Saturday Sewing Session Blog

Our Top 5 and what really happens inside a sewing machine…

Its the middle of Feb, and it sees to be getting colder bar the sprinkle of daffodils peeping up from the ground.

That is enough to know that a change is on its way . WooHoo

We hope that everyones new year is ticking along nicely and that your resolution do and don’ts haven’t become a thing of 2015! At SSS Hq we are still mastering how to juggle, maybe we’ll keep that one in 2015!

Here is our Top 5 round up of our favourite book, restaurant, shop, exhibition and our top pick of the month to take you into Spring.

1) A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler We love a book that has thread on the cover here at SSS! This story is the tale of a beautiful emotional ride of a family  through the generations.

2) Sunday Cafe – This gorgeous little cafe in Barnsbury does an awesome brekkie!

3) BOB by DOP – Slightly biased but the wonderful Dawn O’Porter is online and has a POP up in town. Also check out her collaboration with Katharine Hamnett  in support of Help Refugees ’Choose Love’ campaign

4) Vogue100 A Century of Style - The National Portrait Gallery is showcasing  glorious Vogue commissioned photographs from 1916 to present day.

5) Magical lantern Festival – Chiswick House and Gardens comes alive with a  spectacular artistic installation of beautifully sculpted lanterns

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Come closer, we have a secret….

We get asked all the time at SSS

‘Why does there need to be 2 threads’ and “How does the sewing machine actually work?’

Realising our answer of ‘Well, the thing is, ummm there are little fairies working their magic inside the little bobbin house’ … sort of, didn’t really cut it.

So we decided to find out the answer for YOU.

We  ventured far and wide, over hills and mountains, through streams and snow to find the answer, but then we just looked at Facebook and here is the result … and its a brilliant little vid!

Fairies not involved! How the sewing machine works!

 

Hope that helps!

Happy Stitching

 

XX

 

London Fashion Week SS16 Sewing Projects.

Hot on the heels of New York Fashion Week, the London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 shows did not disappoint. As expected it was another stand out year for British Designers, from the outlandish to the sublime, all were hailed for their innovative talent and progressive design. Before we look at our favourite sewable LFW trends we’ve got to start as we always do with our Saturday Sewing Session Top 5 picks of the Month in the following categories a Book, Restaurant, Shop, Exhibition and our Pick of the Month.

  • The Girl Who Wasn’t There- A gripping murder trial that will keep you guessing right until the end. Dark, ingenious and irresistibly gripping.
  • Darwin Restaurant, Sky Garden- Incredible brunch and views to rival the Shard…Perfection!
  • Pearl Lowe Petite- Uber cute Circus inspired Kids collection from Pearl Lowe- Launching in Harrods soon!
  • Mademoiselle Prive- Saatchi Gallery-a journey through the origins of CHANEL’s creations and the charismatic personalities of Mme Coco and Karl Lagerfeld.
  • Pick of the Month- Autumnal Walks in london- embrace the change in season, wrap up and get out there!

 

Saturday Sewing Sessions Blog Sewing, Pearl Lowe, Fashion Week, Autumn Walks, Darwin Restaurant, Chanel Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery,

There is often a disconnect between fashion and home sewing, and here at the SSS we want to bridge that gap. Couture glamour and experimental design shouldn’t be left solely to the designers, if you feel inspired to make your very own home made fashion statement then we want you to give it a go!

 

We have identified 3 trends for the SS16 LFW catwalks that we think can be easily created at home…….get stitching!

Print Blocking

Saturday Sewing Sessions Blog Sewing London Fashion Week, Trends SS 2016, Designer Fashion, Sew at Home

Jonathan Saunders, Emilia Wickstead, Duro Olowu, Mary Katrantzou, and Mother of Pearl

 

Colour blocking is usually the trend that keeps on giving, but this time around, the city has taken it up a notch by blocking prints. Head to your local fabric shop, pick the jazziest prints and start mixing up your dressmaking patterns. Whether they clash or compliment each other this trend will be big next spring. There is so much room in sewing for experimentation, taking risks and getting creative. We can do tailored one to one courses for any project that you want to tackle, so be ambitious, get in touch and we can help you make your dream project a reality!

 

All tied up

Saturday Sewing Sessions Blog Sewing London Fashion Week, Trends SS 2016, Designer Fashion, Sew at Home 

Issa, David Koma, Christopher Raeburn, Eudon Choi, and Amanda Wakeley

 

Tied waists not only add structure to unfitted designs but they are also an easy way of updating an existing outfit. To make your own tie, measure out 2 lengths of black thin fabric, edge stitch down each side and one end, poke inside out, press, top stitch 0.3cm in and secure the open end by top stitching. Add to a boxy outfit for a LFW designer twist to your outfit! Emphasis was placed on the waist with plenty of designers tying their looks up with a bow.

 

Netting

 Saturday Sewing Sessions Blog Sewing London Fashion Week, Trends SS 2016, Designer Fashion, Sew at Home, Net Mesh

Sibling, Paul Smith, Pringle of Scotland, Simone Rocha, and Burberry Prorsum

If like us at the SSS you are a keen follower of Fashion but also love to sew then why not try some dressmaking patterns that you know and love in some on trend fabrics? As an example why not try our Jersey Dress Pattern that you can make in our SSS class in a netted mesh? It creates a bold look, that may require a slip underneath to protect your modesty but its an easy way of creating a high fashion look. It can be a great opportunity to learn how to Alter patterns to accommodate fabrics with different properties.

 

If you have a go at sewing the Catwalk then please send in your photos, we would just love to see them! We will be doing a bigger round up of all our favourite fashion week trends across Milan, London, New York and Paris next month… so watch this space!

 

Happy Stitching

x

 

The SSS home sewing blog review 2015.

This fortnight at the Saturday Sewing Sessions we are reviewing our favourite home sewing blogs to get you inspired to try some new projects, and unearth some helpful tips and tricks. So much can be accomplished at home with the help of a sewing machine and a bit of imagination. All our bloggers are UK based, have incredible dressmaking skills and specialise in one particular area.

We like to start off each blog with our top London picks of the weeks in the following categories: Restaurant, Shop, Exhibition, Book and our SSS ultimate pick of the week.

  1. The Bonnie Gull, Oxford Circus. A gorgeous fish restaurant, serving up fresh, tasty catches of the day. Try the Cod Scotch Egg…. you will not be disappointed!
  2. Princes May School Boot Fair, Dalston. Rummage through the bric and brac for beautiful vintage garments and accessories.
  3. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, V&A, £12. This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, a must have for any aspiring cobbler.
  4. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. A witty, beautifully written gem of a book.  It follows the eccentric life of a girl named Ellie, well worth a read.
  5. SSS Top Pick of the Week- Luna Cinema outdoor pop up cinema in numerous locations across London, bring your prosecco, a picnic and have a whale of an evening this summer!

Saturday Sewing Sessions Top Picks of the Week

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The Little Tailoress

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The Little Tailoress

Blog 1: The Little Tailoress

Best For: Fashion Dressmaking Inspiration.

Who is the little Tailoress?

Ami Lowden is a freelance pattern cutter and designer. She started the blog to keep a record of her home makes. She enjoys the freedom that she can create her own style, and you can see she loves creating pieces that compliment each other.

What is it all about?

Originally started as an online portfolio of Ami’s designs, it has now transformed into a gallery of well tailored sewing projects to encourage others to learn how to sew their own Fashion wardrobe. Not only does she create beautiful garments she also styles her look using existing pieces in her wardrobe. Naturally she has a great range of self drafted patterns and tips for all levels of sewing skill.

Blog Features:

  • Pattern Reviews
  • Handy Hints, Tips & Tutorials
  • Uses Vintage Tailoring techniques
  • Fashion sewing & Design
  • Styling

If you are inspired by the Little Tailoress but feeling overwhelmed with where to start, why not try one of our beginners dressmaking classes or even a one 2 one tutorial to get you started.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The English Girl at Home

Blog 2: English Girl at Home

Best For: Ethical Craft & Dressmaking Ideas.

Who is the English Girl at Home?

Charlotte is a home sewer based in Birmingham that dabbles in a number of crafts, knitting and sewing projects.

What is it all about?

Charlotte’s blog is multi facetted; it showcases all her beautiful dressmaking projects and also traditional crafting practices like dying her own yarns for knitting. The main focus of the blog is making good ethical choices when home sewing, whether that be sourcing fair trade fabrics, altering clothing you already own and using animal friendly products. Charlotte highlights the concerns around mass produced garments made in sweatshops and the steps a home sewer can take to make good ethically produced home garments.

Blog Features:

  • Traditional crafting techniques.
  • Beautiful gallery of makes.
  • Hand embroidery
  • Hand repairs
  • Global Pattern reviews
  • Fashion book/autobiography reviews.

If Charlotte’s blog has made you think twice about shopping on the high street why not try your hand at our clone your closet class? If you have the perfect dress already waiting at home why not try make it in a variety of fabrics and colours?

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 What Katie Sews Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 What Katie Sews

Blog 3: What Katie Sews

Best for: Pattern Knowledge

Who is Katie?

Katie is a twenty something home sewist from North London.

What is it about?

The blog chronicles her attempts to build a wearable everyday wardrobe by sewing everything from basics to some special one offs. The patterns are categorised by company so it’s a brilliant reference point if you wanted to see the final garments before you commit to buying a new style.  Katie has great knowledge on picking a pattern company for your shape and altering patterns for a perfect fit for your body shape. Katie also provides brilliant tips on what bits of home dressmaking you can skip to save time!

Blog Features:

  • Self drafted patterns.
  • Planning your project.
  • Fabrics, pockets and print knowledge.
  • Quilting.
  • Men’s clothing.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 Cloth Habit

Blog 4: Cloth Habit

Best for: Lingerie & Nightwear patterns

Who is the blogger behind Cloth Habit?

Amy is a designer and maker who is interested in pattern making, lingerie and traditional couture moulding methods.

What is it about?

Amy’s blog is crammed with gorgeous photos of her inventive makes from jumpsuits to nightwear. She has a wealth of tips, sew-alongs, tutorials and even a mini pattern shop! What we loved most was that she takes a traditional technique like Moulage (French couture moulding/casting) and gives you a step by step of how it is done, she includes YouTube clips that explain about how the method was used. Other wonderful blog posts touch on the importance of good edge stitching, guides to dress forms and investing in good dressmaking tools.

Blog Features:

  • Pattern Shop
  • Traditional Methods
  • Gorgeous Dressmaking Inspiration
  • Specialises in Lingerie
  • Sew-alongs to help with making her patterns.
  • Informative and detailed.

At the SSS we have a wealth of knowledge in all different areas of dressmaking so if you have heard about a traditional/historical technique and what to give it a go, please get in touch and book in for a one2one.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 By Gum, By Golly

Blog 5: By Gum, By Golly

Best for: Vintage & Knitting

Who is By Gum, By Golly?

Tasha Moss is the lady behind the intriguing By Gum By Golly blog, she’s a vintage enthusiast, knitting fanatic and DIY devotee.

What’s it about?

Tasha’s love for vintage is infectious. Not only does she make her own vintage clothes using dressmaking and knitting patterns from the 1940s but she embraces the style on a daily basis. The blog is jam packed with awesome vintage tutorials, groovy knitting patterns and how to live life with a little vintage flair.

Enter this retro paradise and see how you can embrace nostalgia through creative crafting, hair tutorials and a catalogue of her inventive outfits.

Blog Features:

  • Thrifting/Charity Shop finds
  • Vintage Upcycling
  • Hair, beauty and beyond!
  • Crafting
  • Knitting
  • Free Patterns

We hope this month’s blog review has left you feeling inspired and ready to tackle another project.  We have plenty of great courses up on the website that vary in size and skill level, and we have one to one tuition available if that is more your bag.

Share your thoughts about our blog review below; we would love to hear from you.

Happy Sewing!

 

x

Demystifying Dressmaking Patterns

Dressmaking patterns are notoriously difficult to understand, especially if you are a beginner. You’ve gone out picked the perfect garment pattern, got the fabric ready, you open it up and you can’t for the life of you work out what all the squiggles and markings are. We have all been there! So we thought this fortnight the blog would focus on demystifying patterns so you can tackle all kinds of projects with confidence.

 Before we start demystify the hieroglyphics we need to take a look at the Saturday Sewing Sessions Top 5 Picks of the week in the following categories: a book, a restaurant, a shop, an exhibition and our SSS ultimate pick of the week.

  1. Hemsley & Hemsley The Art of Living Well- A cook book that will help anyone who wants to feel better, lose weight and have more energy.

  2. Gazette Brasserie Balham, incredible provincial French dishes and a mean charcuterie and cheese selection.

  3. Brissi Homeware Shop- handcrafted furniture that creates serene and elegant spaces.

  4. Festival of Love- The Southbank Centre’s summer of love is back with a host of installations, activities, pop-ups and performances that celebrate humankind’s most overwhelming emotion.

  5. SSS Top Pick of the week- Transparent- an awesome Amazon prime series about a dysfunctional family living in LA dealing with their fathers gender transition. If you liked Orange is the New Black, you will LOVE this gem of a series.

If this pattern guide still leaves you a little confused join us at our  upcoming ‘Dressmaking Patterns- Reading to Realisation’ classes and learn to dymistify patterns over a glass of bubbly!  These sessions do not require any experience. And we can also do one to one sessions if you would prefer! No project or enquiry is to big or too small just get in touch.

The SSS Pattern Guide – Lets GO!

Measure yourself!

It is important to measure yourself correctly before you start on your dressmaking adventure. Whether it’s inches or CM’s BUT stick with one or the other or things will get a bit weird looking!

*Top Tip*- IGNORE the sizes at the top of the chart! Go by your measurements and not the size at the top as they are not our highstreet sizes. To get the perfect fit, tape measure yourself up and go from your actual size!

body measurments pattern class

 Cutting Lines

 Lines/dashes around each  piece of the pattern that differentiate the sizes, measure yourself up and cut your size!Bust, waist and hip are the main ones to get you started.

*Top Tip*- Always trace your pattern and markings on to paper rather than cutting your size out, then if you want to use the pattern again in a different size it won’t be a kerfuffle!

 The Grainline arrow

This marking shows the direction you need to position your pattern against the salvage edge (bound edge) of the fabric.

On the Fold

This symbol indicates that the pattern should be positioned along the folded edge of the fabric, to cut out a symmetrical pattern. The pattern piece only represents half the fabric piece. 

*Top Tip* – Keep an eye on the grain line when lining up your pattern, and if it is a bias cut garment the pattern will look a little squiff but as long as the grain line is parallel to the salvage, well, thats just tops!

Bust and Hip Indicators

These indicators you will find positioned on the bust and hip points, remember to transfer them if you are tracing your pattern on to paper.

Lengthen and Shorten Line

Two horizontal parallel lines that indicate the point where you can chose to customize your pattern to suit your own measurements by lengthening or shortening it.

Notches

 Although these markings all greatly differ they all represent the same thing. They mark where two pattern pieces are supposed to align. Make a small nip in your fabric on the notches. They work a little like a jigsaw, one piece will fit with another piece.

Buttons and Buttonholes

 This symbol represents the position of buttonholes on a pattern.

Darts

This marking indicates where the darts are situated that help to mould the fabric around the curves of the body.  Transfer the markings on to the fabric and stitch the diamond/triangular shape together by folding it in half-length ways.

Tucks and Gathers

These markings resemble a square that is missing one line; the dots at the bottom indicate where to pull in the fabric to make it meet in the middle, and the vertical lines and dots at the top indicate where to sew your stitches.

**Top Top Tip** You want to transfer all the above markings onto the fabric and there are a range of ways to do it. Tailor tacks, chalk, invisible pen, carbon paper and a tracing wheel to name but  few. As long as you mark the fabric with all the relevant information you’ll be away. We will be doing updates on all theses techniques soon so keep on the look out!

Fabric and Pattern Key

This key is a visual guide to differentiating the fabric pieces on the pattern.

 These squares refer to which way your printed pattern should be when cutting.

TA- Darrrrr

We really hope this mini guide has made your pattern seem a bit less overwhelming, and if there are any other markings you are not sure of, do get in touch with us and we can help you decipher it!

 Happy Sewing!

X

 

A little lesson in love from the Saturday Sewing Sessions.

Chelsea Victoria Etsy Shop Hearts, Twinkle Lights- Holding On To Love. Hearts, valentine, sewing, dressmaking Saturday Sewing Sessions.

Image Credit: Chelsea Victoria Etsy Shop Hearts, Twinkle Lights- Holding On To Love.

Each week on the blog we are going to select our top five ‘picks of the week’ in the following categories: exhibitions, shops, books, restaurants and the SSS team’s favourite. They won’t necessarily be sewing related but just interesting things for lovely people.

  1. Deliciously Ella cookery book- whole plant based recipes from a very inspirational lady. Ella’s philosophy is all about embracing natural food your body loves.
  2. SMUG gorgeous lifestyle store in Camden (and online) selling beautiful stationary, homeware & much much more.
  3. Thea Porter Exhibition- at the Fashion & Textile Museum, 6th Feb- 3rd May. Fashion & interior design from the pioneer of 1970’s bohemian chic- major dressmaking inspiration!
  4. 10 Greek Street -Unpretentious tasty hearty food in Soho. It has a small perfectly picked menu, friendly staff and a buzzing atmosphere…Yum, yum and yum.
  5. The SSS favourite this week is the seriously addictive Serial Podcast. The first season unearths a complex murder case in Baltimore 1999, which will keep you guessing…did Adnan really do it? Not exactly tying in with the Valentines theme this week, but it’s just too good to miss.

 Saturday Sewing Sessions Top 5 Picks of the week banner.

With Valentines Day looming we thought it might be topical to tackle the subject of love. Whether you are single, taken or too busy stitching to care, read on to find out our top sewing related lurve tips that will get you in a romantic mood this Valentines Day….

Taken?

So, you and your other half have been together for a while, and maybe you are looking for something special to surprise them with this year? Well forget the bouquets of flowers, dinner for two and annihilating that trusty tray of Guylian Chocolates, and book yourself in for our Naughty Knickers workshop on Sunday the 8th of February 2015! Nothing says ‘thoughtful present’ more than a handcrafted gift you can both enjoy. Your Naughty Knickers can be personalised however you want; sew on bows, appliques, ribbons, lacey trims and other pretty decorations…. It’s completely up to you!

Single?

Valentine’s Day can be a sore subject if you are a singleton with only a hearty tub of Ben & Jerry’s to keep you company. But have no fear! The SSS team has the perfect solution to get cupid working overtime. It is a fact that you meet Mr/Mrs Right when you stop searching for them and start focusing on something you love. Start a new hobby that excites you as it opens you up to meeting like-minded people and discovering what makes you passionate and creative. And what is more attractive than watching someone who is impassioned by what they do, you can literally see the happiness radiate off them! And if dressmaking could be your thing, have a look at our upcoming classes…. After all, you may need to knock up a little black dress for all the dates you will be asked out on!       

Too busy stitching?

Most of us sewaholics will be in this category…..so make sure you share your lovely makes via our Instagram & Twitter. Soon we will be launching our ‘Make of the Month’ to everyone who has taken part in our classes, so keep an eye on the website.

If you fancy saying hello or have any recommendations for pick of the week, please comment below, we would love to hear from you!

Happy Valentine’s Day

X

P.S If you are still stuck for prezzie ideas for your Valentine you can buy gift vouchers here for our SSS classes or when in doubt, diamonds are ALWAYS a winner!

 

 

Win something fabulous…

This competition has now closed! Thank you to everyone who entered we will let the winner know via our newsletter.

Did someone say…Win? Can I be a winner?

Well, yes you can peeps, its that time of the year and sewing is in the air. The Great British Sewing Bee has hit our screens, so once again, and we have something rather fabulous to give away.

Last year, our friends at  Janome gave us a Janome Sewist 525s, and this year we have another one to give to one of you lovely people, just like the one below, plus a £50 voucher from us here at Saturday Sewing Session to get started.

 Brand spanking new Janome Sewing Machine - it could be yours!

Brand spanking new Janome Sewing Machine – it could be yours!

Our sessions are all taught by experienced seamstresses who work within the costume, fashion, vintage and millinery industries so you’ll be in good hands to get sewing. This machine is the same model used on The Great British Sewing Bee and the same one we use at Saturday Sewing Session.

We can either teach you to sew on this shiny new piece of equipment or simply refresh or expand your skills. Venture into  dressmaking, pattern cutting, alterations, piping and loads of things in-between. All our sessions can be found here.

 So, I hear you cry – what do I have to do…

 All we want you to do is 3 easy steps …

1)  Answer this question in the comments below

If you could sew anything that would then come to life – what would it be?

i.e I would sew a giant piece of dark chocolate 

2)  Share this blog using any of the symbols below or to the side

3) Sign up to our newsletter either through our Facebook Page or on our website , if you have already been to a session or signed up, you’ll be on the system, maybe give us a Like instead.

Signing up to our newsletter gives you an insight into some top sewing tips, advise from our team of extraordinary seamstresses and lots of other lovely stuff.

What are you waiting for…

We can get you started on the sewing train asap, fingers crossed, good luck and may the sewing force be with you.

Winners will be announced the day after The Great British Sewing Bee has finished.

Thanks for listening X