It’s been a bit quiet…

… so sorry!

It’s been crazy times in the Atelier recently with 5 or 6 costume jobs being stitched up by my growing team of wonders. Most recently shipped off were these beauties for Celebrity Cruises production of Elysium.

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The Evil Enchantress

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Autumn Ballet

I’m sure I shall be sharing a little bit about the methods behind construction soon but before I catch my breath I’m off to get married this Wednesday! Eep!!

Can’t wait to start sharing more of my Sewing adventures with you soon.

Happy stitching!

Wedding preparations!

So, we’ve booked the Wedding, had a peek at the hall and are currently writing lists of all of our favorite foods and then I remembered (after having a very graphic dream where no-one turned up!) that we should probably tell people about it!!

So I have illustrated some Save The Date Flags!

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We’re seeing a lot of our families over the next week or so and I thought they would be super fun to hand out! These are the illustrations behind them… if you look closely they give a little flavor of what the wedding will be like!


I’m rather pleased with them however; it did take me quite a while to get us ‘right’. I kept making artistic changes and suddenly I was looking at a weird girl and a guy I’d never met!


In other news, I do believe I have decided upon the Dress Patterns for my Wedding Dresses! Eek!! Two because we will be getting married on the Wednesday, then partying on down with everyone we can think of on the Saturday! Yay!!

Happy stitching!



The Dimpsy T Sew-Along: Week 3 The Facings

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I hope you are anticipating a Sunday full of Sewing, like me!

In this weeks last post for the Dimpsy T Sew-Along I shall be showing you how attach the Collar, stitch on your Facings, turn them out and Understitch them and finally get a good look at what your Dimpsy T will be starting to look like!

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Firstly, with right sides together, sew the Shoulder Seams of the Facings and the Front and Back Bodice. You may notice that the pieces do not match perfectly, this is because (as illustrated above), one side is making allowance for the Seam and will mis-match by 1.5cm Allowance.

It is also important to maintain the slight curve on the outside edge of the Shoulder. This allows for the Hem to be made when sewing up the Sleeve edge.

Once sewn, Zig-Zag neaten the edge of all seams. All Seam Allowances are now mainly 1.5cm.

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To attach the Collar, you will be able to match the Tailors Tack on the Fang to the Center Front Seam however; as you can see I haven’t made a Tailors Tack! This is to illustrate how you can use the Collar itself to tell you where it should be places.

I have cut the Pattern so that the Collar follows the curve of the Neckline at the Center Front- as you can see above, left. Place the left hand Fang Collar piece on the Neckline and move it until it matches as mine does. Pin.

For the right hand Fang Collar piece, you shall need to do the same- move it about until it matches the curve- however; at the same time you’ll need to check the overlap of the Collar is directly on the Center Front Seam (as illustrated above, center). Pin.

And there you have it- above, right- one beautifully pinned Fang Collar in anticipation of being stitched in place!

For the Pan Collar this process is even easier! Simply match the edges to the Center Front Seam and pin as there is no overlap.

You may notice that the Collar curve and the Neck opening curve are a little different. This is to ensure the Collar ‘rolls’ away from the Neck opening and looks as lovely as possible!

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Once the Collar is pinned in place- and you will have noticed that they do not quite reach all of the way to the Center Back, which is entirely intentional!- you will need to lay the Facings, right sides together as illustrated, straight on top.

Pin the Shoulder seams so that they match first. I like to push one seam left, and one seam right as illustrated (above, right) to reduce the bulk of the seams.

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Continue pinning around the Neck opening, then down the Center Back along the Keyhole detail.

I am yet again pinning at a ninety degree angle so I can stitch away when I am ready. As you can see from the below, we are going to be stitching three layers- one of which, the Collar, is a different curve- so it is extremely helpful to keep things pinned for as long as possible. That is unless you feel like tacking/basting everything… and I never feel like that!


With 1.5cm Seam Allowance, and starting at the bottom of one side of the Keyhole, sew all the way around to the other side. Remember to take the curve slowly, stopping and starting to that it is even.

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Once sewn, you’ll need to clip the corners and curve as above. Clipping the corners will reduce the bulk so that they can be turned out to beautiful points, Clipping the curve releases the fabric so that once the Neckline is turned out it will curve gracefully.


Turn your Dimpsy T out the right way… doesn’t it look lovely? This is my favorite bit, as you start to get a real feel for how the final garment will be. Fabric always looks so different when it is sewn up, don’t you think?

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The last thing for today’s class is to Understitch and neaten your Facing. This will help the Neckline to retain its shape and keeps the Facing magically towards the back. Pin the Facing to the Bodice (above, left), with the Collar sticking out. Do this slowly so as to ensure no pleats are pinned in.

Stitch super close to the edge (above, right) with a neat Top Stitch. Stop and start on every Pin as you’re still sewing a curve and it is very easy to stitch in a little pleat, and we need this to be as smooth as possible.

face17Zig-zag neaten the edge of the Facing- as above- by stitching on and off the very edge of the Fabric edge. This binds the edge of the Fabric and stops it fraying.

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Iron the Collar, and the center back Key Hole detail. As you can see the Collar still stops short to allow room for the Button to be sewn on later… and because I think it looks super sweet and nice!

Hand your Dimpsy T up and admire your work so far!


Happy stitching!

The Midnight Atelier Skirt Making Book, a Stitch Bitch Companion!

So, this little number is now available in my Pattern Shop!

Front Coverpages pattern drafting skirt book

The Midnight Atelier Skirt Making Book, a Stitch Bitch Companion… a 36 page long, handmade and hand stitched little Pattern Making tome! Each includes instructions to Pattern Draft your very own A-Line Skirt… Choose to draw the Pattern straight on to the Fabric, or make one up in paper as also included are four separate Pattern adaptations to turn your original A-Line Skirt Pattern in to a Circle Skirt, Pleated Skirt, Tulip Skirt or Vintage style Pleated Circle Skirt! Wow!!

Available as a PDF or Hard Copy Print. Grab your copy today…

Happy stitching!

The Dimpsy T Sew-Along: Week 3 The Collar

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Well, how are you today and how’s your Dimpsy T coming along?

Today we will be tackling the Collar and later on this week the Facings. I have chosen to make the Fang collar however; the instructions are similar and I shall be making note of the differences as I sew my Dimpsy T up.

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You will need to lay one Collar piece on top of another, making sure of course that you will be sewing a left and a right… which is why I like to lay them out (above, left) with right sides together and then pin (above, right).

Now, a small speech concerning the pin controversy! You may have noticed that I pin at a ninety degree angle, then sew straight over them. Whilst this probably isn’t the best thing to do, and I know there are many, many people who would disagree with this, I find it super duper helpful when sewing tricky curves like this, and it helps beginner Seamsters no end because they can concentrate on the actual sewing instead of stopping every few centimeters to take a pin out! And y’know, I’m a rebel sewer and all that!

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After shaking your head at my piratical approach to pinning, or mentally high fiving as you cavalierly sew over your pins too, you’ll need to sew- with 1.5cm Seam Allowance- around the outside. Do not sew the inside curve or you wont be able to turn it out the right way! Remember to reverse stich at the beginning and end to secure.

To sew around those tricky corners of the Fang Collar sew along one of the short edges then stop 1.5cm away from the edge, make sure your needle is in the fabric, lift the Presser Foot and then turn your Fabric then lower the Presser Foot to continue Sewing.

You may find it helpful to draw in your 1.5cm Seam Allowance with some Tailors Chalk to follow around the corners too.

To sew the curve of both Pan and Fang Collars, I like to stop every once in a while to check I am still on the Seam Allowance guide as it is quite important to do this evenly and smoothly!

Clip all corners (above middle), then Grade the Seams. To Grade you will need to cut back the Seam Allowance by half (above right) and then one side of the Seam Allowance by half again (below). This allows the fabric to curve once the Collar is turned out, but it also stops a ‘ridge’ forming when the Collar is ironed. It’s a beautiful finishing detail, which works for both the Pan and Fang Collars.

collar 6Once Graded, turn the Collar out the right way. You can use a Pin (as shown below) or Point Turner to make the corners pf the Fang collar turn out perfectly sharp.

Next, pin the Collar to the ironing board, making sure the seam is turned out as much as possible and Iron. Pinning to the ironing board helps to ensure the seam isn’t pleated. You may fing using your Point turner helpful here too.

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And there you have it, one beautifully made Collar!

Collar 10Because there are no Corners on the Pan Collar, you will only need to make sure the Seam is turned out when ironing. Grading as illustrated will help with this.

An interesting fact: the Collar side with the smallest amount of Seam Allowance left is now the Under Collar. This is because the smallest amount of Seam Allowance will leave a small ridge when washed and ironed multiple times and it is preferable this is underneath where it can’t be seen!

Later this week we shall all tackle attaching the collar to the main Bodice, then we’ll get a real look at how the Dimpsy T is turning out!

Don’t forget you can buy your own copy of the Dimpsy T- available as a cheap as chips PDF Pattern, or as a beautiful Hard Copy Pattern in my Etsy Pattern shop A Tangled Stitch.

Happy stitching!

Coming soon…

The Midnight Atelier Skirt Making Book!

Front Cover


After the enormous success of the A-Line Skirt Tutorial here on the Blog (I can’t believe I wrote that over two years ago now!), which takes you through Pattern Making the A-Line Skirt and then completely Sewing it up with Hand Finishing, I have written a mini compendium!

Included are the instructions for the A-Line Skirt, and then a series of ‘Hacks’ to take the original Pattern and adapt it to make more styles like the ones pictures (although you might need to add a petticoat to mimic that amazing Circle Skirt!).

This will be the first in a series entitled Stitch Bitch Companions, which continue to encourage adaptation of Patterns and home Pattern Making. I shall be re-releasing my other Booklets under this new format including the Guide to Understanding Vintage Patterns, Seams and Zips as a set which should see any budding Seamster straight!

The next Stitch Bitch Companion after the Skirt Book however; is the Dimpsy T Hack Book (which I am still SO excited about!!)… watch this space!

Happy stitching!



Simple Sews English Tea Dress Sewing Tutorial

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Welcome my lovelies, to this impromptu, bonus Sew-Along!! Yes, as well as the Dimpsy T Sew-Along for my own newest Sewing Pattern I just couldn’t resist when asked by Simple Sew to create this Tutorial!

Have you spied the glorious English Tea Dress by Simple Sews free with Love Sewing Magazine recently? If you would like a lovely, easy breezy Summer Dress to make up look no further, I stitched one up in a couple hours the other day and I hope this Tutorial has some handy tips to help you stitch up your own!

Firstly, measure yourself and cut out the size Pattern which best suits. Alternatively you can trace your Pattern size off, using Pattern Paper or even Swedish Tracing Paper if you’re feeling fancy, and want to check the fit first! Tracing a Pattern will will allow you to change the Pattern (lengthen or shorten etc), but still preserve the original.

Once cut or traced, and using the Cutting Layplans’ on the Instruction Sheet, pin the Pattern to your Fabric then cut the Pattern out. You will need to pay close attention to the Grain Lines as they need to run exactly parallel to the Selvedge or folded edge of the fabric.

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At this point it’s a great idea to make a cuppa and have a read of the Pattern Instructions, just so you know what’s coming and can google any unknown terms.

Once cut out, cut any notches- the Triangular shapes along the edge of the Pattern pieces- and mark all of the Tailor’s Tacks on the Circle markers across the Pattern pieces.

how to make tailors tacks

Once you have made marked the Notches and made all of the Tailor’s Tacks, pull the Pattern off carefully holding on to the Tailor’s Tack threads so they don’t come out. Separate the Fabric pieces and snip the Tailor’s Tack in between so each piece has little thread markers. .

Remove every pin that is keeping the rest of the Pattern pieces on the Fabric, and then pin the Pattern pieces back on with just one pin. This means that you’ll still know what each piece is, but as you are sewing you won’t have to stop to un-pin every time you start to work on a new piece of the Pattern.

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The first pieces to be sewn are the Front Bodice and Back Bodice. Un-pin them and, with right sides together, on each Dart match the Notch on the Seam then fold the Fabric so that the fold goes through the centre of the Tailor’s Tack. Pin.

I like to pin everything I can, then start sewing. I find it’s a quick way to make the sewing process quicker.

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To sew the Dart first pull the Top Thread on the Sewing Machine very long, next- and whilst holding the Threads in place so they don’t tangle- put the Machines Needle down next to the Notch, lower the Presser Foot and then reverse stitch back and forth to start yourself off. Take hold of the Top Thread again and pull round and under the Presser Foot until it is lying in line with the Tailor’s Tack. Start Sewing along the line made by the Top Thread. When you reach the end sew ‘off’ the fabric then pull out of the Sewing Machine. Do not reverse stitch but cut the Threads long, then hand tie and snip close. Hand tying the end threads of a Dart will ensure a neat finish.

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Sew all Darts in this fashion, and then Iron into the top of the Dart before ironing the bottom as illustrated. Iron all Darts towards the Side Seams. You cannot iron over a Dart in it’s entirety as it’s not flat anymore!

To beautifully Hand Finish your Darts see this handy Tutorial.

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With right sides together, join the Front Bodice and Back Bodice at the Shoulder Seam with 1.5cm Seam Allowance. Zig-Zag neaten the edges as illustrated then iron. Repeat for the Front and Back Facings pieces.

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Lay the Bodice out with right side up on your sewing table. With right sides together lay the Facing on top. Match the Shoulder seams- push one seam one way and the other seam the other way to reduce the bulk as illustrated.

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With 1cm Seam Allowance, sew the Bodice and Facing together. When you reach the ‘V’ leave the sewing machines needle in the fabric, lift the Presser Foot, and then turn the fabric for a clean sewing line.Once sewn, Zig-Zag neaten the Facing outside edge.

Once sewn, snip into the ‘V’ as illustrated, then continue to snip all the way around the Neckline Seam Allowance, each time as close as you can to the stitching. This is super important as the Neckline will not turn out neatly unless the seam is clipped.

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 You will next need to Understitch the Neckline for a neat finish. On the Facing side of the Seam, sew through the Facing and the clipped Seam Allowance as illustrated. This needs to be sewn as closely as possible to the original Seam, as you can see.

Understitching is magical and helps the Facing ‘roll’ to the back so you won’t see it as you’re wearing the Dress!

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After Understitching, iron the Facing in position. This is sometimes easier if you pin into the ironing board to keep everything where you need it to be.

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Attach the Front Bodice to the Front Skirt. Pin and sew the left side, but stop sewing when you reach the Centre Front point as shown. Reverse stitch to secure, then snip into the Skirt seam allowance until you almost touch the stitching. This will allow the seam allowance to ‘relax’ so that you are able to pin, and then sew the right hand side of the Front Skirt to the Front Bodice.

Trying to sew this in one go will result in bunching at the Centre Front.

Attach the Back Skirts to the Back Bodices. Zig-Zag neaten all seams then iron.

Sew the Side Seams with right sides together, Zig-Zag neaten and iron flat.

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To sew the Sleeves, you will need to double check that you have the Notches cut as shown.

With 1cm Seam Allowance, and using the longest straight stitch on your Sewing Machine, sew from one notch to the other. Reverse stitch to secure beginning and end. Sew a second line of stitches at 2cm Seam Allowance so you have two channels of stitching as illustrated. Reverse stitch beginning and end as before.

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With 1.5cm Seam Allowance, and with right sides together, sew the Side Seams of the Sleeves. Zig-Zag neaten the Seam and iron as before.

Turn the Dress inside out, and the Sleeves right side out.

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 Ensuring the Single Notched side of the Sleeve faces the Front, pop a sleeve in an Armhole and match the Sides Seams. Pin.

Continue pinning the Bodice to the Sleeve on each side until you reach the beginning of the Gathering.

With a large pin, ‘pick up’ a stitch from each line of gather stitches and pull to gather up. Continue gathering until the Sleeve fits the Armhole. Tie the two stitch loops together to secure then ‘shuffle’ the gathers along until even. Once you are happy, continue pinning the rest of the sleeve in then stitch in place, Zig-Zag neaten and iron.

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Carefully unpick any gathering stitches you can see on the right side of the Sleeve.

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To insert the Zip, iron the 1.5cm Seam Allowance in place as shown. Unfold and lay the Seam flat, place the top of the Zip high up and close to the edge of the Neckline, then pin one side of the Zip with right side down against the right side of the fabric.

Attach the Zipper Foot to your Sewing Machine, and then sew down the Zip, ‘rolling’ the teeth away so sew underneath and following the line made by the iron. It is in this action that the Zip becomes ‘invisible’.

Stitch right to the end of the Zip, and reverse stitch at the end to secure. You can also draw in the Seam allowance line with some Tailor’s Chalk if you wish. There is a more in-depth Invisible, sometimes called a Concealed, Zipper Tutorial here.

For the other side, do up the Zip (and admire your handiwork so far!) and pop a Pin in the un-sewn side of the Zip at the Waistline.

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Undo the Zip, and match the top with the other side of the Bodice as before but ensure you match the Waistline with the Waistline marker pin. It is very easy to mismatch the waistline unless you do this. Pin along the Zip and then stitch in as before.

When the newly inserted Zip is done up the Waistline and Center Back line should for a cross as illustrated.

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Turn the Dress inside out and with right sides together, next to the Zipper stitching as illustrated, start sewing about 2cm above and next to where you stopped sewing the Zip in. Continue sewing to the Hem, reverse stitching to secure beginning and end.

The Zip, once done up, should be invisible with the edges of the Fabric rolling to cover it.

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On the inside of the Back Seam fold the Facing back, and at an angle. Pin in place, then Slip Stitch down to the Zipper Edge. Try not to go through to the fabric on the other side.


Zig-Zag neaten the edge of the Skirt Hem, and both Sleeve Hems. Iron, then turn up .5cm and pin in place. Stitch the Hem and both Sleeve Hems in place.

Alternatively, for a beautiful Hand Finished Hem you can use a Herringbone Stitch which is wonderfully invisible!


Iron your lovely new Dress to finish, and wear it immediately… not forgetting to share a pic with us first!




Thank you for joining me, I can’t wait to see what you make!

If you are in the Bristol area and are having issues with fit, why not join me for my Fitting Evening? Bring along something you have made to fit properly, discuss fit and what you can do yourself to create better fitting garments and measure yourself professionally. You’ll go away with a full Measurement Chart to use in future Dressmaking adventures, as well as notes on fitting.

If you want to delve deeper into creating that perfectly made garment you may wish to join the Measuring and Pattern Evening where we will be discussing how to measure yourself then adapt a Pattern to fit before any fabric is cut!

Both are just £10 and include refreshements. You can book here, or click on the links above the links above to find out more.

x Laura x