Last of the Summer Makes!

By Lauren Guthrie

This past month seems to have just completely disappeared before my eyes. After a trip up to Scotland to visit my family at the beginning of the month, I felt like I spent a good few weeks catching up and before I knew it, it was almost September!!

My list of things I wanted to sew for ‘summer’ started to feel a bit like…….. it might not be the best use of time!

I had planned a Tilly and the Buttons Arielle Skirt in this gorgeous Cotton Linen Blue Fleck Chambray, but it just seems a bit to light and bright now and I don’t think I’ll get that much use out of it in the near future!


One make that I definitely wasn’t ready to sacrifice was an embroidered cotton top I’ve been dreaming about for ages. I totally love embroidered cotton and although I would never wear a completely plain white top, there is something about the white embroidered fabric that I LOVE!

I use the top (version 4) from the Colette Laurel pattern. It’s a pull over your head style so no zips to worry about. (It's the same pattern we use in the Setting in Sleeves Workshop!) 

I choose this White Open Embroidered Cotton and a plain White Cotton Lawn for the underlining.


I cut the bodice out of the embroidered cotton and the plain white cotton lawn and then for the sleeves I just did the embroidered fabric so that it would be see-through.

The fabric is quite an open design, which means it can move and stretch around a lot. To help keep it under control I cut it out on a single layer and used a rotary cutter and self-healing mat to make things as accurate as possible. I also wanted the design to be running horizontally so I cut the bodice sections out with the centre front and back fold at 90 degrees to the selvedge (instead of parallel to the selvedge).

Once the pieces were cut out I hand tacked the main bodice to the cotton lawn around the outer edges and around the darts to hold the layers together while I constructed the top.

It meant when I sewed the darts I was going though both layers of fabric at the same time.

I finished the neckline off with bias binding and folded it to the inside so it was like a facing. Instead of top stitching it down like I normally would I hand stitched it so that there wasn’t a line of stitching visible.

At the sleeve hems I used the same bias binding but left it exposed (as the fabric is so open anyway) and hand stitched it too.

I was so pleased with the final finish. The shaping at the back waist is really flattering and means it is not too baggy – which can sometimes happen when it’s a garment with no zip or other fastening.

If you fancy squeezing out a final really summery make I’ve now added the rest of out embroidered cottons to the Sale Section where you can save 10% on them! Yay! 

PS. Our sale is coming to an end next week when all the new fabric arrives so grab a bargain while you can!

New Autumn Workshops

By Lauren Guthrie

I can’t believe its almost the end of August already?! What happened to that heatwave we had back in July…ahh it seems like a lifetime ago.

I don’t know about you but there is something that shifts in my head once the schools are due to go back. It’s like the official end to what you hope will be summer and for me I feel like I can stop trying to dress like its summer and just succumb to my woolly cardigans and boots!

Workshop wise we have got lots of new exciting things coming up along with more dates of the most popular workshops.

I’ve also got some really exciting events planned too so get your diary ready to save the dates! More on that very soon!

Our Pattern Cutting workshop has always been a really popular one - where you can learn how to copy your existing favourite clothes. As is our Overlocker workshop that will show you those next sewing with jersey stages. Spend the morning getting to grips with setting the machine up and threading it, then in the afternoon you can put into practise your new skills to make a simple t-shirt.

To go along with our ever popular Coco Dress workshop, we have now also added a date for a Sewing with Jersey and Knitted Fabric making the Agnes Top! I've got two of these on the go at the moment - it's such a cute top and a really good way to learn how to use your regular sewing machine in a different way! 

New to the calendar is the Grainline Morris Blazer workshop. This is such a lovely make and also calls for a fabric with stretch. It’s a two day workshop and during that time you’ll learn how to make fitting alterations, insert the facing and shawl collar and get really neat top stitching to finish it off.

Also a new addition is learning how to sew with sequins! Get ready for some seriously spangley fancy party wear and during the one-day workshop you’ll make a simple sequin top using the Grainline Patterns Scout Tee
I’ve ordered lots of really lovely sequin fabric too which is due to arrive very soon! Yay!

Talking of being all fancy…how fancy would having your own luxury underwear be?!

I’m really excited to welcome Laura Stanford, Co-Author of the beautiful ‘The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie’ Book. She is teaching two lovely workshops in October – in the morning you can make these woven cotton knickers (how amazing would they look in Liberty Lawn?!)  and in the afternoon you can take this up a level and learn how to sew lace and stretch mesh to make these Retro Breifs.

Another new addition is our Mother and Baby Social workshop with the lovely Kate. This is a baby friendly workshop where you can come and meet other Mum’s (bringing your little one is not essential if you’d prefer a morning off) and make this super cute little hat with contrasting ears! It’s a really simple and effective make and your likely to get it pretty much finished during the session so its perfect if you are craving some creative time while trying to cope with a babe at the same time!

Following on from our really popular Bodice Block Workshop with Pattern Cutter Extraordinaire Alex, we have added a ‘Sleeve Block’ workshop. You will learn how to draft a sleeve from scratch based on your own measurements and fit it to the bodice as well as gain insight into how it can be adapted for different styles.

Staple favourites that we have added more dates for are the Roman Blind, Trimmed Cushion Cover (with a zip), Tote bag, Envelope Cushion Cover, You Choose the Dress Workshop , You Choose the Skirt Workshop and Simple Top. These last two are perfect for first garments if you are looking to go down that route!

I hope you find something that takes your fancy! If you’ve not been into our studio yet then it’s worth checking out – it’s always so bring and airy, even on duller days and there is plenty of space to spread out too!

Sale Now On!

By Lauren Guthrie

I'm really excited about all the brand new fabric that I've ordered for the Autumn/Winter Season but at the same time…..a little bit stressed that I don’t have enough room for them all!

So to make room we are having a big SALE with lots of bargains to be had!

The full range of fabric can be browsed on this link – we’ve split them up into themes to make it a bit more digestible.

You can find the Sale Liberty Tana Lawns in this link - they have 20% off too! 

There are also lots of lovely sewing patterns with 20% off

I’ve also added this week the Prym Espadrille Soles – now 20% off! We’ve still got lots of sizes available!

And these beautiful Japanese Cotton Double Gauze Fabrics are now also in the clearance section with 20% off.

Some are really limited amounts so if you are having trouble adding the quantity that you would like to the shopping bag, it may be that we only have a little left. You can always give us a ring (0121 449 8419) too if there is anything you’d like us to check and one of the girls would be more than happy to help!