Beautiful trims from old neckties

Do you have unworn neckties at your house?  Too ugly or unfashionable to wear, fallen down at the back of the wardrobe? If you’re ever in need of a small amount of bias-cut fabric for binding, piping or trim, an old necktie could be the answer.  Even an ugly necktie can make a beautiful trim.…

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What to wear to an author talk when you’re the author

Our wonderful library has booked me in for my very first author talk on Tuesday 5th September. As most of us do when planning an important occasion, I thought: I wonder what I’ll wear?  Should I make something new or wear something I already have? I’ve come up with these criteria: Bright colour to stand…

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How to sew an invisible zip (finally!)

Several people have asked me for a post on how to sew an invisible zip (although this might come too late for them), so here it is. Firstly, some notes: An invisible zip can be almost one of the last things sewn on a garment.  Sew the zip in before you sew the rest of…

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Making a Spectacle of Oneself

They said it would happen one day, and now it finally has. Yep, reading glasses.  I’ve now reached That Age where I need glasses to sew and read. I can’t complain really; I’ve enjoyed superb eyesight my whole life.  In my 20’s I could actually read the size number on machine needles.  Since I turned…

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Introducing The Dressmaker’s Companion

Dear Friends, I’m so excited I hardly know how to write this post. I’ve just finished writing a sewing book which I hope will be tremendously useful, outstandingly successful and a great blessing to anyone who sews clothes. The Dressmaker’s Companion is… “A comprehensive sewing reference you’ll refer to again and again for reliable, practical…

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Time Capsule from the 1960’s

Recently I was given a gift of two bags and box containing fabric from a friend of our family, Will.  The fabric had belonged to four women: Will’s mum, her two sisters and their mum. The fabric had been sitting in a caravan for years, untouched by mice or moths, and Will’s mum was having…

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Free pattern: Large beach bag

I know, it’s crazy: I don’t live anywhere near a beach and it’s wintertime.  However, a beach bag this size is endlessly useful for things like swimming lessons (in an indoor pool right now), sleepovers, laundromat visits, taking parcels to the post office and taking fabric around to your mum’s.          …

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My ex-favourite skirt just became favourite again

Some time ago I went through a phase of using cotton fabric for skirt linings.  I made three skirts this way: a dark brown corduroy skirt I wore for Me-Made-May, a long grey wool skirt also worn for Me-Made-May and a red corduroy Clothkits skirt. I thought a cotton lining would make the skirts warmer…

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3 Things I Learned From Me-Made-May

Me-Made-May is over and I enjoyed it!  My challenge was to “endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2017 AND to wear my clothes with imagination and thoughtfulness and get out of the rut of wearing the same few things all the time.” Did I achieve this? …

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