I bought a triple pack of patterns from By Hand London, one of which being the Victoria Blazer (and another being the Anna dress whilst it was still available on paper). I was drawn to the casual fit of the blazer and like the three variations that you can create with the pattern, even though it was rated above my skill level. I chose the cropped variation for my first blazer so that I could throw it over summer dresses at the many christenings I was invited to and also wear it with jeans for barbecues….and ended up wearing it all summer.
This month’s Sewing Made Simple magazine and my first print publication:
Clearly a notable feature to be mentioned off the bat is an article written by yours truly! (more on that in a bit)
Sewing Made Simple is a ‘bookazine’ that is released every 8 weeks. It includes patterns and dressmaking tips (and is particularly good for those of us just starting out, wanting to make clothes that fit current fashion too). I like to look in magazines like this one, and their sister publication ‘Love Sewing’, mainly for inspiration and simple patterns I can actually complete. I was completely surprised to be asked to write an article…writing for anyone other than myself is something I had never considered. Obviously I agreed before they could change their minds, then started thinking about how I would actually transition from blog to print.
You can create fabulous photographs for your blog without spending a penny. Yes, for free. When I started blogging I had no idea how important, or difficult, it was to create stunning images to enhance content and engage readers. As you can probably tell it's something I am still working on! (Seriously, have a look at what I did a year ago to recently). I look a lot at what other people create online and try to figure out how they managed it. At first I was a little disheartened because a lot of what I see on popular blogs comes from bloggers who have come with amazing skills in photography, along with equipment and software that I'm frankly not able to invest in to the same level. I had to figure out some alternatives for creating blog images on a budget instead. Here are my 5 golden rules.
Entering the world of sewing and dressmaking is incredibly exciting, but somewhat daunting too. There is a whole new language to learn, and a fair amount of equipment that you need to get making. You can have a read of some ways to get into sewing on this blog and decide for yourself but one thing I have noticed, whether starting with a book or a course, is that there are always lists of what you need. Which is great, but... I never really knew if I was getting the right thing, and have spent money on equipment that isn't up to the job. So, here is my ultimate guide to what you need to start sewing. I am going to be really specific, based on what I have found works well. I am not being sponsored for anything here so if I mention a brand it's because it's all my own research and opinion.
If you are considering learning to sew, and are looking into courses then you need to think about this. Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons has released two new online classes, specifically for people who want to learn to sew. The whole point of these classes is that you don't need to travel anywhere, and you will be guided through everything you need to know to get started as a dressmaker. Level 1 is titled 'Make Friends with a Sewing Machine' and costs £25. It covers the basics of setting up and operating a machine, as well as giving some troubleshooting tips and advice. Level 2 'Learn to Sew Skirts' costs £45 and includes a downloadable skirt pattern with step by step tutorials in constructing one of two possible garments. Both courses are based on those run in the London workshops, with the advantage of being able to be completed anywhere, at any time.
Have you been inspired to start sewing but aren't sure where to start? I really wanted to take up dress making as a hobby for a long time but wasn't sure how to go about getting started. I didn't want to invest in a machine if I was awful at it... and wouldn't know want to do with it in any case. I wanted someone to show me how to use a machine and how to understand patterns so that I could make my own clothes. I did a lot of searching on the internet and finally found the classes that The Thrifty Stitcher runs in North London. I signed up for the Ultimate Beginners Day Sewing Package which combines two half day workshops into one day's learning (10.30am - 6pm) for £94.