or overlock all the raw edges to stop the fraying.

3. Now pin your pom poms to the right side of the front square piece. Line up the edges of the pom pom to the edges of the fabric and stitch in place using a straight stitch and a zip foot.
 

4. Lay your 1/2 piece and 3/4 piece next to each other right side up. If you have a pattern make sure they are the right way up as you look at them. The two inner most edges (i'm pointing to below) need to be hemmed. Turn them in by 1cm and stitch. You can use a straight stitch or a fancy one! I used a straight stitch on the 3/4 piece and a fancy one on the 1/2 piece as this is the piece you will see on the outside.

Sew Confident envelope cushion tutorial
sew confident envelope cushion cover tutorial

5. Lay your front square piece in front of you right side up. Take you 1/2 piece and lay it right side down on top of the square piece. Ensure hemmed edge is in the middle.
 

Sew Confident easy cushion cover

6.  Now lay the 3/4 piece on top right side down with the hemmed edge in the middle again.

sew confident easy cushions tutorial

7. Now pin and stitch all the way around the outside. You will need to put your zip foot on again. Stitch using a 1cm seam allowance and a straight stitch. Now turn out and you have a cushion cover!

sew confident easy cushion cover tutorial

To make it even easier you can skip the pom pom step. This is the easier and quickest cushion you will ever make. Send me a photo of yours!

Jenny x