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ABOUT ME

I am Angela and I really love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. I wear my Handmade clothes almost exclusively Years have passed and I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill. So I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, free of charge. Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, and you can pass your knowledge on to others. What is not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . As a child my Saturday mornings were spent at Dads factory playing amongst razor sharp Card Clothing . My grandmother worked in the cotton mills and one of my aunts made bespoke car seats. I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion. I have Parkinson's and support disabled people without question. Do ask if you need help or advice on sewing aids and techniques Angela.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

How to sew an embroidered wool coat. A Minerva Craft Blogger Network Post

This is a very easy to sew coat so even if you have never made a coat before do make one.


The fabric is amazing and needs the simplest of patterns to show it off. It is well within the capabilities of everybody so what are you waiting for? Do follow this link and read the rest of my post. You will be able to read the tutorial and order the fabrics and notions too.

If you have any spare fabric left over it would make a beautiful handbag or  even a coat for your dog  if you have one!

This fabulous fabric is still in stock at MinervaCrafts Embroidered Wool Heavy Fabric

Do read the post on this link


My embroidered Wool coat



#sewangelicthreads #MCBN #sew #sewing #tailoring #sewingblog #wool #coat #imadeit #handmade #beginner # fashion










Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Nina Lee CARNABY Dress

It's nice to see a young designer doing well and I am certainly impressed with this pattern by Nina Lee. This Carnaby dress is very Chanel in style, the pattern is very adaptable, simple to make, stylish, fun...what more could anybody ask for?







I was given this pattern to test by Elaine of Sewing Belle. Elaine has workshops on lots of sewing projects held in her premises in Nottingham. This dress will possibly feature in a workshop next year.Sewing Belle Workshops  so do please contact her for details of upcoming workshops
If you want to buy this pattern it is available on Elaine's web site, The Nina Lee Carnaby dress


I wanted to make myself a new dress for Christmas,  a dress which is comfortable and easy to wear. I have a few lunches to go to and this dress will be perfect for them. I will also wear it on Christmas Day. Well,my Christmas Day will be a few days before yours as my son has to work all over Christmas and he is too far away to be able to get home this year. It will be my first Christmas without him, so we decided to do it earlier in the week, which is the only compromise we could come up with.
The fabric I chose is this beautiful wool jersey with a foil print on it. It glitters and sparkles but it is comfortable and snuggly. Perfect! I bought this length of fabric a long time ago and when I spotted it on my shelves I knew it would be ideal.
There are some metallic foil fabrics on The MinervaCrafts web site if you want to take a look Sparkly fabrics remember the fabric can be woven, it does not have to be a jersey you will find lots of other fabrics on their web site
I also really love these tartans, don't be afraid of using a tartan as these particular ones are not difficult to pattern match, some of these glitter too! What's not to love about them? Sparkly tartans and other fantastic fabrics


The pattern comes with a booklet explaining each stage in great detail. Sewers of all abilities will find the instructions very easy to follow and this pattern is therefore suitable for beginners upwards. Somebody with more experience can experiment with different fabrics and finishes, a contrast skirt would look fabulous as would a dress made in a tweed and lined.
What I really appreciated was opening the booklet and finding size charts, finished measurements and fabric requirements all on the first page. This is a major gripe of mine, hunting for measurements, usually they are hidden away on a bit of the tissue paper, if they are there at all.



How I stitched a coat with a zipper closure

A zippered coat




Continuing my determination to have a whole wardrobe of coats to choose from I made yet another one this time with a zipper closure.
This one was not the easiest garment to make but I will explain why as we go along.
The machines and tools are from Jaycotts.co.uk and the fabric is from MinervaCrafts. The pattern is Simplicity.


I love coats and I wanted a choice to wear instead of just having one for best and one for cold winter days shopping. So I have made several.
This time I wanted to explore making a coat with a zipper. The last two coats I made have included poppers - note I have not been using buttons and buttonholes.

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Bernina 350PE Sewing machine

This is a review of the Bernina 350PE sewing machine from Jaycotts

This is my own sewing machine and I want to talk to you about why I love it.





This machine is a strong workhorse which will serve you well for many years to come. Bernina are so confident of the longevity of this machine that it comes with a seven year guarantee.

The Bernina PE (Patchwork Edition) comes with a lot of extras making it especially good value.
As you might expect one of the many accessories which are included is a patchwork foot.
Also included is the totally invaluable walking foot and an extension table meaning you can get started on your project straight away.

The machine has a vast selection of inbuilt stitches with 20 utility stitches, 52 decorative stitches 11 quilting stitches Two memory buttonholes and a full range of automatic lettering and font.
It is incredibly easy to select each different stitch in the LCD screen but what really makes this machine so outstanding is its ease of use, smooth running and accuracy whether you are a beginner or experienced sewer.
Take a look at the machine on Jaycotts web site, and if you want more information or to try it out just give them a call, contact details are below Bernina 350PE at Jaycotts






Saturday, 11 November 2017

Machine Embroidery and the Brother NV800E

The Brother Innov-is NV800E 

This embroidery only machine makes short work of embelishing anything from garments to bed linen and home wear. But it is not just an embroidery machine, it does free standing lace and applique too. The long arm makes it suitable for larger projects but it is equally at home with small intricate designs. Interested?

Not only does it embroider beautifully it appliques with ease and makes free standing lace. I make these bookmarks to give as gifts.



Watch this short video to see it in action



It's such a pleasure to use this machine , and so uncomplicated that within minutes of it being delivered I was producing my very first embroidery.


This is one of a set of velvet cushion covers I have been making. Velvet is notoriously difficult too work with but this machine had no problem with it whatsoever. More about how I made them later.



As you know I recently spent a day with Jaycotts to ask owners of the wonderful Brother Innov-is VQ2 sewing, quilting and embroidery machine
 The post is here if you would like to read it. The Brother Innov-is VQ2 .

Many of you already own a sewing machine which you do not want to replace, but if you  would like to own an embroidery machine too,  look no further than the NV800E from Brother.
I have this machine at home and I wanted to tell you more about it and why I like it.



First of all it has a large colour LCD touch screen. This is the place where you select your pattern and make alterations to it.
Once a pattern has been selected you then have editing options, so you can easily change the shape, size and position of the design. Not only that you can also change the thread colours and rotate the design creating a mirror image.
Each design gives the total time to sew and the amount of time before the next thread change.
It is easy to combine patterns and to change the font on your lettering.
A useful feature is that you can easily check that the embroidery fits inside your chosen frame.
Once you start embroidering the LCD screen displays the thread being used and the minutes it will take to complete that section. The colour list and thread number moves after each colour is stitched and puts the next colour at the top of the list.
There are many other functions easily accessible on this screen,  for example you may need to go back a few stitches or save a design to a memory stick. There is also a stitch counter which comes in handy if you need to turn the machine off and come back to it later
Once editing is complete the design is previewed in full colour.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

A review of the Horn Nova Sewing Machine Cabinet from Jaycotts.co.uk

THE HORN NOVA SEWING MACHINE CABINET



I used to long for my own sewing room,and when my son left home there was my opportunity. Of course he still comes home as much as he possibly can but he is a busy man and that does not happen as much as I would like.
As I now have his room for most of the year I decided to purchase a Horn sewing cabinet so that I am able to tidy everything away neatly when I have finished sewing.



My sewing table was a rickety, very old small square table and the legs kept having to be fixed back on. I also had to keep swapping my chair from one side to the other whenever I wanted to change from overlocker to machine and back again.
It was he who suggested the  table had to go and be replaced with something "proper"



Well, there was not much thought went into ordering this beauty.Yes they are not cheap but just look how elegant and beautiful it looks.Of course I needed the chair as well!


Introducing the Innovative and Intuitive Brother Innov-is VQ2


The Brother Innov-is VQ2 from Jaycotts.co.uk

I recently spent a day instore at Jaycotts finding out from owners of this wonderful machine just what it is that excites them so much.

What became obvious very quickly was the tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion for this machine shown by both owners and staff, so I had to find out more!

I interviewed a group of  Jaycotts customers who all own this fabulous machine and have put their comments and thoughts together so that you can see it though their eyes

Quilt by Sue from Liberty Bell Chester
Ann has been sewing all her life and has not had the VQ2 for very long so she is still learning. She loves the electronic side of it, in particular the extra-large colour touchscreen which is so easy to use
All Ann needs to do is to simply touch the screen to edit stitches, customise the settings, change to one of 13 built in languages and set the clock. She also loves the on screen video tutorials and built in tutorials and help guides which recommend the perfect settings for her project.
Another feature which she loves is the lighting. This machine has ultra-bright LED lighting giving a crisp natural light, it is also adjustable, so it can  turned down or brighter as you require .The lighting is not just in the needle area as usual though - this machine goes better than that as the whole arm area is illuminated.

The VQ2  with quilting by Elaine
As soon as Elaine saw the VQ2 she knew instantly that she had to have it. She loves the way the fabric is fed through easily which was instantly apparent when she went for her demonstration.
Elaine recommends that when doing free motion quilting you practise first on a small sandwich of your quilting fabric, wadding and backing until you are happy with the effect you want to create.



Saturday, 5 August 2017

My review of the Brother Innov-is NV800E Embroidery Machine from Jaycotts.co.uk

A review of My Fabulous embroidery machine plus a tour of my sewing room

I have been longing to tell you about my fantastic new embroidery machine but I am (annoyingly some say) very good at keeping secrets!
The week before last I drove down to Chester to visit Jaycotts and to look at this  machine. I have to be honest I have never in my life used an embroidery machine before so I was doubly excited and keen to see how it would work.

Do have a look at my embroidery machine on this link Brother Innov-is NV 800E


This is the machine. It is an embroidery only machine. There are some which do "normal" sewing as well as embroidery, but well, this one is perfect for my needs, and is exactly what I wanted. I prefer things which have a specific function rather than something which tries to do everything.
There are some things to consider when purchasing any machine, including an embroidery machine and I would strongly advise you going to Jaycotts to try a few out.  If you can't do that then do give them a call on 01244 394099 because they will discuss the different options with you before you make your decision.
Of course you should be looking at a machine which YOU find easy to use, is reliable and value for money. It makes good sense therefore to buy your machine from somewhere reputable like Jaycotts.
Other things to consider are
The embroidery area needs to be large because as you become more proficient you are in danger of outgrowing the machine inside of a year if you limit yourself to a small embroidery area.
This machine comes with built in designs but I would definitely chose a machine with  a USB port so that you can download additional designs - and there are plenty of free ones in the internet. I have just found lots on Pinterest.
You need a machine which is easy to thread, how many times have people told me that they hate their machine because it is hard to thread! Choose one which is easy to thread and which comes with a good quality needle threader, it will save hours of frustration and time. You may be changing thread several times for each design so this is important. I have a preference for all Brother machines in this respect.
You need to see if the machine has a colour touch screen which is clear and easy to use.
And finally you need to choose a machine which has on screen editing so that you can build up a picture using more than one design and add lettering and so on so that your embroidery becomes personal to you.

I highly recommend Jaycotts for all your sewing needs but in this respect they display and demonstrate a wide variety of embroidery machines which means that you can see them in action before you make your purchase You are also welcome to return for advice and demonstrations anytime. Plus a great bonus is that they offer regular in- depth tuition sessions with the lovely Melanie who is  Brother UK's sewing guru.
In case you need any further incentive to purchase your machine from Jaycotts they have been selling Embroidery machines since they were first released in the UK over 20 years ago. They are therefore very experienced not just in sales, but the aftercare, service and maintenance is terrific. They will keep your beautiful new machine performing perfectly for many years to come. I can testify to that because a Brother Machine I purchased  from Jaycotts over 15 years ago is still in constant use by one of my pupils and she loves it just as much as I did.
So, having been a customer  of Jaycotts for many years, well before I became their blogger,  I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to you.




Friday, 4 August 2017

My first steps on my fabulous Brother Embroidery Machine

The Brother Innov-is NV 800E from Jaycotts.co.uk







In my previous blog post I told you about the functions of this wonderful machine and discussed what to look for when choosing a new machine.
Since then so many of you have asked me how I am getting on with it  so I thought I would update you.



This Embroidery only machine is from Jaycotts.co.uk and you can view it here Brother Innov-is NV 800E  Do read my previous blog post for more information about the machine
I do suggest that you speak with them before ordering if you are not sure which machine is right for your needs. They have years of experience behind them and can talk you through the benefits of each machine enabling you to make the correct choice.





Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Sewing Workshop ZONA Jacket . A MCBN post


This is the Zona Jacket, a pattern by The Sewing Workshop with fabric from MinervaCrafts. A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network Post



Once in a while something unexpected and magical happens, and that’s how I feel about this pattern. On first glance the pattern envelope shows a drawing of a rather ordinary looking jacket, but once sewing commences it quickly becomes apparent how complex and interesting this pattern is. I would say that if you have some sewing experience and if you are prepared to follow the pattern instructions and not go “off piste” then fantastic results are very achievable.  Do include the pleated back and resist the plain back as it is mainly the back view which adds magic to this garment.........

To read the rest of the post go to:-The Zona Jacket by The Sewing Workshop






#jacket #linen #MCBN #TheSewingWorkshop #Zona #topstitching #BiasBinding #elephants #patterncutting

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Easy sewing challenge, try adding a lining to a Simplicity dress

Lining a dress

Labels

Lining,stay stitching, pressing, zipper foot, 

There is nothing quite like a fully lined dress. It feels special and it looks special. Adding a lining to a dress makes it feel wonderful, it hangs better, it lasts longer and when you choose the right type of lining it swishes when you walk. As a bonus your dress will look just as good on the inside as it does on the outside.
It is definitely something which you must do for a special occasion dress but why not line a day dress and see how wonderful you feel when you wear it.
This pattern includes a lined bodice and if you choose the straight skirt a lining is included. It is however very easy to add a lining to the full skirt version



I chose a bold printed linen and cotton mix fabric which is widely available. This particular fabric was from Abakhan Fabrics. Linen on its own creases badly but the addition of cotton helps to prevent it happening quite so much. Other fabric choices are cotton lawn and viscose. Whatever you choose for this full skirted version it needs to drape well. If you are going to make the dress with the straight skirt then your fabric choices are almost endless, why not try a brocade for a cocktail dress or a slub silk for a wedding?
I used the same fabric to line the bodice and sleeves for coolness and comfort but I chose a good quality lightweight woven lining fabric in Navy for the skirt. This gives a swing to the skirt and makes that delightful swish as you walk.
You can use lining fabric for the bodice but remember that it will not be as cool to wear unless you pick a lining fabric made from natural fibres such as a pure silk or a cotton voile.



The pattern is by Simplicity and it is New look 6447 available from Jaycotts on this link  NewLook 6447
There are options for a wide skirt or a pencil skirt and cap sleeves or sleeveless.
I cut out size 12 and it did fit well. I have a narrow back and needed to make a small adjustment during fitting, more about that later.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Make An embroidered tunic top -Sew fashionable

This is a continuation of my previous blog post, Making free- standing lace....  I have made exactly the same top but this time I have embroidered it instead of putting applique lace on.
The pattern is as before by  Simplicity -  Simplicity 4149


When I find a pattern I like I keep it in a large plastic envelope to use again. I liked​ the Navy Blue top on the previous post so much  that I wanted to make another one straight away.
The fabric is a length of embroidered Indian cotton from my own stash of fabrics. I have been looking for an opportunity to use it for a few years!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Making a tunic top with lace made on my Brother Innov-is NV 800E embroidery machine

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post



Labels

Machine Emboidery, free standing lace, embroidery stabiliser, French seam,

My embroidery machine does so much more than just embroidery and I am  working through all the different functions and applications. In this blog post I want to show you how easy it is to make free-standing lace and how to add it to a garment. Have you noticed all the embroidered garments everywhere? With this machine your own unique garments can be made quickly and easily.




Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sewing a Nautical BURDA Anchors Shirtdress


This is a #MCBN post.

What a fabulous dress this is. Shirtdresses are so fashionable at the moment and this dress not only ticks that box but it has a nautical theme and can be worn with or without a net petticoat. This dress is made in stretch cotton but picture it in a floaty cotton lawn too. However you make it this is one stunning dress.
The fabric is very well behaved, and easy to sew for all abilities. I love the anchors don't you! And the buttons are just stunning!




Please do follow the link under  read the full post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network . It explains how I made it, and what fabrics I used and how you can make one yourself.


And do leave me your comments,They are very much appreciated.

Thank you

Angela x 


Thursday, 5 January 2017

How I made My white lace pintucked blouse

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post 







This is how I made my beautiful lace pintucked blouse and how I wear it without looking too "girly" Thanks to the wonderful Alex Jaycott for his input into my  adventure with corded pintucks.



If you don't have a pair of leather trousers do go and try some on right now, they are an effort to get into I admit, well my skinny ones are , but they are the most comfortable thing ever. I love lace but for me it needs to look edgy rather than girly, so this pretty blouse will be worn with my leather pants and upcycled leather biker jacket. I will show you how I blinged my jacket later.


To give you a view of what we are going to make this is the front whilst It is being worn. The shape is very flattering with a fitted waist and lots of pintucks to create shape.
I must stress that if you do not want to do pintucks then gathers are quite acceptable, but do at least try them