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


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.

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!

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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Tracey The Terrific Tutor

HOW IS IT AUGUST ALREADY? 2018 is sure flying in, but another month almost over means its time to meet another lovely Sew Confident customer...or in this case, past customer and current Sew Confident TUTOR x

Everyone say a big hello to Tracey! Now some of you may recognise Tracey, as after starting out as a Sew Confident customer she is now actually one of our tutors!

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1.    So Tracey, How long have you been sewing?

Nearly 6 years

2.     Why did you start sewing?

My son has Down's Syndrome, and when he was born and diagnosed one of the first things I read was that his legs and arms would be shorter so I had a sudden need to sew, so that he would never have baggy trousers

3.   That is such a great reason,  What sewing project are you most proud of?

I made a coat for a little boy with additional needs that was adapted to incorporate the framing on his arm

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4.     That jacket is AMAZING, that was so nice of you! What do you friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

I'm not sure, they don't ask me to do much for them, they know me too well...

5.     I'm sure they are all very impressed with your skills! What sewing accessory could you not live without?

My quilting ruler, I use it for EVERYTHING!

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6.     If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Stop doubting yourself, stop being afraid to try something and fail, it's how you learn

7.     That is some great advice! Talking of failing...Have you had any sewing disasters?

I could write a book, many many sewing disasters. One made my son a pair of jeans and when it came to near the end I had to over lock the edge of the faux fly, I forgot to turn the blade off on my overlocker and cut the leg in half 🤣. I once sewed a circle skirt to the bodice of a dress, but to the neckline instead of the waist. It was stretch velvet so impossible to unpick

8.     Haha, You could have passed it off as some over exaggerated clown coller! How many classes have you attended at Sew Confident?  What was your favourite and why?

I'm not sure actually, quite a few. The intermediate class was really the point where I gained the confidence to sew without supervision. I love the sewcial too, it's great to sew with like minded people and make some new friends.

9.     What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

I really want to start tailoring and make a gown. I just want to keep improving and trying new things

10.  Well you defiantly have the skills to tackle a gown, that's for sure.What projects do you have on the go right now?

Im a master sewcrastinator. I have a few jersey dresses, a woven dress and a purse on the go and I'm. Putting together a pattern for a pair of jeans.

11.  'Sewcrastinator', love that haha! Finally Tracey, What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

Do it !! Don't be afraid to give it a go and don't be afraid of making mistakes, it's how you learn!

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If you think Tracey seems great fun (which she is!) be sure to join on our beginners or hoodie classes to say Hello!

RELAXATION

As every day now seems to be 'international something another', today is actually International Relaxation Day! Sadly due to this fast paced society we now live in it is easy to forget to take a few minutes to yourself and actually chill out. 

1. Being Active/YOGA

Now if you are anything like me you will be sick of hearing people saying to you, 'You should go to the GYM it will make you feel so much better!!'. YES I KNOW THIS BUT IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!! Seriously though, if you have the dedication to get into the gym it does actually help. If you struggle to find dedicated time or not got the funds to join your local gym, I have found watching Yoga/Pilate videos on youtube great. Even better you can find ones which are as short as 5 minutes...Perfect to do inbetween waiting on your microwave meal to cook! 

Or... You can be like Jenny & fit your yoga poses in while reaching for your fav bottle of wine!

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2. Having a hobby

Not that I am biased or anything...but what has helped me a lot over the years when it comes to trying to relax is anything creative such as SEWING! It is so easy to zone out & not worry about lifes stresses since you are too busy making sure you don't make a mistake & need to dig the seam ripper out!

Good ol' Science also has many studies which say activities such as sewing, knitting etc are very good for not only relaxing but also improving brain function - WIN WIN!

 

3. Nature

Ever experience those 'awe moments' were you just let out a happy wee sigh? I find I get that most often when out and taking a minute or two to just take in the nature around me. Might sound ridiculous but you should give it a try! Seeing a squirrel running about in the garden, a massive belter of a sunflower or, my favourite, amazing sun sets/sun rises will easily put a smile on your face & let you relax for a moment!

4. Good Company

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Sometimes it is hard to get out of a rut/relax on your own as you sometimes need a bit of motivation or someone to vent to. It is an obvious one but hanging out with family or your best friends doing something you all enjoy is one of the best ways to chill out! Your friends are often busy? Well linking back to number 2.' Having a hobby', you will find various classes or groups which will allow you to be in the company of like minded folk & even let you make some new friends! 

This was the idea behind our monthly 'Sewcials' as, from personal experience, I have never had any friends who enjoy sewing & I could get together with. Now I have tons who often come along to our monthly sewcials which I can not only talk all things sewing with but it motivates me to get creative!

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5. Cooking

I can't say I have any experience with this one as the best thing I can make is a cheese toasty, but I have been told from many that one of their favourite ways to relax is to get cooking! I suppose it is similar to sewing in the way you can get so in to what you are making you don't have time to worry about anything else & you have some yummy food to enjoy at the end!

PS. Thank you to Laura (@missyouonamonday) for sending us this AMAZING looking cake from her latest baking blog post!

Why I’ve Vowed to be a Selfish Sewer!

Why I’ve Vowed to be a Selfish Sewer!

Guest blog post from Sew Confident Customer, Amanda.

 

This week I have completed the Friday Pattern Company Joni jumpsuit with the Sew Along live, made two pairs of shorts for my little girls & got along the Sew your Own Bikini class! Epic sewing week! I’m so chuffed to have gotten so much done and tackled new projects and techniques!! Winner! I think it feels particularly good, because this week I also completed my last EVER paid for sewing work & I can honestly say I’m delighted!
I started sewing for me, and me alone! I’ve been a stay at home mum for 4 years and learning to sew gave me a challenge, got me out of the house, taught me new
skills and gave me a sense of achievement. Initially I focused on making clothes for my daughters, Grace & Ella. I discovered the amazing Jilly Atlanta patterns for girls
and made the girls so many little blouses and pinafores. It seemed every time we went anywhere everyone commented on their outfits, insisting I should sell them!
Obviously this is beyond lovely, for a novice sewer to hear and I very quickly had dreams of my little empire.

 

 


So, I did it! It was easy, I got a little Instagram account, sent a few freebies to some
‘mummy bloggersʼ and before I knew it the orders were coming in!
Initially I was buzzing, but very quickly I felt so under pressure. Making things for my
own girls had been a joy, it had been fun and creative, but suddenly I was
scrutinising every seam, worrying about fit not to mention competing with more
similar instagram shops than I could ever imagine! It was stressed beyond belief and
I hadnʼt made a single thing for me or my girls in months!
Now, all this might have been fine if I was living a life of luxury with all my new found
earnings, but let me tell you I wasn’t even close! I was covering my costs, but if I
was to actually factor in paying myself for my time I was actually at a loss.
I found, to my surprise my little business of dreams was actually crushing my
creativity. It was boring, a one woman production line churning out the same again &
again & again.


On the plus side I was sewing more than ever. The order book dictated that I needed
to sew every day, but far from being the stuff of dreams, it was a chore, although, my
sewing was getting better with every order. I had more confidence, but this actually
made me resent the orders even more. With my increased skill set I wanted to tackle
new more difficult patterns, make things for myself and actually wear them. Fabric
shopping and pattern buying became my joy, my little pleasure, but it was all just
sitting there in an ever increasing pile! I lost myself in the Instagram accounts of
@SewMeSunshine, @I_seam_sew_happy_xx and Sew Confidentʼs very own
@made_by_amrit. I took note of new pattern ideas & fabric shops. Iʼd spend a
fortune (donʼt tell my husband!) on patterns & fabrics, but made nothing that was
actually for myself.

So, in May I decided to take no more orders and get back to the buzz of sewing for
me and my girls and itʼs a thrill again! Iʼd honestly forgotten how good it is to sit at the
machine for pleasure
, for me. To escape into the pattern, sit there with a cuppa & the
radio on and just enjoy it! Iʼve got major catching up to do, a hit list of makes and I
canʼt wait to get cracking with them!

It would still be a dream to find a way to make a living out of sewing, but safe to say
sewing for others is not the way for me!

This is @marthashappilyeverafter (mummy blogger) little girl on her 1st birthday wearing one of my outfits...this was a high point!!

This is @marthashappilyeverafter (mummy blogger) little girl on her 1st birthday wearing one of my outfits...this was a high point!!

Amandas Pattern Hit List:

'Seamwork' Heidi shorts

'Simple Sew' Shannon shorts

 'Tilly & The Buttons' Bettine

'Vogue' very easy dress (V9312)

'Vogue' Very easy jumpsuit (V9321)

'By Hand London' Charlotte skirt!

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

March Sew-er of the Month - JANE

Say a Big Hello to Sew Confident Loyal - Jane!

1. So Jane, How long have you been sewing?

I’ve always wanted to learn to sew and I took a short beginners class about 2 years ago.  I loved it but wanted to do more and I wanted to make things that I’d actually wear/use. About a year ago I found Sew Confident and haven’t looked back since!!

2. Why did you start sewing?

I’ve always wanted to sew my own clothes.  You know when you see that ‘almost’ perfect outfit but wish the sleeves were a bit different, the length was longer/shorter  or it was in a different material. I just think it is amazing to be able to alter or make your own clothes to be exactly what you personally want.

3. Sounds like we could have a future fashion designer in our classes... What sewing project are you most proud of?

I love my wee 2 piece suit from Colette’s Co-ord class.  The material is so nice and it’s fleecy on the inside so keeps me nice and cosy!!  Colette taught me how to incorporate the fringing detail from the edge of the fabric and I think it looks really fab!  My own version of a Channel jacket!! I also like my coat I made at the pattern class – it was a bit adventurous and the 1st time I’ve done something that is lined, but I think it turned out ok.

4. Both your co-ord and jacket look AMAZING! You will be giving Channel a run for their money in no time. What do your friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

I think they’re just astonished I can do it!!  Haha. I remember showing my Mum some fabric I got one day.  I was so excited about it that I went ahead and cut a wrap dress out that night and sewed it up.  She couldn’t believe it when she saw the finished dress the very next day!! No one has really asked me to hem anything yet – maybe they’re waiting for me to build my skills up!!

5. That is so nice, there really is no better feeling than saying you made something yourself! SO, What sewing accessory could you not live without?

Jenny and Colette on speed dial!! ☺ haha! Actually – this is a bit silly, but since Jenny taught me how to use the needle threader on my machine, I can’t live without it!!  I don’t think I can actually thread the machine needle by myself anymore!

 

6. You know you are more than welcome to drop us a message or e-mail whenever you need!! Next question, If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Probably a bit predictable but...Just keep sewing and don’t worry too much about mistakes.  No-one else notices them! I think I put myself under pressure to make everything absolutely perfect but you’ll never get any better unless you keep practising.

7. Since your beginner days, have you had any sewing disasters?

Yes! Loads!  I can be a bit slap dash so end up unpicking things all the time!!

8. Sadly I think the unpick is most sew-ers best friend!! How many classes have you attended?

I’m a bit addicted to attending classes!!  My first was the shirt dress class which was amazing.  Lovely people on it (looking at you Amanda and Amrit!) and it was the first time I’d been able to make something I actually wanted to wear!  I’ve done the overlocker for beginners, underwear class, Advent Calendar class, 5 week Pattern class (with another amazing bunch of people) , 121’s and Colette’s Co-ord class.  I’ve got the Initial hand embroidery class coming up which looks amazing. I adore the ‘Sewcial’s’ too and get to as many as possible. One of the best things about every class is the lovely people you meet – we’ve had some great chat and interesting stories.

9. That is a LOT of classes, You really are a Sew Confident Loyal!! What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

My dream is to be able to draft my own patterns – just think up a design and be able to draft a pattern and make it.  I’d also like to become more skilled in altering bought patterns to fit me the way I want. At my last 121 with Jenny we drafted a pattern for a jersey skirt (I have a new obsession with the pattern master – what a piece of kit!!) and it’s fab – I’d like to do more of that.

10. **Takes note of future pattern drafting class idea**...What projects do you have on the go right now?

I’m so naughty for starting loads of projects at one time!!  I tried to focus myself this year with the ‘make 9 in 2018’ challenge.  I’ve already finished some – next one to finish is the Sew Over It Eve dress – I’m taking that one to the next Sewcial for a bit of help!

11. We are excited to see you & your project along at the Sewcial! Last question, What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

DO IT!  It is so relaxing and de-stressing, it’s an amazing skill to have and you’ll meet some really lovely people.

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

Attending this course will save you AT LEAST £100

I love our curtains class, but instead of just believing my slightly biased review(free lunch SAY WHAT?!) I thought I would demonstrate the kind of money you can save by booking yourself on. Feel that £65 is a bit expensive to attend a curtain making class? I have got some visual calculations for you to prove that it is 110% worth attending!

You can attend the BEST CURTAIN CLASS EVER  for just £65!

In this one day curtain class you will learn how to make lined curtains to fit a pole or a rail. We will be talking about the different header tapes, different linings and also how to measure your window and calculate your fabric requirements. We will be making small sample curtains in this class. You will leave with the skills and confidence required to make your own beautiful curtains! Header tapes are included in the price of this class, all you need to bring is fabric for the mock curtains. This can be from an old pair of existing curtains, or cheap cotton sheeting fabric - THERE IS ALSO A FREE LUNCH!

If you are wondering whether the class is worth it, take in to consideration how much it can cost you to buy around 6 sets of curtains to furnish your house, you will be saving yourself a FORTUNE in the long run! Still not convinced? Below are 3 quick examples I put together to show just how much you can save.

Example #1

2 sets of the John Lewis curtains = £240

2 Sets self-made curtains = £81.65 materials + £65 curtain class = £146.65

Remember that your curtain class skills will enable you to continue making curtains forever, think of the savings?!

W167 x Drop 228cm - £120  , JOHN LEWIS

W167 x Drop 228cm - £120  , JOHN LEWIS

£17.75 per metre

£17.75 per metre


Example #2

2 sets of ready made John Lewis curtains = £300

2 sets of self-made curtains = £80.50 + £65 curtain class = £145.50

**Personally, for this example I think the fabric I sourced would make a much nicer set of curtains than the ready made ones! Another advantage of learning to make your own, they can be as fun and unique as you like!**

W167 x Drop 228cm - £150 , John lewis

W167 x Drop 228cm - £150 , John lewis

£17.50 a metre

£17.50 a metre


Example #3

2 sets of ready made John Lewis curtains = £360

2 sets of self-made curtains = £82.80 + £65 curtain class = £147.80

W167 x Drop 228cm - £180

W167 x Drop 228cm - £180

£18 per metre

£18 per metre


As I mentioned, this was just me quickly picking some ready made curtains from John Lewis... If you were looking to have these curtains made to a certain size you are looking at DOUBLE the price of ready made... and around 4x the price of learning to/making your own! 

Having created this blog, I know i'll be making my own curtains and blinds for my future home!

Colette x

Sew Confident sew-along! (Week 2)

WELCOME BACK

 

So hopefully by now you have downloaded your PDF and done the long boring part of putting together the pattern and cutting out all the fabric.

At our 'Sew-cial' on Friday evening I joined the class &  made a start on the outside shell of the duffel bag. The first problem I came across was that the instructions said my webbing should have been hanging over the end piece of fabric...mine was not...BUT when things like this happen, do not stress! As you can see from the photos once I attached the D ring there was more than enough webbing to do the job. (Wither I was wrong or the instructions were who knows for sure.)

I was worried my stitching wouldn't be very neat due to so many thick layers & using materials like the canvas webbing which I have never handled before but the Elna 340 machine worked a treat. I was pretty pleased with how well and tidy it was coming together though & once I started to see it coming together I began to love my choice of fabrics even more!

side.jpg

Once the ends and 2 sides were complete the instructions say to go straight in to attaching the sides to the zip. Now normally I love putting in zips...THIS ZIP ON THE OTHER HAND... I must have unpicked and redone the zip about 4 times until I was happy with it as I felt doing it the topstitching way as suggested didn't leave the finish as neat as my previous stitching.

zip problem.jpg

Am I being to harsh/a perfectionist? Possibly! haha but even sew-ers with experience can struggle at times too and there would be no point me showing my progress if I didn't show the rough parts too. 

Hope to see how some of you are getting on and I will post blog number 3 next week!!

Remember there is still plenty of time to join in... ;)

 Colette x

duffle bag shell.jpg

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

IMG_20171103_171639.jpg

3 Genius Ways To Banish Stress in your 30s(or 40s, or 50s OR 60s)!

3-ways-to-manage-stress-in-your-30s

I wonder if you know anyone in their 30s right now who isn't plagued with stress of some sort. Whether you are smashing down the career path(or not, right?) or hectic at home with family life we're all familiar with that head-in-a-vice feeling. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can't avoid stressful situations forever but you can teach yourself how to manage them. Here's 3 ways banish stress in your 30s!

1. Eat Your Way to a Life of OM(nom nom)

food-to-relieve-stress

Ok so maybe that doesn't make much sense but I was looking for a zen related food pun and that's the best I can do. It's true though, you can alter your diet slightly to help relieve stress and anxiety! Here's what Lorraine McCreary from Diet Scotland says:

"Some foods are rich in elements (Tryptophan) that can boost our production of feel good
hormones like Serotonin. Increased production of serotonin helps us to relax, sleep and feel
less anxious.

Oats, Soy, Sesame seeds. Poultry, Seafood, Pork and Spinach are just some foods that are
rich in Tryptophan.

Eating oily fish will provide you with healthy cardio protective fatty acids (OmegaIII) that we
often do not get enough of. Fatty acids are vital for a healthy nervous system and a healthy
nervous system reduces anxious episodes."

Sounds like an excuse to go out for Sushi, as if we even needed one!

2. Laughing, even if its fake!

We all know laughing makes us feel good but apparently it can even make you feel good when it's fake! We all know exercise can help de-stress by releasing endorphins but did you know having a right good giggle can do the same?! It doesn't even have to be genuine but in our experience fake laughing is so ridiculous that you'll be real laughing in no time.

Here's a bonus GIF of Ryan Gosling having a giggle - you are welcome.

3. Finally, Get Sewing!

3-ways-to-reduce-stress-sewing

The ultimate(we think) stress busting mechanism is to learn to sew! We're biased at Sew Confident but there is science behind this, and loads of customers come back time and time again to enjoy the proven de-stressing qualities sewing can bring.

"Dr. Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind/body medicine and author of The Relaxation Response, says that the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga."
He then goes on to talk about how the craft can even reduce harmful levels of the stress hormone cortisol!

We also know you benefit from "bursting with pride syndrome" after completing your first item. You can't even imagine how immensely satisfying it is to wear something you've made and have someone ask where you bought it. It's probably the best feeling ever. This also applies to home furnishings and quilts - we can teach you all of these!

We combine ALL THREE stress busting elements in our class, we have sewing(obviously) laughing(definitely) AND hobnobs...which have oats in. I'll admit that is a bit of a loose link there and perhaps not EXACTLY what tip number 1 meant but I'm going with it!

Check out all our classes here!

What is your favourite stress busting tip?

Jenny x