Free UK delivery on orders £50+

Our Top 5 Magazines for Stitchers to Subscribe To

Looking for a new magazine to have a flick through every month for ideas and inspiration? Here's our pick of the top magazines to subscribe to for those that love sewing - and they're not all solely magazines for sewing!

Our Top 5 Magazines for Stitchers to Subscribe To

Mollie Makes 

mollie makes magazine

 

One of our favourites, Mollie Makes is fab for new sewers and those that like all kinds of stitching as well as sewing. It's more craft-focused than sewing-focused which is sort of nice, as you get to try out different things and also appeals to people that enjoy a bit of crochet or knitting alongside their sewing! Best of all, their free gifts are usually fun little projects that you actually want to use!

Craft Seller 

craft seller magazine

Craft seller is another great magazine, especially for those that sew for business as well as pleasure. While this is also a mixed-media magazine, they always have super trendy and super cute projects in there. The one amazing element of this magazine is the handy business tips and finance tips for each project - it will tell you what you can make a project for and roughly what you can expect to sell it at. Like Mollie Makes, the mix of crafts can be really helpful and inspire you to make something along the same lines. 

Love Sewing

love sewing magazine jan 2015 edition
A classic sewing magazine, love sewing is great for beginners looking for some inspiration thats all about sewing. Their articles are really handy for people who are just getting into sewing, covering things like how to pick the machine thats right for you and sewing on a budget. They also come with fun free gifts like dressmaking patterns!

 

 

Sew

sew magazine february 2015 edition

 

Sew is another classic, offering a range of projects specifically for sewing. Most of the time they tend to be a bit more home/item based sewing than garment sewing, but the magazine is also great for info about new products and techniques. They also cover a range of techniques, which is good for beginner to intermediate sewers. 

Burda Style Magazine

 

burda style magazine

 

Burda Style is one of my favourites because it's more fashion based than other sewing magazines. Whilst a lot of them feature a few clothing patterns, this is much more tailored to the dressmaking market, which is my kind of sewing! It might be a little unsuitable for a beginner though (unless you're feeling ambitious!), as it can include more complex techniques and sewing. The big bonus is that they feature soooo many patterns, it's amazing!

 

For more ideas and inspiration, why not take a look at our range of Books - including books on sewing, knitting, crochet, creative stitching, toy making and quilting! 

January 20, 2015 by Angela Gilbert

National Hobby Month: Setting Up Your Sewing Machine

Got a sewing machine for christmas or new year but too scared to tackle setting it up? Take a quick look at our guide on sewing machine basics and get your machine ready, we promise it's not too bad. (And once you've got the hang of it, you'll never stop stitching on it!)

National Hobby Month: Setting Up Your Sewing Machine

The Golden Rule: 

Read your instruction manual before you start! Although you may not understand all of it, they often have useful diagrams and ensure that you don't start trying to pull apart bits that aren't meant to pull apart...

As every machine is slightly different, it is best to refer to your manual alongside whatever guide you are using to find the correct part and action to take. For example, some machines disengage the needle by pulling out the wheel, others by just moving the bobbin winder - you don't want to be pulling out the wheel if it's not meant to come out!

What's What on your Machine

Reminder: your machine may not look exactly the same (unless you have the same make and model!) so the different parts may be located in slightly different places or look slightly different - refer to your manual for help in finding these parts if you get stuck.

How to Change the Presser Foot

For a lot of machines, presser feet are relatively easy to change as they just snap on, although some use screws to hold them in place. Remember to do this with your machine turned OFF - you don't want to accidentally start sewing over your hands!

To replace or change a snap-on foot, simple raise the footer using the footer lever to the right of it (usually black plastic). This should bring it up to give a little bit of space underneath to get your fingers under. 

There is usually a metal lever at the back of the footer bar that goes up and down. If you flick it up, it will release your current footer. 

To attach the new footer, raise this lever whilst you position the footer in place under the bar, then lower it to grab hold of the footer and "snap" on. This can be a bit tricky to position so just bear with it and do a bit of shuffling to get the footer into the right place. 

How to Insert a Needle

A lot of machines come with a needle already inserted nowadays, but this is useful to know as you may need to change the needle if it snaps or when you are sewing with fabrics that require a special needle.

Simply turn the black screw to the right of your needle a couple of times to the right, to loosen and allow you to pull out the needle. To insert the new one, ensure that it is facing the right way - rounded side facing towards you, flat side facing the back of the machine, on the top of the needle - and place it into the hole, then tighten the screw. 

How to Wind a Bobbin

Winding the bobbin is an important technique to know how to do, as you'll need to do it every time you change to different colour threads. As always, each machine is slightly different so refer to your instruction manual to begin with. 

To begin, place your spool of thread on the spool holder if you haven't already and attach the bit of plastic that holds it in place. Take the loose end of your thread and bring it over to the thread guide on the top of the machine - most newer machines have a little diagram showing you where exactly to put the thread for winding the bobbin. 

Most of the time, it sits under the lip of what looks like a screw. Draw your thread to hook around this and pull back over towards the right of your machine.

Next you will need to disengage the needle and engage the bobbin winder. Quite often this involves pushing the bobbin winder (metal pole thing on the top) to the right. As always, check in your manual for specifics as this is where machines tend to differ the most in method.

Now thread the end of your thread into your bobbin, from the middle out through one of the holes. Place your bobbin on top of the metal bobbin holder, keeping hold of the loose thread end which should be coming from the top of the bobbin.

To begin winding, switch your machine on and simply put your foot on the pedal. The thread should begin winding itself onto the bobbin at a reasonable pace. Keep going until you are sure you will have enough on the bobbin to complete the project - quite often I just wind them on for ages so I don't have to keep winding thread on for every project, although this means you may have to buy new bobbins for each colour. 

How to Insert a Bobbin

For most top loading bobbins, it's relatively easy - quite often instructions are printed on the bobbin cover in the form of a diagram. 

Remove your bobbin cover and place your bobbin in with the thread drawing to the right. Then hook the loose end of the thread back around the metal section highlighted on the bobbin cover, and back up towards the top of the bobbin tray. With the loose end sitting out the edge of the bobbin tray, replace the bobbin cover. The loose end should be trapped between the edge of the bobbin tray and the bobbin cover. 

How to Thread a Sewing Machine

This is often the part that most people find daunting when setting up their machine the first time - my word of advice, it only gets easier the more you do it! Begin by placing your spool of thread on the spool pin, and hold in place with the spool holder cover. 

Next, simply follow the numbered guide on your machine to help you with threading. Firstly, bring the loose end of your thread spool around the thread guide on the top of your machine, and down the gap. 

At the bottom of the gap, follow the arrow to pull it back up in the parallel gap to the left of the first one. At the top you will see a hook - pull the thread around this and back down the gap, making sure the thread is round the hook the furthest it can go in.

Now you need to thread the needle. Most machines come with a built-in needle threader, so you can either use this or thread it by hand. To use the needle threader, draw the thread to the left and then secure under the two hooks to the right whilst holding down the needle threader lever in place. 

Hold the end taught when you release the lever and the thread should be drawn through the needle. Simply untangle the end to let it sit freely over towards the back of your machine. 

Now you need to thread the bobbin in. Insert your bobbin according to the instructions above, or your own instruction manual (the process is different depending upon the type of bobbin loading your machine uses - front or top loading). With the needle in the raised position, draw the needle downwards by twisting the wheel on the side of your machine. Hold your spool thread (the one inserted through the needle) taught as you continue turning the wheel - this should draw up your bobbin thread through the metal plate on your machine. 

When you see it, grab hold of the end of the bobbin thread and untangle, placing it facing towards the back of your machine like your needle thread. It should look like this (with the bobbin cover on): 

Hope this helps and happy sewing everyone! If you have any questions, leave a comment or email us!

The Ultimate Fabric Guide

New to sewing, or just never really learnt what was what when it came to fabrics? Check out this handy guide to fabric types, which helps explain the most common types of fabric and their uses. A great post to have to hand when looking at new projects!

The Ultimate Fabric Guide

Fabric Fibres 

natural cotton fibresNatural Cotton - image source Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts

Cotton is one of the most widely occurring natural fibres in fabrics. It is comfortable against the skin with a breathable quality, and feels soft and smooth to the touch. 

Rayon is a semi-synthetic fibre made from cellulose. It behaves much like a natural fabric despite containing some synthetic elements, and often appears as a lustrous fabric akin to silk. 

Linen is one of the oldest types of fibres used in fabric, and is made from flax. It is very strong and durable, whilst remaining cool and breathable, making it ideal for items like trousers or summer suits. 

Silk has always been associated as a rich and luxury fabric for hundreds of years, mostly due to the intensive manufacturing methods involved in processing silkworm cocoons. Silk fabrics have a lustrous quality to them, and are extremely versatile - they keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, making it a super comfy fabric to wear. It usually comes in a range of fantastic shades as it is one of easiest fabric fibres to hold dye.

Wool tends to be used less often in fabrics nowadays, but was once a staple fibre in fabrics during the Middle Ages! It is made from the hair of sheared animals, spun and woven into strands and then fabric. It's greatest quality is its warmth, and it is also breathable. Wool can come in a variety of textures from a super soft, fine weave like cashmere to a more scratchy and coarse weave.

Synthetic Fibres are often also added in conjunction to these natural fibres to produce similar fabrics at a cheaper cost. One common example of this is polycotton, which is often used in place of 100% cotton fabric as a cheaper alternative that behaves in much the same way as pure cotton would. The most common synthetic fibres are nylon and polyester. 

Common Fabric Types

Quilting Cotton

is one of the most widely available and widely used fabrics. It is very versatile and can be used in a mix of dressmaking, quilting and craft projects. It comes in a wide variety of patterns, designs and colours and ranges in quality.

Chiffon

is a very light and transparent fabric that is often used for a fluid drape to a garment. It can be made from a range of fibres, including rayon, polyester or silk. It has a delicate and soft quality to it which is often desirable for evening or occasion wear. 

Organza

is another light and sheer fabric, but with more stiffness than chiffon. It is often used over lining fabrics for a beautiful sheen over the top, or can also be used as an interfacing or interlining for other light fabrics.

Jersey

is another commonly used fabric for dressmaking, due to its stretch. It is a knitted rather than woven fabric, making it stretch beautifully and accommodate shape well. It is often used for more casual garments or body con style garments. It's often a mix of cotton, wool, silk, rayon, nylon or polyester.

Crepe

is available in a variety of thicknesses, and possesses a wonderful drape, making it great for elegant dressmaking. It is slightly crinkly in texture and usually made from silk, polyester, rayon or wool.

Lawn

is a combed cotton, once again with a light quality. It has a good balance of stiffness and drape, but comes in different weights. Finer lawns can have a silky texture.

Georgette

is sometimes used in place of chiffon, for a heavier weight fabric. It is semi-sheer and often available in a good variety of colours and designs.

Habotai/China Silk

is one of the most beautiful lining fabrics ever! It is so light that it is not usually used to make garments alone, but sits so comfortably against the skin that it is perfect for lining. It is made wholly of silk.

Shirting

is a cotton fabric designed specifically for making shirts due to its medium weight - it is easy to tailor whilst being breathable and comfortable against the skin. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and colours, as well as a wide range of quality. 

Charmeuse

is a woven satin fabric that is crinkly textured on one side and shiny on the other. It flows and drapes well, making it ideal for making dresses. It is often made using silk, rayon or polyester.

Flannel

can be made from either cotton or wool. It is a brushed fabric with a soft surface texture. Lighter flannel is made from cotton and is used for garments like shirts, whereas heavier wool flannel is suitable for garments such as suits.

Taffeta

is a beautiful fabric that is often used for evening and occasion wear due to its luxurious semi-shiny texture. It is reasonably crisp and therefore able to hold some structure, making it ideal for things like party dresses. It can be made using a variety of fibres of varying quality, including silk, rayon, nylon and polyester.

Dupioni

is a fabric made of silk, that uses irregular threads in order to create "slubs" in the fabric texture. It is fairly stiff and crisp, but it tends to fray a bit.

Worsted Wool

is a sturdy fabric made from wool, that is ideal for suiting due to its reasonably stiff and strong qualities. 

Tweed

is quite well known for its recognisable patterns - often using multiple colours woven in to create a mottled or flecked effect with lots of texture. Made from wool, it is quite sturdy in nature, making it a popular choice for suiting and skirts.

Weaves & Knits

Plain weave is a simple weave in which the threads form a criss cross pattern. It is the most common form of weave for fabrics, including cotton, lawn, taffeta and more.

Twill is a woven fabric with a diagonal pattern, making each side of the fabric look different and therefore creating and right and wrong side. Fabrics such as denim use a twill weave.

Satin weave is used to create a sheen or shiny surface on the fabric. Common examples are duchess satin, sateen, and silk charmeuse.

Knits are made differently to weaves, using a knitting machine to create loops of fabric that interlock and create a stretchier fabric than traditional weaves. Because of this, sewing with knits can be harder and requires more concentration and greater skill, as they are more prone to warping during sewing. Sometimes it is necessary to use more specialist equipment such as different needles for your sewing machine, and special stitches for stretch fabric that can accommodate stretch without breaking. 

Weight

Fabrics come in a variety of weights or thicknesses, from light to heavy. Heavy fabrics are thicker and contain more weight, but can add bulk when used in dressmaking. Light fabrics such as cottons, tend to be thinner to the touch, and even to the eye with a sheerness about them. Consider the weight of the fabric not only in how it will sit or add bulk, but also how heavy it is to wear. Light weight fabrics are more suited to summer, whereas heavy fabrics tend to be more wintery. 

Drape

Drape is a very important factor to consider when purchasing fabrics for dressmaking. The weight of the fabric can affect its drape: for example, heavy fabrics tend to be a bit stiffer, leading to a more structured look. Drape is mostly affected by the stiffness of the fabric - the stiffer the fabric is, the more structured it will look. Lighter fabrics such as chiffon are much more fluid and give a softer drape and flowing feel.

Stretch

The amount of stretch in a fabric depends upon the way it is made and any elastic components in the fabric make-up. There is a certain amount of give or stretch in all fabrics, but often these can be limited in fabrics such as quilting cotton. The fabrics with the most stretch tend to be ones that are knitted rather than woven, and/or incorporate elastic elements such as lycra. 

Shop Dress Fabrics or Shop Cotton Fabrics

January 13, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

How to Do a Basic Hem

Starting to sew clothing projects and other larger projects often involves sewing hems to finish off. Although this may seem daunting at first, it's really not too bad! Check out this quick guide to sewing a basic hem if you need a bit of guidance to get you going.

How to Do a Basic Hem

You will need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Your project
  • Thread, in a complimentary colour 
  • Pins
  • Iron 

How to Make:

  1. Take the project you want to hem and lay it out flat. Iron out any creases in the fabric if necessary - (I have chosen to hem the top of this pocket piece for an apron).

  2. Turn the fabric over so that the right side (patterned side) is against the table surface. Decide how big you want to make your hem - this usually depends on the type of fabric you are using, but the general rule is the heavier the fabric, the larger the hem. Hems usually vary from 0.5cm-2cm wide (I made mine a little wider than normal so it would show up better in the photos).  Fold your fabric up from the edge at your desired width.

  3. At this point, check that you have an equal width all the way along the hem. You may find it easier to press the hem flat at this point, though it is not necessary.
  4. Turn over from the folded edge by the same width once again, so you have no raw edges showing. Pin in place.





  5. Thread your machine up and place your hem underneath the needle, starting at the top edge (or where a seam is if an item of clothing etc). Begin by stitching forward by about 1cm, then use the reverse stitch button on your machine to go back over the stitching you have just done. This strengthens your stitching to give a strong hem that will withstand more wear and tear.

  6. Continue stitching normally down the length of your hem, ensuring that your stitching is straight. You can use the metal plate above the bobbin loader to help guide you - they often have lines etched in at different widths, to help with sewing straight hems.
  7. When you get to the end, reinforce your hem stitching once again by reverse stitching by about 1cm.
  8. Raise your footer and cut the thread. Trim any loose threads on your project (I didn't get around to doing this yet as I had more sewing to do after, but you want it to look neat!). 

  9. Check that the stitching is neat and correct on both sides. If you think you've sewn it too wonky or the thread is all caught up on the underside, you can always unpick it using a seam ripper and try again. Press flat for a neat finish. 



National Hobby Month: A Guide to Hand Sewing

Lots of people are reluctant to take up sewing because they are worried about investing in a machine. No worries! You can still get going on your sewing journey by beginning with hand sewing. 

National Hobby Month: A Guide to Hand Sewing

What can I make using hand sewing?

Hand sewing is a great way to get started with sewing, and build up your stitching skills slowly and confidently. Although it takes longer than using a machine, you can get your stitching looking exactly how you want it, where you want it! You can make all sorts of small projects - some of the most popular ones are pin cushions, small toys, felt projects and hanging decorations.

Basic hand sewing stitches

There are 3 basic hand sewing stitches: running stitch, back stitch and whip/blanket stitch. 

running stitch diagram

Running stitch is one of the most commonly used stitches, which is the easiest and quickest to sew. It involves simply inserting your needle into your fabric front-to-back and then back through from back-to-front at a space of about 0.5cm.

 

back stitch diagram

 

Back stitch is a little more complicated but used for more decorative purposes than running stitch, often used in embroidery detailing. It involves bringing your needle through the fabric back-to-front and pushing it back through like running stitch front-to-back (steps 1-2). At this point you then begin a Step 1 again, at point 3, starting where you want the left hand side of the stitch to begin. Repeat Step 2 to anchor your stitch at point 4, where your first stitch began.

 

whip stitch diagram

Whip stitch and blanket stitch are often terms used interchangeably, although there are two techniques for doing this.

Whip stitch is a little more simple, and is usually used on the edges of your material, to bind them together in a decorative way. It involves bringing your needle through the fabric front-to-back, but without bringing it back through back-to-front; instead, you simply pull you thread up and over the side of the fabric, and place a new stitch front-to-back to the left of the previous.

 

blanket stitch diagram

Blanket stitch is very similar and is used for much the same purpose, it just involves pulling your needle and thread through under the stitch you created previously as you begin the next one, to add a line of thread along the gap between the two edges of the fabric.

Starting and finishing your stitches

It's always important to start and finish your stitching properly, so all your hard work doesn't go to waste! Remember to knot your thread securely at one end before you begin - it sounds silly to remind you, but you'd be amazed how often you can forget or make a knot that is too small and gets pulled through mid-stitch. Always make sure your knot sits on the inside of your project for neatness.

When measuring out your thread, make sure you add plenty of extra - you don't want to get to the final few stitches and then realise you don't have enough left to knot it properly! Like at the beginning, securing your final stitch is super important so that your stitching doesn't come undone. I like to stitch through my last stitch a couple of times for extra security, then knot off.

What you'll need 

Lucky for you, this is pretty simple - all you really need is a pack of good quality needles, some pins and a pair of scissors! You can then choose your material and thread according to your project. So easy to get started right away!

Projects

Great hand sewing projects to have a go at are pin cushions, felt projects and hanging hearts - all require simple cutting and can be as decorative as you like, leaving you plenty of time to practice getting your stitching right! 

Why not try one our fabulously easy Strawberry Pin Cushion kits? It includes everything you need to complete the project, including a pattern, instructions, fabric, ribbon and thread - just grab your needle, scissors and pins, and off you go!

Or if animals are more your thing, we also have these very popular Felt Owl Kits, designed for beginners. They come in 4 different colours too, and you can hang them up around the house when you're done!

 

Shop Sewing Basics 

 

How to Choose a Sewing Machine

So you've decided that you're gonna have a go at sewing, and you want to invest in a snazzy machine - but which one do you go for? Choosing a machine can often be confusing, especially if you've never really sewn before. You don't want to be wasting money on features you don't need, but you may not feel like you know what you should have as a standard on your machine. Read on!

How to Choose a Sewing Machine

Brand

When choosing a machine, there are so many different brands to pick from. Each one makes their machine in a slightly different way, although they all tend to do essentially the same thing and have the same core features. Some swear by one brand in particular, others don't mind which they sew on. We would personally recommend Janome machines for their durability and practicability, but other popular brands are Brother, Viking, Singer and Bernina.

Complexity

Machines vary from fairly simple manual machines (and mini machines), to digitised and computerised ones that automatically adjust to what you're sewing. Deciding which model to go for can often be tricky, as there are so many features! On the whole, starting on a manual rather than computerised machine is often best, as you learn how to work out thread tension and other important knowledge which you may need in the future. Manual ones tend to be much cheaper, starting from below £100, whereas digitised machines begin from around £250. If you are an intermediate or above sewer, then selecting a digitised or more complex machine is often a better choice as it will see you through a wider range of projects with more extensive features such as automatic button holes, free arm, more footers, and a wider range of stitches.

Functionality 

The functionality of your machine can often be the most baffling part - sewing machines have so many features nowadays, even on the simpler machines! As a basic sewer, you will probably use all the standard stitch types on a more basic machine (such as straight stitch), and will need to use a reverse stitch lever. Some mid-level machines offer automatic buttonholes - my advice would be, go for a machine that does automatic button holes, it's such a time saver! Even if you go for the cheapest model that has this feature, you will be so glad of it. All sewing machines use footers to help you guide your fabric and needle together under the machine, but mid-to-high range models tend to have a wider range available, and more easily. Think about the different types of projects you may want to use your machine for and buy accordingly. 

Size

Sewing machines now come in two main sizes - mini and standard. Deciding which is best for you is really dependent upon how much you want to spend, what functionality you want, and how much space you have to store or use it in. Mini machines are great for those who don't want to shell out a lot at first, and offer a good range of basic functions. They tend to be less durable, however, than standard machines. Standard machines are great for most sewing projects, but whilst they tend to last longer, they are also bigger and heavier. 

Price

Prices range far and wide when it comes to sewing machines. You can grab a mini sewing machine for a bargain - often less than £50 - but they often struggle to last anywhere near the length of time that a standard machine does. Standard size machines are a bit more of an investment, however, cheaper options on the market can still come in for less than £100 sometimes, particularly if you manage to catch them on a good offer. As with most machinery, quality costs money, so if you want a machine that does last, it's often a good idea to fork out a little bit more for a mid-range machine that will see you through a good 4-5 years at least. 

Servicing

Don't forget that sewing machines, like most other machines, usually need servicing every so often to keep them running smoothly. All sewing machines tend to need this at some point in their lifetime, so be prepared for this extra cost - which can sometimes include buying new parts to replace worn ones. This is where purchasing a second hand or older machine can sometimes become costly, as the parts may be harder to source, or sometimes, completely unavailable any more. 

 

National Hobby Month: Getting Started in Sewing

So you've decided that this month is going to be the month that you finally start learning to sew... but how do you get started? Read on to find everything you need to know about starting your sewing journey, from resources to equipment and patterns to projects!

National Hobby Month: Getting Started in Sewing

Hand Sewing or Machine Sewing?

First of all, you need to decide whether you want to go for it and get right down to machine sewing, or start off a little more slowly with hand sewing. There are pro's and con's to each - machine sewing is a bigger investment as you'll have to buy a sewing machine, but you can make a wider variety of projects using them. Hand sewing is ideal for a cheaper and slower introduction to sewing but you may find you quickly get bored of the projects available to you, and the time involved in sewing everything by hand. 

What do I need?

Regardless of which type of sewing you begin with, you'll require some basic items to get you going. All sewers will ideally need a sewing box including the following items:

These are the basic items that will get you through most sewing projects. It's worthwhile investing in the best quality you can afford in these items, especially scissors and pins, as they'll last you for many years to come! If you want to start with a more extensive set of equipment, it would also be worthwhile getting some fabric pencils/markers, embroidery scissors and a selection of basic coloured thread.

One other thing you might find helpful is a book about sewing. These are often designed for beginners, and have many helpful hints and tips, as well as common problems and how to fix them. If you start sewing on a machine, they can also offer help and advice on using your machine. Our favourite book for this is The Colette Sewing Handbook, which whilst based around dressmaking, has lots of hints, tips and information on fabrics, drape, usage and problems.

Teaching and Classes

Sewing is one hobby that is reasonably adapted to being self taught, through books and the internet. There are many free tutorials all over the web that can introduce you to basic stitches and techniques, as well as projects on items like bags, clothes and home furnishings. 

Some people find it more beneficial to have someone to teach them everything properly, or just need the confidence of having someone there to help them if they get stuck. Check your local community centres and sewing shops to see if they run classes or teaching - quite often you'll find one-on-one teaching, group workshops and sewing clubs available to sign up for.

What next?

First things first, pick your first project! You can either find something on the web to follow (usually a little harder as it can involve you having to make your own pattern), or find a book or pattern to follow. It really is up to you!

Then you will need to source the items that are required for the project - so fabric, haberdashery and any specialist equipment or trimmings.

For an easier project, you can also start with a pre-prepared kit, which usually include a pattern, written instructions, and everything you need to complete the project. Take a look at our range of kits - I'd recommend the strawberry pincushion or felt owl kit as a great start for a beginner!

                                 

Where can I get everything I need?

We sell a great range of haberdashery and fabrics for whatever project you want to start on. Simply take a look at what you need and find it on our site! If you're struggling to find it, try using the search bar at the top, or drop us an email and we'll try to help. 

What if I get stuck?

First things first, don't panic! There are so many solutions on the web for any problems you may encounter, and chances are that somebody has already asked the question somewhere! Most good sewing books for beginners also have help and advice on trickier techniques or common problems. 

If you really can't find the answer to your question, drop us an email and we'll try and help you with it!

 

Shop Sewing Basics

January 03, 2015 by Amy Gilbert

National Hobby Month: Why Start Sewing?

It's time to learn a new skill, as January is National Hobby Month! Whether it's crafts, sports or something else, it's never a bad thing to keep learning something new. We, of course, reckon sewing is the best hobby of them all to have a go at starting, and here's why...

National Hobby Month: Why Start Sewing?

Learn a Useful Skill

Sewing is such a versatile skill to learn, that it really does become useful in so many ways. Once you've mastered the basic, you can make all sorts of things from clothing to gifts to home furnishings. Plus, there's nothing greater than a sense of achievement after you finish each project!

Save Money

This has to be one of the best reasons to start sewing - you can save so much money, whilst creating beautiful things at the same time! If starting a project from scratch, it's often cheaper to buy materials and make it yourself than to buy the same item ready made or mass produced in a shop. Greater advantages to learning to sew are that you can upcycle items and fabrics you already own, creating new pieces for very little money at all! Plus, you can make your favourite items of clothing last a lot longer, as you'll be able to repair them easily.

Pass it On

There's nothing I've learnt that has been so valuable as being taught to sew by my own mum. And once you get to grips with it, it'll be something you can pass on too - whether to family or friends. It's a gift that keeps on giving, and is great in an emergency - amazing last-minute costumes can be stitched up in no time!

Make it Perfect

One of the main reasons I started sewing was because I found it really hard to find clothes that fitted exactly right, or were made in fabrics or colours that I liked. One of the advantages of sewing your own items is that you can choose whatever colours and prints you like best, and make them fit you perfectly (with a little practice!).

Get Creative! 

Sewing is a great way to help unleash your creativity, something we all could often do with a little more of in life! It's a great way of relaxing and unwinding, whilst taking some time for yourself to make what you want, in the way you want. Treat yourself!

Take it at Your Own Pace

Unlike some other hobbies, sewing is vastly adaptable to your schedule. You only have to commit as much time as you want or have, and can work on whatever size project you feel comfortable with. Simply sew as little or as often as you can manage, great for fitting around busy lifestyles.

Want to get started?
Check out tomorrow's post for how to get started! 

 

Or if you're feeling inspired get on it right away - we have plenty of great books for beginners, fabrics and haberdashery available to get you on your way to becoming a sewing extraordinaire!

January 02, 2015 by Amy Gilbert