Spring/ Summer trends!

Part 1: Polka dots and white dresses...

How long is January?! (I know it’s only 31 days but man it feels longer!)

It’s definitely that time of year when I’m dreaming of warmer weather and if you are anything like me, already planning my summer wardrobe!

I’ve been checking out the trends for Spring/ Summer to give me a bit of inspiration for my makes this year, they include; 90’s minimal, summer leather (?!) suits, shorts, jungle prints, the seventies, waistcoats and neon. Two of my favourite trends are polka dots and white dresses! 

In this weeks trend post I’m going to show you some of the trends, fabrics and patterns you could use to get the look yourself…

The ex-fashion student in me loves looking at the extravagant designs from the catwalk, but, they are not always the most wearable! But I think what we can take from these images is that volume is king and a mixture of large and small polka dots gives a really impactful look!

We have some lovely polka dots in stock at the moment…

Not sure about a whole polka dot look but want to give a nod to the trend or just add a flash of pattern to your latest make? Take a look at our fabulous range of trimmings!

Clockwise from top left:

Spring set Spot Ribbon £5

Black Spotty Ruffle Trimming £2.50

Spotty bias binding £3

Elastic trimming gold dot £1.95

This next trend is going to be huge this summer…just remember not to have red wine or spag bol and you’ll be fine! Many a white shirt I have ruined this way!!

White dresses look fab with tan and black leather accessories and are a great way of keeping cool in the hot summer sun…

We’ve got some grogeous textures in stock which look great layered over brighter colours if pure white is not your thang…

Clockwise from top left:

White spot stretch mesh £3.85 per h/m

White leatherette flower lace £16 per h/m

Figo Lucky Charms Hands £7.25 per h/m

Daisy lace  £4.50 per h/m

 

What sewing pattern to choose…

Some pattern inspiration for you!

How about the following:

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Co. 

The Appleton dress by Cashmerette

Roscoe blouse and dress, True Bias sewing Patterns

Allie Olsen Highlands wrap dress

Sundress sewing pattern byt the Avid Seamstress

The Blouse by the Avid Seamstress

Next week I’ll be looking at  the Seventies trend and the colour of the year…blue!
 
Thanks for reading!
Debbie x

Handmade wardrobe 2020

My me-made sewing challenge

Hi Guys!

I’m Debbie, Sammy’s assistant and all round crafty person.

I am mummy to my gorgeous little girl Audrey and my two cheeky dogs, my husband let me take over the basement in our new home for all my sewing stuff… so he is the best 😉

Since I can remember I have always been crafting. From making Fimo jewellery as a child, to studying Womenswear at the London College of Fashion (and a fair bit in-between!). My work has appeared in Mollie Makes, Simply Sewing Magazine, Love Quilting as well as the Samantha Claridge Studio blog! I have sold my designs at craft shows across the South East and now am a freelance crafter…a dream come true!

 

I ran design label Duck & Duffel for 5 years (now Hila Studio) and made lots of lovely dresses and prints, designing my own fabric and illustrating. Then life got in the way as it often does and I had to get a day job, but I’m back freelancing now and working with Sammy, happy days!

But, despite having a degree in fashion and more than 20 years dress making expeirence I rarely use my skills to make clothes for myself…crazy huh!

I have just bought a new house with my husband and in an effort to spend less and shop more sustainably I am challenging myself to make myself some clothes this year.

To give you a bit of background…I love shopping, I mean LOVE it, in fact at some stages in my life you could definitely have called it a “problem”. I don’t know whether it was boredom and frustration during my twenties and early thirties when I didn’t work in a creative environment and felt like buying beautifful clothes helped me express my creative side, or, I just love buying pretty things, but I spent a lot of money on clothes and shopped nearly every day, buying things on a whim which ultimately ended up in the charity pile. I was always seeking out the next trend and giving it my spin but never feeling satisfied…I never had anything to wear despite having a wardrobe fit to burst!

As I’ve got older I’ve found my ‘style’ and it’s been this way for a number of years now, I know what works for me and my lifestyle and body shape and I’m keen to make some amazing pieces that I’ll get lots of wear out of and the satisfaction of having crafted them with my own hands.

My aim isn’t to replace everything in my wardrobe with handmade, as I have some amazing garments by indie designers in there, which I will cherish for years to come (that’s you Lucy and Yak and Dreamland Clothing!) But If I feel the urge to shop, instead I’ll think carefully about why I need a certain peice, how it will fit into my wardrobe and if I can make it! If I can’t make it I will aim to thrift it (I’ve just discovered a great charity shop down the road which colour codes and separates it’s clothes into categories…it’s Uh-mazing!). 

I’m going to document my journey on this blog. In the next post I’ll tell you about where I get my inspiration from and how I plan my makes…spolier alert I’ve just got a fresh Dressmaking journal from the Samantha Claridge Studio shop so that is going to be my new sewing best friend! I’ll also talk you through choosig fabric, the tools I use and of course show you what I make.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey and if there are any specific topics you would like me to cover then do leave a comment!

So until next time, here is my me-made rail below. So far it’s got two Indigo dresses on it because I love a smock dress and cute prints!

Gingham (Samantha Claridge Studio -now sold out) But you could also use this plaid

Figo Treehouse Zig Zag 

I promise I’ve only got one more smock dress planned…but that might change 😉

Leave me a comment if you are also going to be making more for yourself this year, I’d love to give you a follow and see what you are making!

Debs x

Jersey Binding Tutorial

Finishing edges with jersey...

This post shows two uses for the Jersey Folded Binding which is available in the shop in a variety of colours. 
 
This is a great way to neatly finish the edges of garments made from stable knit fabrics, or could also be used to bind craft projects such as quilts in the same way as woven binding. It has a slight stretch but wouldn’t be suitable for very stretchy jersey fabrics or on areas of a garment which need to stretch a lot, such as tight neck openings.
 
The first way I used this binding was to finish the neck of a dress I made for my Christmas party. It had a high front neck but low back so didn’t need to stretch for me to get it on and off.
To start with, sew your garment as you normally would; you can do this step at the end or once the should seams have been sewn together, before constructing the rest of the garment.
 
Measure your neck opening and cut a piece of binding slightly longer than the opening. Mine overlapped by a few inches.
 
Pin or clip the binding to the outside of your garment with right sides together and edges aligned. Don’t stretch the binding at all while you do this or it’ll be too tight to turn under! I used wonder clips to attach it as I prefer them to pins. Trust me, if you get some you won’t regret it!
 
 
 

Using a narrow zigzag stitch or other stretch stitch, sew along the fold closest to the edge of the fabric. You could overlock this but it would add some bulk under the binding. Leave an inch or two of loose binding at the start and sew all the way around until you meet your stitching again. Backstitch or tie off ends to secure.

 

Bring your two loose ends right sides together and sew along the width of the binding where your stitching ends. I used a straight stitch here to help it lie flat when finished. Trim the excess fabric and press open.

Turn the binding to the wrong side and tuck under the other folded side of the binding. Press to help it lie flat and clip or pin to secure. 

Go back to your machine and stitch down using a zigzag, stretch stitch or twin needle. Backstitch or tie off your ends to secure and you’re done!

The other way I used this binding was to hem a dress. It had ended up a bit short and I wanted to avoid losing any more length by turning up and sewing so I used the binding and it worked really well.
 
Once again, measure the length of the hem and cut a piece of binding slightly longer. Pin or clip it right sides together with edges aligned, leaving an inch or two loose on either end. Don’t stretch the binding at all or it won’t turn under easily! (Ask me how I know this 😛 )

Sew using a zigzag, stretch stitch or overlocker, starting an inch or two from the end of the binding, and sew all the way around until you meet your stitching again. Backstitch or tie off your ends to secure.

With right sides together, sew across the width of the binding. Trim the excess and press open.
 

Turn the binding to the wrong side, press then clip or pin. Stitch using a zigzag, stretch stitch or twin needle.

Ta da! This is a really nice, neat way to do a hem but not one I’ve tried before so I’m glad it worked well. (Obviously black binding would have been better than navy but no one will notice 😀 )
 
I hope this is useful and gives you an idea of how you can finish your knit projects in a slightly different way! See you soon for another post!

Bubble satin review

Satin blouse project

Hey everyone, I’m so pleased to be back on the Samantha Claridge studio blog today.

I’m delighted to tell you all about this beautiful satin!

I’ve owned the Named clothing, book “Breaking the pattern” for a while and really like the Sade blouse pattern. When I saw this fabric on the website, I was very keen to make a version of the Sade with it.

I must admit I did have some reservations before I ordered this from Sammy. I have worked before with super slippery fabrics, and was a little concerned that this would be one of those.

                                                                                                                                                         

Sammy is always happy to send swatches of fabric out, she’s very passionate about the fabrics she sells and is very keen to make sure her bloggers and customers alike are happy with their fabric choices. So quickly she popped a piece of this in the post to me.

As you can see, I wasn’t put off, after I’d seen and handled it. In fact, quite the opposite, I basically had to have this in my wardrobe!

It cut and sewed beautifully. I put the basic principles into practise. I used a new rotary cutter blade and cut the pieces singly. It cut just fine and didn’t slip over itself at all, I think the “bubble” texture actually made it grip to itself, not slip around at all and when I sewed it, it behaved really well too.

I used a fine point needle and pinned in the seam allowances.

 The quality is divine, so soft and drapey its delightful against my skin.

The fabric feels like luxury itself; I cannot believe the quality of this for its price tag, for a very reasonably priced fabric the quality, colour and feel of this bubble satin is mind blowing. I absolutely love my Sade blouse but if I’d not made this, the satin would have been gorgeous made up into a beautiful dress or luxurious night attire (think luxury robe or slip) or lingerie (so sexy)!

 

So that’s all from me for now, till next time keep chatting and stitching, Carol 😊

Clementine skirt!

Carol's star wardrobe basic...

Hey, you guys I’m back on the Samantha Claridge Studio Blog today to talk to you all about this lovely cord!

It’s so soft, and lovely to touch and wear. I’ve made the Clementine “Made in Denim” skirt before but really wanted to make one in this olive-green cord (olive green now out of stock). It’s super soft and has a great stretch. This is due to its 3% spandex content; this means it’s really easy to wear and doesn’t get stretched out when you sit down in it for a while.

As usual I prewashed my fabric and line dried before I began, it washed and pressed beautifully.

It’s a great idea to lay a second section of cord face down on top of the garment sections whilst pressing, this stops the nap being flattened. Also be mindful when using cord to make sure that all your pattern pieces are cut in the same direction due to the nap of the fabric.

I really wanted to personalise the top stitching with this make and drafted a little motif which I’d love to share with you.

I free hand copied my sewing shears onto paper, which I then cut out and stuck to my pocket with 505 spray.

Then I stitched around the template with top stitch thread in a contrast colour.

I tried two different colours out, a dark grey which I really liked (but I was a little concerned that might be a bit too understated) then a second one in a lovely rust colour. But when I compared them both together, I reverted back to my original choice.

That was it, decision made, and I completed the rest of the top stitching in that colour. The cord made up beautifully and I chose to make my skirt up at just below knee length. I think this is going to be perfect through the winter with some cosy tights and boots. 

If I’d not chosen to make my corduroy into a classic jean skirt, I think it would be gorgeous made into some dungarees or trousers, maybe the Ash or Ginger jeans, or even children’s wear. It is certainly soft enough for the most delicate of skin!

 That’s all for now till next time keep chatting and stitching Carol 😊  

DIY Ukulele case!

@lucyhannahmakes ...a Ukulele case!

For a while I’ve wanted to get my niece a Ukulele for Christmas. She loves music and when she visits me, she’ll spend most of the time playing on the piano or guitar with my husband, so a musical gift seemed like a no-brainer. But…she’s 2! And I’m sure you know 2 year olds can be a little rough, so I loved the idea of making some sort of padded case to protect the Uke a little bit. I wasn’t completely sure how you go about making a case like that but when I saw this gorgeous Ruby Star Record Fabric I knew I had to try!

I’d seen a few rough guides of how to make guitar cases on Pinterest but everyone seemed to pretty much make it up as they were going along, depending on the instrument they were making a case for. But basically you needed to draw around the instrument as guide. As well as the main fabric, I wanted to line the case so I chose the lovely patterned peachy Figo Treehouse fabric  which is a lovely contrast. I figured a long zip would be the easiest way to get the ukulele in and out of the case, so I used this peach 56cm zip to match the fabric.

I started by drawing around the Ukulele and added on a few centimetres all the way around so there was a little wiggle room as well as about 1cm seam allowance. To make the case padded I used this iron on fusible fleece . It was a really quick and easy way to pad the case out, and to make it easier getting all the layers through the sewing machine when putting the case together I cut the wading fabric slightly smaller than the main fabric.

This project took a bit more maths than I was first expecting. As well as measuring the depth of the ukulele, I also needed to measure all the way around to get the length for the side panel. I took off the length of the zip from the measurement for the main side piece, then cut two other pieces the length of the zip and half as deep as the ukulele to attach to either side of the zip.

I decided to just pad the main fabric rather than the lining too so it wasn’t too bulky. To add a bit of detail I thought it would be nice to do a bit of quilting on the padded pieces. I jumped straight in to quilting using the edge of the machine foot as a guide to keep my stitch lines straight. Using the machine foot as a guide meant the quilted lines were quite close together so it took a fair chunk of time to finish (next time I quilt something I’ll use something bigger as a guide!). But I think the narrow diagonal lines of stitching work really nice with the small print of the fabric.

I sewed all the pieces together, remembering to leave the zip open a little so I could turn the case back the right way. Then attached the lining by hand along the edge of the zip. I decided to make a handle out of the lining fabric to give a nice bit of contrast to the outside of the case, and hand sewed that on.

 

I’m really pleased with the result. I absolutely love the record fabric. And the fusible fleece is definitely my new favourite way to quilt as the wadding stays in the right place while you stitch. I probably should have added on even more wiggle room as it is quite snug when zipping the Ukulele in the case, but it does fit. My husband has decided he’d now like a case for his own ukulele as well as 3 of his guitars, so I’m sure I’ll be a pro at making them soon! Haha! 😂🙈

Cosy Winterwear…

My snuggly Southbank Sweater Dress

Hey there again!

Hope you’re all getting plenty of sewing time in.

The weather has took a sudden drop in temperature up here and we are having some heavy frost and lots of threats of the dreaded white stuff! I’m not looking forward to that let me tell you! With this in mind I decided that I needed to update my wardrobe and make some more snuggly Southbank Sweater Dresses as they’re so easy and comfortable to wear and fabric dependent can easily be dressed up or dressed down. I have made this pattern a few times before however it was a couple of years ago now and they have been, well, let’s just say well loved, so I was due a few more worthy of going out in public! I had to make a smaller size this time as my previous versions were 2 sizes bigger. The only thing I’d forgot to note anywhere on my records was that I’d  lengthened the skirt on those which meant I got quite a surprise to find that this one was much shorter!! Once the hem band was on I didn’t think it was that indecent so left it as it was. Had it been much too short I would have just used the pattern piece and made a deeper band.

As soon as I spotted this leopard print on Sammy’s website I knew it’d make the perfect outfit for all
occasions. I have used Ponte before however this one is so much softer than ones I’ve previously
used. It’s a beautifully soft ponte roma and despite my efforts to capture the exact colour I just
cannot get the colour to come through true on a photograph. It’s not your usual brown/beige tones
it’s more of a grey/blue/green. It is a really beautiful colour.

As usual I prewashed the fabric as soon as it arrived and it washed and dried beautifully needing minimal pressing.
For anyone who hasn’t made this popular pattern (although I’m not sure that there’s many people left out there who haven’t) it comes together very quickly and I completed all of this on my Babylock overlocker. I think all in all from cutting out the fabric to finishing the dress it was only a couple of
hours.

I’ve worn this dress out a couple of times now and had so many compliments and people “stroking” as they can’t believe how soft it is.

I am definitely not done with this pattern yet and have already spotted a couple more fabrics on Sammy’s website that I have my eye on for more Southbanks. I may even leave off the neck band for mething a little different too. I think the fabric would make a fab little cardigan too if you’re not a fan of the sweater dress.

If you’ve got this far, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Lisa
@sewlastminutelisa

DIY Christmas stocking

Embellished DIY Xmas stocking!

Over the last few years there has been a huge trend for embellished adorned, scandi and rustic Christmas stockings. We absolutely love this trend and when it comes to Christmas our motto is more is more!

When Sammy tasked me with making a stocking with some of the trimmings available at Samantha Claridge Studio HQ…I couldnt have been more excited! There is literally a treasure trove of sprakles and glitter and ribbons over on the web shop…oh my!

I decided to stick with reasonably traditional colours for our stocking but added in a citrus green for a pop of colour…

I used an old McCalls pattern (5549) as I’ve had it for years and it’s well used! But you could make yours whatever shape and size you wish using a large sock as a template!

I used some cream wool coat fabric I had in my stash, this would work well with any coat fabric or felt, in fact we have some gorgeous fuchsia and rose pink coating fabric in stock at the moment!

I cut out 2 stocking peices from the wool fabric and then started to lay the ribbons and trims on to the front (think about which way round you want your stocking to hang as which ever peice you adorn, this will be the front). This fabric does not fray so I simply used a piece of glitter ribbon along the top of the stocking so it looks neat.

Once I was happy with my layout, I stitched each row down using gold thread for extra sparkle! I used a straight stitch on some of the ribbons and trims and zig zag on others (i.e the glitter ribbons) The joy of this project is that it doesn’t matter if it looks a bit messy!

To finish the stocking I stitched the front and back together (right sides facing)  with a small seam allowance so I didn’t trap the pom poms!

Turn it through and stitch a piece of looped ribbon to the top so you can hang it! 

This is a great stash buster but remember we have an incredible range of trimmings, ribbons and buttons in stock at Samantha Claridge Studio! 

You still have some time to order your trimmings before Christmas and this is a great little afternoon project that looks stunning!

Jazz up your wardrobe!

What better way to jazz up your wardrobe or home this season than with some glitzy trims!

 

We all have that stash of trims and ribbons at home that we bought because they were oh so pretty but that havent seen the light of day! So, here is some crafty DIY inspo for you…

Why not add to a jumper, dress or t-shirt to give it a festive make over…make some cute braces for a little (or not so little one!) jazz up an old cushion or add to balloons for some New Year sparkle to remember!

If you give any of these a try please tag us on Instagram #scsblog…we’d love to see what you make!

DIY circle bag

Romy's perfect cross body bag!

 
 
Back in the summer I saw a bag for sale on the high street that I really liked. I prefer to have a handbag with a cross body strap and it has to be big enough to fit all my paraphernalia so I was tempted by this one, but at nearly £40 it was a bit pricey.

 

 

So I left it and thought I’d check if it went in the sale, but within a few weeks I found the Everyday Circular Bag on The Makerist for the grand price of $2 (on sale). 

The pattern is pretty much identical to the high street one, so I snapped it up and set about making my first bag!

I used half a metre of the leatherette fabric in black, and got some lobster clips and a zip from eBay. 

 

 

 

Other notions I needed were a leather needle (I used size 100), a walking foot, heavy duty polyester thread (though I used normal thread in the bobbin to reduce bulk) and some wonder clips to keep the pieces together. You can’t really use pins as the holes will permanently mark the fabric. On one occasion I had forgotten my clips and had to make do with hair clips, though they worked pretty well!

 

 

The bag came together fairly easily, although I did have some head scratching due to some mistakes in the pattern. For example, it asks you to cut 2 gusset pieces, but you actually only need 1. The instructions also refer to a Bag Side piece, but this is called the gusset on the pattern piece, so I was looking around for an extra piece that didn’t exist! There is a video to accompany the instructions which is useful, although it doesn’t show the making of the straps and this is the part I had trouble with, as my pieces seemed to look wider than theirs. I’m still not sure why this was but I muddled through and just trimmed an inch off the strap piece to make it fit the lobster clips.

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric sewed well and looks nice and professional with the topstitching:

 

 

 

 

 

You can lightly press the fabric on the wrong side which helps to remove any creases, but you can’t iron the right side or you’ll have a melty mess. I just finger pressed any folds and topstitched to help them lay flat. The trickiest part was sewing in the side pieces as you have to ease the circle in, but with plenty of clips and patience it worked out in the end.

 

 

 

 

I also decided to hack the pattern a little bit to add an inside pocket for my phone so it’s not rattling around inside. The stitching for this is covered by the outside pocket so doesn’t show:

Overall I’m pleased with my bargain, high street-inspired bag, although in hindsight some interfacing would have helped it to hold its shape, as it’s not quite stiff enough. The instructions bizarrely tell you to topstitch each side piece once inserted, which I did for the first piece, but for the second it’s physically impossible as the zip hole isn’t big enough. Another argument for pattern testing! I might try sticking down the seam allowance inside to help stiffen the shape, but might just have to live with it for this one and remember to interface next time. I also decided to lengthen the strap as it was quite short, but this is personal preference.

This fabric is great for bag making and could be used for other accessories too, like purses, toiletries bags and luggage tags. 

That’s all for now, see you again soon for another project!