The Great London Sewing Crawl-26th October

One thing lacking in Suffolk  (only one for a blog should be brief) is a really good place to buy fabric and haberdashery, by which i mean somewhere with a mixture of good quality with bargains with fun fabrics and a really excellent range of haberdashery. It is with this in mind we are holding our first Great London Sewing Crawl to plug the gap.

You are cordially invited to board the sewing bus and come on a magical mystery tour of my favourite London haunts. Those places that sell fabric for 50p a metre and where they pile the ribbons high. We will also be stepping out into some of the more discerning emporiums before finishing with a cheeky drink by the Thames to compare bargains before heading home.

Want to come with? It’s £25 for a seat on the bus and no obligation to buy. Strictly no little people, this is an adult only affair. Sign up here

Just 15 seats available.

bias binding

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Top 3 Sewing kits must haves

When you’re starting off learning to sew, there’s a few bits and pieces I can’t recommend highly enough so I’ve compiled a short list to help you shop wisely.

ONE:

A decent pair of scissors. Now in the first few months you can get away with a pair of 99p bargain sharp scissors. Then you start to get good at sewing and want to do more. The key to successful sewing it being able to cut decent straight lines and to do that, you need some heavyweight dressmaking shears. I recommend Chinese or German steel shears like these. They will last a very long time and can be sharpened.

TOP TIP: keep them out of the way of non-sewers, use them only for fabric and they won’t get blunt/trashed!

CIMG4003

 

TWO:

Chalk, specifically Tailor’s chalk is perfect for marking your fabric with pattern guidelines, little notes to yourself and to remind yourself which way is up. Chalk is cheap and available in lots of colours so buy a few in case your fabric is the same colour as the chalk you’ve just bought!

chalks

 

THREE

A seam ripper is so handy for undoing those little mistakes. Last night, one of my students, under my ‘watchful’ eye, sewed two left legs for her new trousers so we had to undo one. A seam ripper got it done in minutes rather than hours and we could start all over again (or rather she could, I still feel bad). Buy a couple as they tend to get lost as they’re so small.

seam ripper

 

That’s it for the moment, more knitting top tips to come soon!

Making a Liberty print Jewellery roll

 

So I sell fabrics and I enjoy it. I like selecting fabrics that I think people will get pleasure from owning and there’s none less so than a Liberty print. I happened across a small quantity of lawn cotton Liberty fabric one day and have been selling it since via my e-bay shop here.

This particular print was so popular it literally fell off the shelves but I was lucky enough to be left with one small rectangle, too small to sell. I quilted it with some 1oz wadding and then made a cotton lining for the roll (just some pockets and a couple of ring holders). It took an hour to put together so it’s super quick but so pleasing on the eye.

 

 

Selecting and buying the right sewing machine bobbin

Metal bobbins 15kIt’s a question I get asked a lot-how do I know what kind of bobbin to buy for my machine?

Okay, let’s see if I can shed some light on the issue. There’s a small choice, metal or plastic? class 15, L, or 66?

Metal or plastic bobbins are a bit of a muchness, personally I don’t think it makes a huge difference but try both for yourself and see what you think.

The class 15 bobbin (shown above) is probably the most commonly used. It fits drop in machines (where the bobbin literally drops into the top under the needle) and the side loading machine. By happen chance, we sell them online here

The class L bobbin is just slightly shorted in height than the class 15 bobbin.

The 66 class bobbin has a domed top and bottom but is of a similar size to the class 15 (almost but not exactly)

There’s a handy chart here showing a lot of modern machines and the bobbins they take.

Hope that helps!