The Dimpsy T Sew-Along!

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Well, ladies and gents, the long awaited Dimpsy T Sew-Along starts today!!

The newest Pattern release from Laura after Midnight is a darling little Summer Top with a central Bust Dart, Kimono style Sleeves, Key Hole detailing and lots of snappy ways to learn to sew, brush up your Sewing skills or simply whip up a tip top Summertime Top in a couple hours!

Head on over to A Tangled Stitch– my Pattern Etsy Shop- to grab your Pattern right now! Use Coupon Code DIMPSYOFFER to get 15% off

We’ll start sewing next week however; we’ll be talking about sewing all week! I’ll be posting some helpful hints and tips about choosing fabric and equipment later this week but I thought I’d kick us off with the order or sewing, and what we’re going to be tackling along the way:

Week 1

Preparing to Sew, gathering your Supplies and cutting the right size. We’ll be talking about measuring for the perfect fit, discussing fabric choices and giving out some handy Sewing hints and tips about what equipment is handy in the Sewing Room, and more!

Week 2

That Dart! Just how mean was I when I designed that central Dart for the Dimpsy T? We’ll be finding out how to sew it up, with some helpful hints and tips about marking fabric and preparing to sew Darts.

Week 3

Concerning Collars! The Dimpsy T has two different types of Collar and in this Sew-Along I shall be stitching up The Fang. With lots of tips about how to sew curves, grading and clipping and lots more, this is going to be a get stuck in, nitty gritty, sewing geek kinda week! We shall complete the Collar first, then later in the week, Facings.

Week 4

Finishing and the release of the Dimpsy T Hack Book! Adding the final touches to our Dimpsy T, we’ll talk all about hemming, hand stitching and Hacks! I may even be persuaded to do another give away… cheeky!

Excited? I am! These bad boys only take a couple hours to make, and I can’t wait to reveal what other things you can do with the Pattern. We’ll be sharing our makes at the end, and you’ll be able to pin the on Pinterest for everyone to ooh over!

Happy stitching!

The Marks & Spencer Shwop & Sew Lab

On the 20th June, I shall be setting up shop inside Marks & Spencer’s, Broadmead as part of The Bristol Big Green Week! Excitement!!

I’ll be running two Workshops, the first being for Beginners to Up-Cycle a T-Shirt in to a Shopping Bag or Infinity Scarf, the second for more intermediate Sewers will turn a T-Shirt into a Shirred Skirt or Tunic! All T-Shirts are being donated by Oxfam, and the event is completely free BUT it’s first come, first served so you’ll need to get in fast!!

You can see all of the details here, and the full Schedule is below:M&SYes, you can meet the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee! Eek!! And just look at all of the good things you can come along to learn, Up-Cycle or repair. I shall definitely be hanging around to take a peek at the Refashion Competition and for Matt’s talk (and a cheeky glass of something!).

I’ll be sharing the makes over the week as I put together the samples and instruction sheets so watch out! I love the idea of Up-Cycling all of those old T-Shirts into useful Shopping Bags (did you know the UK stops giving Shopping Bags out for free at the end of the year? Well, we do so make your own re-usable one now!!).

See you there, can’t wait to meet you all.

Happy stitching!

New Sewing Courses!

Phew! I have just finished updating the Class Schedule, and I have to say I am mighty proud of this one!

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There’re Classes for beginners and more advanced Sewers alike, and I have tried to plan in fun projects like the Playsuit Course or Beginners Dressmaking Course which both have three different Patterns to choose from (and they’re all great, I promise!), as well as Project Days including an Introduction to Patchwork Day and the completely awesome and fun T-Shirt Project Day.

You guys who have already been stitching up a storm are also catered for and can choose from the Sew Anything Course– which starts soon!- as well as Lingerie, Corset and Vintage Pattern Courses. I’m almost envious, but I get to be there too, yay!

I also have a Social Media Training for Small Businesses Seminar which I am completely thrilled to be offering. I seem to spend a lot of time spouting off about how important SEO is, why I try to maintain an Editorial Calendar and why everyone with a Small Business should Blog in the first place, as well as blithering on about Internet Marketing and all the many minutiae of running a Small Business in this wondrous Internet age that I thought I would  share all of the bits and bobs I have learnt over the years to help y’all out!

Click here for more information but loosely this seminar will feature group discussion and worksheets plus handouts for future reference and is the perfect next step for your Small Business as you build your Brand and start to create more business through your website, shop and in person! It’s going to be such fun guys, I’m hopping with excitement!!

Places are limited by space so I’d book quick for all of the Courses and Classes.

Happy stitching!

Great British Sewing Bee: Week 3

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Well, what did we all think about week 3? Poor Julie, I shall definitely miss her. She brought a wonderful normality to the Bee!! Click the above lick to watch…

This week the Sewers tackled Leggings, T-Shirt Up-Cycles and sewing Jersey dresses. Which was all a bit the same really, and I found myself zoning out a little to be honest! Probably because I sew a lot of Historical Costumes I don’t sew much stretch, don’t worry though, I have tracked down some helpful links and tips for you and some even more helpful tips if you don’t own  an Over Locker/Serger if you’d like to work with stretch fabrics.

First things first. I find that when tackling a new fabric or technique it is important for me to be stitching up something I really like, or want! I’ve been on the hunt, and there are some lovely patterns out there from some great Independent Pattern Companies which should get anyone excited about sewing with stretch.

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From left: Sewaholics Pendrell Blouse, Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi and IN-HOUSE’s Kimono Tee.

For help stitching up the above, you should really check out The Thrifty Stitcher for some greatTutorials for using stretch fabrics. The Burda Style Blog is also worth checking out for a great no nonsense tips for Sewing Stretch Fabric without an Overlocker video tutorial. The Papercut Collective also have a some Knit tips, and and article about sewing with Knits without an overlocker.

As with anything, take your time and stitch up some samples to get used to your fabric if this is your first time working with Jersey. In my experience, each and every Jersey fabric is different and contains its own unique properties and samples will help you understand and manage it to the best of your abilities. A super neat trick to remember: if you like it and your garment sews together well, buy more Knit fabric in a different colour and make the same thing again! This applies to most things to be honest however; Knits are easy to wear and a little more versatile than some styles.

That’s about it, told ya I zoned out didn’t I?! If you would still like a bit more help Sewaholic has put together this exhaustive list of many varied Tutorials on the subject! Hurrah!!

Happy stitching!

Pop Up Sewing Emporium… success!

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Phew! What a crazy, hectic, mad, brilliant December I had, but I can’t believe I haven’t shared with you the super fun day that was the Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium!!

It was a lovely day, very rainy out which undoubtedly affected turn out however; everyone who came had a lovely time and made some beautiful decorations and gifts! We even had a new Dad stitch up a stocking for his new Son, so cute!

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On the day I was so nervous! It was so liberating and exciting to run something like this myself however; I had for some reason decided I was going to be sat, all alone and surrounded by fabric, beads, thread and sparkle with no one to play with however; at just £5 a go the Pop Up Sewing Emporium proved irresistible to many and in the end every table was occupied with crafty peeps!

Cafe Kino were wonderful, and many availed themselves of their delicious Veggie BLT’s and coffee! There was so much room, it has thoroughly gotten me excited for the next one because there could have been so many more tables, market stalls and sewing.

I set up a wall of examples and inspiration with all of the fabric and decorations underneath and visitors were able to select their materials then get down to some serious Christmassy stitching! It was, as ever, wildly exciting to see what others make up from just a few suggestions and inspirations. Each little table had an oversized Vintage Glass Pincushion, pot of Pens and Pencils, lots of Scissors and a Vintage Tablecloth! It just looked adorable and everyone who came settled in at a table with a cuppa or some coffee and the whole space felt like a cool, secret after school club for grown ups!

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My runaway favourite make was a delightful little Pink Fox Brooch a little girl made. Sadly I didn’t manage to get a photo but she was so pleased! In fact she at one point very seriously turned to me and said, ‘Are these on all the time?’ which completely made my day! (I am pleased to say, the Pop Up Sewing Emporium will return in the New Year).

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Lessons I learnt from the day? Advertise more! Even when you think you have advertised as much as you can, do more!! I think also there is a real ‘window’ for advertising and mine was a little early in some cases. I think I should have started a month before, then reinforced the week before. All of this of course comes with experience, and I shall learn more as I host more Pop Up Sewing events. I also needed an assistant to help people when I was otherwise occupied, which was Fella’s take away from the day and makes me feel a little grandiose but he’s right. I also felt I maybe gave visitors a little too much freedom, the choice was limitless and some had a hard time choosing what to make so next time I shall be running a more course like event, with pre-booking.

It all passed so quickly and has left me thirsty for more, so I am busily organizing myself to run events hopefully in April, when I shall be a little less in competition with other, larger Christmas events and everyone has gotten over the Christmas splurge and New Year tightening of belts. I think my first will be T-Shirt Making, and I hope to have a fellow Sewer host a Customization Bar… so you can see why I would be excited! It’s going to be super awesome all kinds of cool!!

If you would like to find out how to make some of the things visitors to the Christmas Pop Up Sewing Emporium did why not check out the Jewel Bird Tutorial, or the Stocking Tutorial? Get a head start on 2014 now!

Watch this space for more Pop Up Sewing Emporium news… don’t forget to sign up for our monthlyNewsletter to keep up to date on all Midnight goings on!

Happy stitching.