Modern Sewing Starts Here Edition 5

Modern Sewing Starts Here is the digital publication which features articles, reviews and handy tips for anyone with an interest in contemporary sewing This month we bring you: Pick of the latest sewing patterns Incorporate the Scarf Print Trend In Sewing Trendsetter - add style to your creations Organise Your Sewing Space Free motion Quilting Tips Sewing With Rayon + much more ...

Modern Sewing Starts Here is the digital publication which features articles, reviews and handy tips for anyone with an interest in contemporary sewing
This month we bring you:

Pick of the latest sewing patterns
Incorporate the Scarf Print Trend In Sewing
Trendsetter - add style to your creations
Organise Your Sewing Space
Free motion Quilting Tips
Sewing With Rayon
+ much more ...


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<strong>Edition</strong> 5 – July 2019<br />

<strong>Modern</strong><br />

sewing<br />

starts here...<br />

RAYON<br />

A popular fabric<br />

choice for Summer<br />

Make the<br />

most of your<br />

summer<br />

sewing here<br />

Introducing...<br />

The first capsule<br />

pattern collection<br />

from Closet Case<br />

La Boheme skirt by Vanessa Pouzet made by<br />

Alexis Wright using fabric from the Art Gallery<br />

Fabric collection – Everlasting by Sharon Holland<br />

www.modernsewingstartshere.co.uk<br />

www.hantex.co.uk 1

Editor’s Letter<br />

Hello<br />

The first half of this year has just flown by, and life just seems to get faster and faster<br />

but when it comes to sewing, it’s a chance to slow down the pace and loose yourself<br />

in something you love to do. In this issue, there really is something for every type<br />

of stitcher out there.<br />

If you want to start sewing your own clothes, we’ve put a page together for<br />

you of patterns that are suitable for beginners (page 5). Sarah Ashford shares<br />

some of her tips for keeping your sewing room organised (page 8) and Trudi<br />

Woods discusses free-motion quilting (page 9). Also not to be missed is our<br />

interview with Susanne Firmenich, the surface pattern designer behind the<br />

popular German brand Hamburger Liebe (page 12). Rayon is a currently<br />

popular fabric choice with sewers – Julie Bonnar talks about how to sew with<br />

this soft drape fabric (page 11).<br />

Happy stitching!<br />

Hantex<br />

www.hantex.co.uk<br />

www.modernsewingstartshere.co.uk<br />

Subscribe free to get your copy – click here<br />

WIN WIN WIN!<br />

Closet Case has created its first capsule<br />

collection of sewing patterns. To celebrate<br />

we’ve 3 sets of each of the sewing<br />

patterns that make up this wardrobe<br />

collection to give away! Pietra Pants &<br />

Shorts, Fiore Skirt and Cielo Top & Dress<br />

with a retail price of £48.<br />

For a chance to win one of the sets<br />

– click here to enter<br />

Closing date is 30th August 2019<br />


Quilter’s love Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns, and<br />

they are consistently ranked among our best selling<br />

quilt patterns. Have fun with the three latest designs<br />

featuring lemurs, animals from the Savanna and<br />

tropical leaves.<br />

The designs are made with conventional patchwork<br />

techniques, and there’s no templates or paper<br />

piecing! They’re perfect for using with fat quarters, fat<br />

eights and 10in pre-cut squares.<br />

To view these three new patterns and others from<br />

Elizabeth Hartman – click here<br />

Alison Glass’s patterns use colour in a unique way to create<br />

amazing colourful quilts. The three new striking patterns to join<br />

the line up are the Aura, Solstice and North Quilt.<br />

The Aura quilt explores shape and colour, while Solstice will<br />

vary in style depending on placement, and the fabric you choose.<br />

This quilt also has two size options and colour layout styles. And<br />

the North features a contemporary compass quilt.<br />

All three patterns feature foundation paper piecing techniques<br />

and include the block template, detailed instructions, and a<br />

colouring page.<br />

To take a look at Alison Glass Quilt Patterns – click here<br />


Pick of the<br />


New sewing pattern releases that you’ll<br />

want to make<br />


The Shelby pattern is a princess-seamed dress and romper/playsuit<br />

that has four stylish options. Each has a V-shaped neckline, front button<br />

opening, and back waist tie.<br />

Views A and B are dresses with short sleeves offering a mid-thigh mini or<br />

ankle-skimming lengths. Views C and D are playsuits with cap sleeves that<br />

gives the illusion of a dress but with the coverage of shorts/trousers.<br />

To find out more about the Shelby Dress & Romper from True Bias –<br />

click here<br />


Jalie has just released a collection of 12<br />

new patterns including the Alice V-neck<br />

blouse. This feminine semi-fitted top is<br />

comfortable to wear as it has more ease<br />

around the waist. The V-neck is neatly<br />

finished with facing, and there’s a cap<br />

sleeve and optional keyhole back. The<br />

diagonal seaming makes this top a bit<br />

special allowing you to do some fun<br />

colour blocking and create a mock<br />

crossover effect.<br />

To find out more about the all the new<br />

sewing patterns from Jalie – click here<br />


Cashmerette has just brought out the<br />

lovely sundress, Holyoke, which says<br />

goodbye to bust gaping thanks to its<br />

princess seams and faux placket. This<br />

sophisticated maxi dress has built-in<br />

comfort courtesy of the back-elasticated<br />

waistband, and your bra straps are<br />

hidden with the carefully designed straps.<br />

Whether made up in a floaty rayon challis<br />

or sumptuous linen – this sewing pattern<br />

will keep you looking cool all summer long.<br />

The pattern comes in sizes 12-28, with<br />

cup sizes C to H, and can be made as a<br />

full-length skirt too.<br />

To take a closer look at this Cashmerette<br />

sewing pattern – click here<br />

Check out the free-to-use resource listing of the very best Indie patterns and filter by fabric, garment, brand<br />

or skill level by visiting www.hantex.co.uk

<strong>Sewing</strong> that’s<br />

made<br />

4 sewing patterns that are ideal for<br />

beginners but also are quick makes<br />

for your holiday wardrobe<br />

1First capsule pattern collection<br />

Inspired by a trip to Rome, Heather, the designer<br />

behind Closet Case Patterns has created the brand’s<br />

first capsule collection. Rome is designed as a chic<br />

capsule wardrobe, and is filled with simple to make<br />

and gorgeous to wear pieces that pair effortlessly with one<br />

another. Each pattern has been thoughtfully designed with<br />

beginners in mind, and is filled with enough interesting design<br />

details and variations to entice more advanced sewers too.<br />

The collection includes three versatile sewing patterns – Pietra<br />

Pants & Shorts, Fiore Skirt and Cielo Top & Dress. All of the new<br />

patterns can be made with a wide variety of fabrics such as crisp<br />

wovens like linen, chambray, light to medium weight cottons, and<br />

drapey fabrics like rayon challis, silk and tencel.<br />

To view more options from this versatile capsule collection from<br />

Closet Case – click here<br />

2<br />

The choice is yours!<br />

The Uniform Tunic has<br />

been designed so you are<br />

in control of how this top<br />

will finally look! Grainline<br />

Studio has provided four fab<br />

options for you to sew so<br />

that the styling is endless. All<br />

the design features can be<br />

mixed and matched so you<br />

can choose your favourite<br />

neckline, select the right<br />

sleeve for you, as well as add<br />

the much-needed pockets –<br />

you can’t really go wrong!<br />

To find out more about the<br />

Uniform Tunic – click here<br />

3<br />

Quick and easy<br />

This lovely breezy tank<br />

and dress from Jalie<br />

has a rounded V-neck<br />

and shoulder straps,<br />

which are wide enough to cover<br />

your bra. The dress has a doublelayer<br />

style that allows you to<br />

use sheer fabrics in your stash<br />

while the tank option has a<br />

facing for opaque fabrics.<br />

The dress has a bodice with<br />

a roomy above-knee skirt<br />

with pockets that starts just<br />

above natural waist. It’s<br />

perfect for making in lightwoven<br />

fabrics with a soft<br />

hand and nice drape. The<br />

pattern includes 28 sizes.<br />

For more details about<br />

the Michelle Tanks and Dress<br />

– click here<br />

4<br />

My first skirt<br />

The Rae skirt is designed for true beginners, so<br />

if you can work a sewing machine and follow<br />

directions you can make this skirt! Sewaholic<br />

developed this pattern in collaboration with a local<br />

sewing instructor. Designed as a very first sewing project for<br />

practicising sewing and finishing seams, and with vertical seams<br />

along the front back and sides of the skirt to create a better fit,<br />

and more flattering silhouette than a rectangle-shaped elastic<br />

skirt. This beginner-level project will be a garment that you’ll<br />

actually want to wear!<br />

To view the Rae skirt pattern – click here

Scarf-like prints<br />

Brazilian-born sewing blogger, Rachel Pinheiro, shares her<br />

ideas for how you can incorporate the scarf print trend into<br />

your sewing<br />

THE TREND:<br />

Scarf print<br />

When you think of scarf prints – paisley,<br />

chains, ornate baroque and modified<br />

florals spring to mind. The scarf print<br />

design was introduced by Versace<br />

in the ’90s but you can also take<br />

inspiration from Richard Quinn, Toga,<br />

Salvatore Ferragamo, Marni, Loewe,<br />

Jonathan Anderson and Chloe, just to<br />

name a few designers that are rocking<br />

the scarf look this season.<br />

This summer is all about earthy hues<br />

and tonal combinations so if you want<br />

to sew something trendy that will spill<br />

over to Autumn, look no further than<br />

the scarf print trend.<br />

Creating the look<br />

To showcase this trend – I’ve chosen<br />

this vibrant earthy-print fabric, which<br />

moves away from traditional floral<br />

prints, and a bohemian vibe maxi wrap<br />

dress pattern.<br />

The best sewing patterns for this<br />

trend are those that are designed to<br />

make with drapey floaty fabrics. It’s<br />

not necessarily a loose silhouette, but<br />

should be a design that allows the<br />

fabric to move with you. Silk is the<br />

fabric most of us associated with scarfs,<br />

and will give your garment an airy feel<br />

and make your piece really special.<br />

However if you substitute it with a<br />

fabric that’s a lot easier to wear and<br />

care for, you’ll have a dress that you<br />

can wear every day – rayon fits the<br />

bill perfectly!<br />

If you’re usually print-shy, then ease<br />

your way into this statement trend by<br />

making less fabric-hungry garments<br />

like a boxy blouse. An easy way to<br />

incorporate this trend is to also tone<br />

it down and use the print as accent<br />

areas only such as yokes and straps.<br />

However if you’re feeling brave – go<br />

for maximum impact and create a<br />

matching scarf to wrap over your head.<br />

“This style represents easy<br />

dressing without having to try too<br />

hard and makes me feel like I’m<br />

ready for a holiday!”<br />

Project thoughts<br />

Other complementary trends that work<br />

well with the scarf print are tie-dye<br />

and fringing. I plan styling my scarf<br />

print dress for autumn by adding long<br />

boots, a camel coat or trench, and<br />

accessorising with gold jewellery and a<br />

block colour tote bag.<br />

Editor’s notes<br />

The fabric Rachel used was Aloha Spirit Bonfire in<br />

100% rayon from the Aura fabric collection designed<br />

by Mister Domestic for Art Gallery Fabric<br />

To view the full selection of rayon fabrics – click here<br />

The Highlands Wrap Dress from Allie Olson is the dress pattern featured here.<br />

To view - click here

Trendsetter<br />

All the trimmings<br />

It can be hard to decide how to add the current trends to your wardrobe<br />

without over doing it. <strong>Here</strong>’s how to make 5 of them work for you<br />

Embroidery<br />

Adding embroidery is still as popular as it was<br />

last year, and can allow you to really show off<br />

your creativity. Why not try adding embroidery<br />

to a simple garment on the shoulders, sleeves,<br />

hemline or collar. Get a similar effect with an appliqué<br />

design like the one shown on this knit essential top<br />

sewing pattern from Alison Glass.<br />

To view the Knit Essentials dress pattern from Alison<br />

Glass – click here<br />

Selma round crochet bag from<br />

Monsoon & New Look mustard<br />

crochet block heels<br />

Crochet<br />

The crochet trend is definitely<br />

a trend that’s more suited to<br />

the warmer months. We’re<br />

seeing it on everything from<br />

beach to eveningwear but<br />

probably the easiest way to<br />

add it to your wardrobe is in<br />

the form of a summery bag or<br />

pair of sandals.<br />

Peruvian Florals<br />

Tunic from Joe<br />

Brown<br />

Fringing<br />

You can find a fringe on just about everything from<br />

a denim jacket, boots, bags and even earrings. We<br />

think this trimming looks best with simple styling<br />

and in the same colour as the garment for a stylish<br />

look. Give it a go and add some fringing to a skirt or jacket.<br />

Fabric from AGF’s Everlasting<br />

fabric collection<br />

Patchwork<br />

Designers are reviving<br />

this ’60s trend. You can<br />

introduce it to your<br />

wardrobe by making<br />

your own patchwork<br />

fabric for using with a sewing pattern or if you want a quicker<br />

make then choose a patchwork design fabric. This trend will<br />

work best with a simple colour palette or alternatively, select<br />

sewing patterns with fewer pieces such as a skirt or shift dress.<br />

Bows<br />

Big bows have certainly been a bigger catwalk<br />

hit than on the high street but there’s no reason<br />

you can’t bring the bow trend to your day-today<br />

wardrobe on a smaller scale. Bows can make<br />

garments feel very romantic or why not use up those scraps of<br />

fabric and use them as a brooch or hair decoration.<br />

Two sewing patterns with bows:<br />

Pussy Bow Blouse from Sew Over It – click here<br />

Seoul Blouse from Sew to Grow – click here

TOP TIPS<br />

for organising your<br />

sewing space<br />

Sarah Ashford, obsessive quilter and fabric lover shares her top five<br />

tips to help you keep your sewing space organised and allow for<br />

maximum creativity!<br />

1Keep your<br />

workspace clear<br />

I like to try to keep<br />

a space clear for my<br />

cutting mat, so that I can<br />

easily spread and cut out<br />

fabric. There’s nothing worse<br />

than having to clear a whole<br />

pile of stuff or try to cut fabric<br />

with lots of things in your<br />

way. This is often easier said<br />

than done, but if you are<br />

strict that your cutting mat is<br />

a ‘no clutter zone’ you will<br />

soon appreciate the ability to<br />

spread your projects out and<br />

cut quickly and effortlessly.<br />

2Get your fabric<br />

organised<br />

I organise my<br />

fabrics by size, and<br />

then colour. For example,<br />

anything half a metre or more<br />

is wrapped around an acid<br />

free comic book board and<br />

stored in the bookcase. This<br />

makes me feel like I have my<br />

own personal shop! They are<br />

also roughly colour-coded,<br />

which makes it very easy to<br />

find what I’m looking for.<br />

Fat quarters are folded and<br />

stored in trays for quick, easy<br />

access. Fabric bundles that I<br />

want to keep all together I tie<br />

with ribbon and keep either<br />

on the shelf looking pretty<br />

or in a draw. Scraps live in a<br />

bucket, and I just tip them<br />

out when I want to use them.<br />

It’s messy but fun, and often<br />

I’ll put fabrics together that I<br />

may never have considered<br />

before. I always put them<br />

back afterwards though!<br />

3Have a system<br />

for your WIPS<br />

As someone who<br />

has multiple projects<br />

on the go, it’s so important<br />

to keep in order, and not<br />

get things muddled up. I<br />

like to keep WIPs (work in<br />

progress) in project pouches<br />

so that when I want to work<br />

on a particular WIP I can just<br />

pull it off the shelf and it’s<br />

all in there ready to go. This<br />

also works really well if I’m<br />

travelling or going to a guild<br />

meeting – I can just pick up<br />

the project pouch that I need,<br />

get my sewing essentials<br />

together and off I go.<br />

4<br />

Keep notions<br />

close to you<br />

It’s always useful to<br />

have the notions<br />

that you use all the time in<br />

one place, and I really like<br />

If there’s one thing that helps me with<br />

productivity, it’s having a tidy and<br />

organised sewing space. I like to be<br />

able to find things quickly, keep my<br />

workspace tidy and have a system for<br />

my burgeoning fabric collection<br />

my Stash ‘n Store for this.<br />

I love that I can just easily<br />

grab my scissors or unpicker<br />

whenever I need it, and it’s so<br />

easy to return it once you’ve<br />

finished using it. No longer<br />

am I hunting high and low for<br />

those essential sewing items<br />

that I use all<br />

the time.<br />

5<br />

Pass it on<br />

It’s always a good<br />

idea to have a clear<br />

out from time to<br />

time. If you don’t want it or<br />

need it anymore, either sell<br />

it or pass it on. Often sewing<br />

groups or guilds have a ‘swap<br />

table’ where you can donate<br />

unwanted fabric, and then<br />

receive some ‘new’ fabric in<br />

return. It’s a win-win situation<br />

for everyone, and if you’ve<br />

had a tidy up of your sewing<br />

room at the same time –<br />

even better!<br />

So that’s how I organise my<br />

sewing space, and I find that<br />

it works for me. I hope that<br />

it encourages you to have<br />

a clear out, get sorted and<br />

create a happy, productive<br />

sewing space so that you can<br />

enjoy the process of making<br />

beautiful things!



Just the mention of free-motion quilting (FMQ) can bring the most rational<br />

person out in a cold sweat. Trudi Wood, patchwork and quilting tutor aims to<br />

take away some of the fears you have, starting with the fundamentals<br />

Threads<br />

Not all thread is created<br />

equal, and your machine may<br />

be a thread snob! Personally,<br />

I favour a good quality<br />

cotton thread that I know my<br />

machine likes. Yes, there is a<br />

popular brand of thread that<br />

none of my machines will<br />

play nicely with!<br />

The important thing to<br />

know is the type and size<br />

of the threads. Cotton or<br />

polyester – all threads come<br />

in different weights (wt),<br />

anything from 12wt to 100<br />

wt. A Standard weight is<br />

50wt or 40wt. All you need<br />

to know is the bigger the<br />

number the finer the thread.<br />

Needles<br />

Use a good quality needle.<br />

I use a Schmetz topstitch<br />

needle as it has a bigger<br />

elongated eye for the thread<br />

to pass through (and is easier<br />

to see). It also has a groove<br />

down the front of the shank<br />

to guide the thread through.<br />

This needle also has a<br />

sharper point than a<br />

universal needle.<br />

Needles come in different<br />

sizes, however, the bigger<br />

the numbers the bigger the<br />

needle. You should<br />

be matching your needle<br />

to your thread and<br />

changing it regularly. There’s<br />

excellent information on<br />

needletypes and sizes on<br />

the Schmetz website – www.<br />

schmetzneedles.com/needleguide.<br />

Wadding<br />

There are many waddings<br />

to choose from depending<br />

on your project, budget and<br />

personal preference. Choose<br />

the right one for the project<br />

you’re working on.<br />

Be aware that there’s a<br />

right way and a wrong way<br />

up for some wadding. The<br />

way to tell is using a machine<br />

needle, and carefully stab<br />

the wadding on both sides<br />

to find the path of least<br />

resistance – this will be the<br />

right way up. This helps<br />

for cotton and cotton rich<br />

waddings. It means your<br />

machine is not working so<br />

hard to push the needle<br />

through, and therefore it will<br />

feel smother as you quilt.<br />

Basting<br />

Layer up fabrics with backing<br />

face down, wadding then main<br />

fabric right side up. Whether<br />

you choose to pin baste using<br />

basing pins, safety pins or glue<br />

baste (Using a spray is your<br />

personal preference). If you<br />

are spray basting try pressing<br />

from fabric side and a cool/<br />

medium iron setting to smooth<br />

out the wrinkles before moving<br />

onto the next layer. Only<br />

recommended for cotton rich<br />

wadding. Repeat this with the<br />

top. Not only will you have a<br />

much flatter smoother quilt<br />

sandwich, it activates the glue<br />

too.<br />

If pin basting – pins should<br />

be spread and hands width<br />

apart and bear in mind it will<br />

take a lot of pins for a bedside<br />

quilt.<br />

<strong>Sewing</strong> Machine<br />

Clean and oil your machine<br />

regularly (consult your<br />

manual on how to do this). It’s<br />

important that lint is removed<br />

from the machine’s workings<br />

regularly as the build up can<br />

affect tension and cause<br />

problems when stitching.

If you’re having problems,<br />

check your machine is<br />

threaded properly and that<br />

the bobbin is in correctly. If<br />

you’re having problems with<br />

skipped stitched, change<br />

your needle and also try<br />

changing your thread to a<br />

different manufacturer, it<br />

really can make a difference!<br />

Let’s start with a<br />

practice piece<br />

Remember, Rome wasn’t built<br />

in a day, and you didn’t learn<br />

to write your name in half an<br />

hour so practice is the key<br />

word here! When you start<br />

quilting, use the needle to<br />

pull up the bobbin thread<br />

and hold onto the top thread,<br />

press the needle up/down<br />

button or wind the needle up<br />

and down once with the fly<br />

wheel on the machine.<br />

This will pull up your<br />

bobbin thread so you move<br />

it to one side and place the<br />

needle in the same spot as<br />

the thread before starting<br />

to quilt. Hold onto the<br />

threads as you begin to sew<br />

just lightly, this will stop the<br />

dreaded birds nests from<br />

appearing under your work.<br />

Sew in threads when finished.<br />

Designs<br />

‘Quilt as desired’ the words<br />

of terror! Choose a design<br />

that’s beginner friendly like<br />

loops. These are easy to do<br />

and with every crossover<br />

point is an opportunity to<br />

stop with the needle down<br />

and assess where you’re<br />

going and how you’re going<br />

to get there. They’re a great<br />

design to join one motif to<br />

the next too. There are some<br />

great books for inspiration,<br />

my particular favourites are<br />

by Christina Cameli. Her<br />

books are packed full of<br />

designs and directions on<br />

how to quilt them out.<br />

At the end of the day, it’s<br />

all about the practice, so start<br />

with a charity quilt or a small<br />

project that you’ve been<br />

meaning to finish. You’ll soon<br />

find your skills improve.<br />

TOP TIPS<br />

Using<br />

geometric fabrics<br />

will give you<br />

guidelines of<br />

where to quilt.<br />

Start by<br />

practicing your<br />

designs on paper.<br />

If you feel more<br />

comfortable,<br />

make a plan of<br />

the quilting.<br />

Pre-wind<br />

several bobbins<br />

so you don’t have<br />

to stop half way<br />

through your project. Your thread should look as pretty<br />

on your bobbin as it did on the spool. Don’t use an<br />

uneven bobbin as it will cause more problems than<br />

it’s worth!<br />

Layer up a practice sandwich piece. This will help<br />

you to get used to the right working speed for you, and<br />

you’ll be able to get confident with the design.<br />

A patterned back can help disguise any mishaps or<br />

tension issues.<br />

Use matching threads as they’re more forgiving than<br />

a thread that shouts out at you.<br />

Start off slowly, it’s easier to control your work if you<br />

slow your machine speed down. Learn to listen to your<br />

machine sound to help remember where that speed is<br />

for you.<br />

Wear gloves to help you grip the fabric. A non-slip<br />

draw liner can also do the same job.<br />

Take regular breaks, work in small sections of time,<br />

and pace yourself.<br />

And finally give yourself permission to play and<br />

have fun!

Raise your game<br />

with rayon<br />

Julie Bonnar from The Pattern Pages shares her tips on sewing<br />

garments with the fabric of the moment – rayon<br />

What is rayon?<br />

Rayon is a beautifully soft,<br />

drapey, breathable fibre,<br />

which is perfect for making<br />

flowing garments.<br />

Since rayon is<br />

manufactured from naturally<br />

occurring polymers, it is not<br />

considered to be synthetic.<br />

Like most fabric types –<br />

you’ll find good and bad<br />

when buying so make sure<br />

you choose a premium<br />

smooth one that doesn’t<br />

snag.<br />

If you haven’t worked with<br />

rayon before – here are my<br />

tips for working and sewing<br />

with them.<br />

Choosing a<br />

sewing pattern<br />

Start with a simple pattern<br />

that requires a little amount<br />

of fabric, so you can build<br />

up your confidence. Pick<br />

a pattern that has a good<br />

drape I chose the Ogden<br />

Cami from True Bias.<br />

Pre-washing<br />

Rayon is colourfast but can<br />

shrink so always pre-wash.<br />

Rayon can be machined wash<br />

and tumble dried. Wash on a<br />

warm temperature, and dry<br />

on a medium heat. To see<br />

what the shrinkage rate is –<br />

you can test a small sample<br />

while pre-washing.<br />

Cut a 5in square on<br />

gridded paper or plain paper<br />

is fine too. Use this as a<br />

template to cut a square of<br />

fabric the same size, which<br />

you can compare after<br />

washing. The fabric I’m using<br />

is ‘Let’s Chalk from AGF<br />

Joyful Fusion’ and as you can<br />

see from the photo, there<br />

really was minimal shrinkage.<br />

Cutting your fabric<br />

The main aim is to stop your<br />

fabric shifting around – there<br />

are several things you can do:<br />

Place a piece of tissue<br />

paper underneath the fabric/<br />

pattern to help it stay put on<br />

the cutting surface.<br />

I use pattern weights rather<br />

than pins, but if you prefer<br />

to use pins choose sharp fine<br />

tipped ones, as these are<br />

less likely to leave holes in<br />

delicate fabrics. Always pin in<br />

the seam allowance.<br />

I like to use my scissors to<br />

cut out – make sure your pair<br />

is super sharp – but you may<br />

find it easier to use a cutting<br />

board and rotary cutter.<br />

Cut your pattern out on<br />

the floor if you’re working on<br />

larger projects to avoid the<br />

fabric hanging off the table.<br />

Minimise any stretching by<br />

storing your cut out fabric<br />

pattern pieces by rolling<br />

them up.<br />

<strong>Sewing</strong> your garment<br />

Tes your sewing machine<br />

tension on a fabric scrap.<br />

I’m guilty of skipping<br />

pinning the fabric together<br />

when sewing pieces with<br />

straight seams, but with rayon<br />

you really should secure the<br />

fabric layers.<br />

Rayon can stretch out of<br />

shape when sewing so make<br />

sure you avoid pulling the<br />

fabric whilst you sew! Stop<br />

sewing to re-adjust your<br />

fabric at regular intervals.<br />

Stay stitching is key is<br />

to helping necklines stay<br />

in shape.<br />

Choose a fusible sheerweight<br />

interfacing so it<br />

doesn’t affect your fabric’s<br />

drape. Silk organza is<br />

recommendd for this.<br />

As rayon is prone to<br />

fraying, finish your raw edges<br />

properly. French seams are a<br />

good choice.<br />

Use a new needles size<br />

65/9 or 70/10 for thin,<br />

lightweight wovens.<br />

Use a delicate stitch such<br />

as 2mm stitch instead of the<br />

automatic 2.5mm. This can<br />

help with any fraying going<br />

beyond the seam.<br />

Remember to match<br />

the thread weight to your<br />

fabric weight.<br />

Pressing<br />

When ironing, lift your<br />

iron and press. Rayon is a<br />

sensitive fabric and if the iron<br />

is too hot it can leave a shiny<br />

mark, which you won’t be<br />

able to get off. Use the wool<br />

setting and a pressing cloth.<br />

Always let your fabric rest<br />

and cool before removing<br />

from the ironing table.<br />

Hemming<br />

It’s a good idea to hang<br />

up your garment for a day<br />

before hemming it.<br />

Art Gallery Fabrics,<br />

Modelo and Cloud9 do<br />

beautiful rayons that<br />

come in vibrant colours<br />

and patterns, and are<br />

great for making clothes.<br />

To view these – click here<br />

Flower keeper<br />

from AGF<br />

Everlasting<br />

Editor from<br />

Cloud9<br />

Business<br />

Class<br />

Let’s Chalk from<br />

AGF Joyful Fusion

Susanne Firmenich is a surface pattern<br />

designer with a passion for life and<br />

colour. She has a huge following in<br />

Germany but is fairly new to the UK<br />

market, but is no shrinking violet when<br />

it comes to colour. We talk to her about<br />

her beautiful designs<br />

Tell us a little about your<br />

background and how<br />

you began designing<br />

surface patterns?<br />

As a child I have always loved<br />

to paint and draw. When my<br />

own children were small, I<br />

started sewing again. I quickly<br />

realised that there were no<br />

fancy patterns for children.<br />

On my blog (hamburgerliebe.<br />

com), I started showing<br />

illustrations that I’d made just<br />

for fun. I received an inquiry<br />

for the design for embroidery<br />

files first, and then later for<br />

woven ribbons.<br />

Then I discovered<br />

Spoonflower, a print on<br />

demand service for fabric<br />

in the US, and I began to<br />

design my own patterns.<br />

At that time, I worked as a<br />

freelance graphic designer<br />

and often found the work<br />

frustrating. I enjoyed sewing<br />

and illustrating so I decided<br />

to only create beautiful<br />

patterns for fabrics.<br />

Do you have the fabric<br />

in mind when you<br />

are thinking of a new<br />

design? And what<br />

comes first the fabric<br />

or the pattern?<br />

Usually I have an idea for a<br />

certain colour combination,<br />

as well as a motif or theme.<br />

The design comes later. And<br />

when I’m happy with the<br />

pattern, I think about how<br />

it could look on fabric. But<br />

sometimes, I want a certain<br />

fabric and then think about a<br />

pattern that’s especially<br />

for that.<br />

Your designs aesthetics<br />

are always bright, fun<br />

and entertaining – what<br />

inspires you?<br />

Basically everything! I’m<br />

a very visual person and<br />

find everything I encounter<br />

inspiring! It can be a beautiful<br />

packaging, nature, my<br />

children, a holiday trip or<br />

certain mood lighting.<br />

There are still so many<br />

ideas in my head and<br />

sometimes I wish I had more<br />

time to draw everything I<br />

can think of!

How many collections<br />

have you produced<br />

under the Hamburger<br />

Liebe brand?<br />

Honestly, I didn’t count them!<br />

I started with textile design<br />

eight years ago, and have<br />

been able to create so many<br />

wonderful collections with my<br />

production partners. And of<br />

course, there are always new<br />

ones to come!<br />

My newest collection with<br />

Albstoffe is called ‘Bliss’ and<br />

will be available in the UK<br />

later this year. This autumnwinter<br />

collection contains<br />

wonderful organic jacquards<br />

and prints on organic jersey<br />

and sweatshirt, all produced<br />

in Germany, with matching<br />

cuff, stripes and hoodie<br />

cords.<br />

My autumn-winter<br />

collection for Hemmers Itex<br />

will be called ‘Park Lane’<br />

and will be distributed<br />

exclusively by Hantex Ltd.<br />

It’s a tribute to my time in<br />

London as a young adult.<br />

There will be softshell and<br />

quilted to make warm<br />

jackets, but also beautiful<br />

soft falling blouse fabrics and<br />

embroidered cotton fabrics.<br />

I’m really looking forward<br />

to both these collections<br />

launches. And some designs<br />

for next year are already<br />

finished – and it all stays<br />

very colourful!<br />

What sort of things do<br />

you like to sew?<br />

I love sewing clothes, but<br />

I’m impatient stitcher and<br />

like sewing patterns that are<br />

quick to make!<br />

Tell us about<br />

your collaboration<br />

with Albstoffe?<br />

I’ve been working with<br />

Albstoffe for three years<br />

now, and I think the team<br />

has adopted me! Seriously,<br />

this is a very lovely and<br />

fruitful collaboration, and<br />

I really love the products.<br />

Albstoffe is a young<br />

company, and they were<br />

looking for a designer, and<br />

so glad they asked me!<br />

Albstoffe has emerged<br />

from a traditional family<br />

business producing knitted<br />

fabrics to the highest<br />

organic standards. It took<br />

me a while to deal with the<br />

jacquard fabric as the design<br />

works differently. You have<br />

much less colours than with<br />

printing, because you knit<br />

with the coloured yarns. But<br />

we constantly exchange new<br />

ideas and have brought some<br />

very successful products to<br />

the market together in the<br />

recent years. The ready-made<br />

cuffs called ‘Cuff Me’ are just<br />

one of them.<br />

Where else can we see<br />

your designs?<br />

My most beautiful designs can<br />

be bought in my Redbubble<br />

Shop on a range of products<br />

such a mobile phone cases.<br />

On the website, Not Like You<br />

– you can buy some of my<br />

designs on Converse chucks,<br />

which I think are really cool!<br />

Someday, I’d love to design<br />

my own tableware, too!


This is how Sharon Holland describes her new Art Gallery<br />

Fabric collection ‘Everlasting’, which was inspired by her<br />

daughter’s wedding and her childhood memories. It’s the first<br />

looks exchanged, promises of love that are always kept and<br />

the ritual of marriage and family traditions – this is what the<br />

collection celebrates. This eternally classic colour story brings<br />

together heart red, creamy ivory and, of course – something<br />

blue. Available in knit and rayon options too.<br />

To take a closer look at this beautiful fabric collection –<br />

click here<br />

Focus on<br />


Feast your eyes on the latest<br />

fabrics for your summer sewing<br />



Bloomsbury is a fabric range<br />

designed by Bari J., and an ode<br />

to the group of artists and writers<br />

who met in the Bloomsbury area<br />

of London in the early 1900s<br />

who discussed art, writing and<br />

philosophy. Bari J. imagines what<br />

would surround such luminaries<br />

as Virginia Woolf, and her<br />

sister Vanessa who was a postimpressionist<br />

painter. The images<br />

become vivid in tones of fuchsia,<br />

teal, and fresh green and the<br />

collection includes knits, canvas<br />

and rayon options.<br />

To view all the Bloomsbury<br />

collection from Art Gallery Fabric –<br />

click here


This is the latest fabric collection for<br />

Cloud9 from surface pattern designer,<br />

Feena Brooks. Her designs are inspired<br />

by her travels and quirky England<br />

influences. All of her designs are named<br />

after places (mostly in Britain), and many<br />

are places that hold special memories<br />

from my childhood. Stockbridge is a<br />

collection that celebrates the woodland<br />

and flora of Hampshire, UK. The palette<br />

is suffused with rich, vibrant greens,<br />

soft pinks and blues and the shock<br />

of golden yellow. This 100% organic<br />

quilters weight cotton range is perfect<br />

for quilting, dressmaking and other<br />

accessory projects.<br />

To view this lovely subtle colour<br />

collection – click here<br />


The new 100% rayons from Modelo are perfect for summer<br />

tops, dresses, and skirts with a floaty 120gsm weight. It’s<br />

available in two very popular colour ways of red and navy, as<br />

well as, two choices of designs including circle print and circle<br />

patchwork – what’s not to love?<br />

To take a closer look at Modelo rayons – click here<br />


You can rely on Mister Domestic to come up with fun<br />

designs for your sewing projects. The Catch and Release<br />

fabric range that Matthew has designed for Art Gallery<br />

Fabrics illustrates the place where his family goes to fish<br />

and enjoy nature. Multiple shades of blue create this<br />

refreshing collection with touches of green and a few drops<br />

of ladybug red. The range also includes knit and rayon<br />

options.<br />

To see more of the fun designs within this collection –<br />

click here<br />

The illustrations are from the popular Lark Tee and Alder shirtdress sewing patterns from Grainline and Free Range Slacks from Sew House Seven

Slouchy<br />

BAG<br />

I love receiving fabric samples for<br />

appraisal, and one recently reached<br />

my desk screaming ‘Make me into an<br />

oversized slouchy bag’ … so I did!<br />

Designed by Jacqui Smith<br />

What really appealed to me was the<br />

wonderful metallic and pearlescent<br />

colours of this new faux leather range by<br />

Modelo. It’s super soft and to my surprise<br />

was incredibly easy-to-sew due to a fabric<br />

backing, which also gives great stability.<br />

So for an on-trend, super-easy fashion<br />

accessory that you can make yourself here<br />

are the instructions that use just two pieces<br />

joined at the centre-front and back.

Requirements:<br />

Main fabric - 60 x140cm<br />

wide faux leather<br />

Lining fabric - 85<br />

x115cm wide cotton<br />

1 magnetic clasp (sewon<br />

or push-through)<br />

Light weight iron-on<br />

interfacing, approx 7.5 x<br />

3.5cm (3 x 1½in)<br />

Matching thread and<br />

contrasting thread for<br />

topstitching<br />

Quilting clips<br />

Paper for pattern at<br />

least 85 x 70cm (34 x 24in)<br />

To sew the bag:<br />

1. Place bag pieces in main<br />

fabric right sides together,<br />

and sew the centre front and<br />

back seams. Open out the<br />

seams, and topstitch from the<br />

right side of the fabric – I did<br />

two rows on both sides of the<br />

seam in a contrasting colour.<br />

2. Repeat this process for the<br />

lining. Sew centre back seam<br />

on lining, right sides together.<br />

3. Make pocket by folding<br />

the square in half, and with<br />

right sides together make a<br />

rectangle 25 x 11cm (9¾ x<br />

4½in), sew along both the<br />

short edges. Trim corners and<br />

turn right way out.<br />

4. Using a quilting ruler mark<br />

the placement for the internal<br />

pocket on the right side of the<br />

bag lining. Mark a line at right<br />

angles to the centre back<br />

seam 16cm (6¼in) down from<br />

the top edge, 12cm (4½in) to<br />

each side of the centre seam.<br />

5. Place the pocket with the<br />

raw edge to the line you’ve<br />

marked with the pocket<br />

facing downwards. Sew from<br />

one side of the pocket to<br />

the other with a 1cm seam,<br />

backstitching at each end to<br />

secure the seam.<br />

Fold and press the pocket<br />

upwards. Stitch up both sides<br />

of the pocket to secure in<br />

place – you may also wish<br />

to sew a divider to make two<br />

smaller pockets.<br />

To make the pattern:<br />

Visit www.modernsewingstartshere.com/slouchy-bag to download the template.<br />

Fold paper in half to make 85 x 30cm (34 x 12in)<br />

Draw the pattern out as per diagram measurements with the long straight side against<br />

the fold. Cut out and open up to make the pattern.<br />

Cut out two from both the faux leather and the cotton lining fabric. No need to worry<br />

about right or wrong sides as both pattern pieces are the same. You’ll also need to cut<br />

out a pocket in the lining fabric 25 x 22cm (9¾ x 8 ¾in).<br />

Seam allowance is 1cm<br />

There is enough fabric left to make a matching pouch (see instructions in the next issue).<br />

6. With right sides together<br />

sew the centre front seam of<br />

the bag lining. Fold the main<br />

bag right sides together with<br />

the centre front and back<br />

seams matching. Sew the<br />

bottom of the bag. Repeat<br />

for the bag lining leaving a<br />

gap open on one side of the<br />

centre seam of around 10cm<br />

(4in) to turn the bag.<br />

7. You now need to ‘bag’<br />

the bag bottom to make the<br />

shaping. To do this take the<br />

bag outer and firstly trim<br />

the corner off both ends of<br />

the bottom seam. Fold the<br />

corner right sides together so<br />

that the seam on the bottom<br />

matches the side of the bag,<br />

this should make a triangle<br />

with the bottom seam.<br />

8. Using a quilting ruler make<br />

a line across the triangle at<br />

right angles to the bottom<br />

seam 3.5cm (1½in) on either<br />

side of the seam and stitch<br />

securing the stitching at both<br />

ends. Trim the triangle off<br />

leaving a seam allowance of<br />

1cm. Repeat for all corners of<br />

the leather and lining.<br />

9. Cut the iron-on interfacing<br />

in half to make two small<br />

squares, and fuse these to<br />

the wrong side of the lining<br />

across the centre front and<br />

back seams approx 2cm (¾in)<br />

down from the top edge.<br />

This will provide support for<br />

the magnetic clasps. Fix the<br />

clasps onto the lining right<br />

side over the interfaced<br />

square making sure they are<br />

an equal distance from the<br />

top edge of the bag.<br />

10. Turn bag inside out<br />

and place the lining inside<br />

it with right side facing.<br />

Matching centre front and<br />

back seams, clip edges<br />

together and sew the bag<br />

and lining together. Always<br />

use clips rather than pins for<br />

faux leather as pins can mark<br />

the fabric.<br />

11. Clip seam allowances<br />

around the curves and turn<br />

the bag to the right sides<br />

through the lining opening.<br />

Topstitch edges.<br />

12. Sew the handles together<br />

by sewing them right<br />

sides together about 4cm<br />

(1½in) from the ends of the<br />

handles. Trim one handle<br />

seam allowance to approx<br />

1cm. Fold the other seam<br />

allowance in half and put<br />

the raw edge inside, then<br />

topstitch across the handle to<br />

secure. Slip stitch the gap in<br />

the bottom of the lining. Your<br />

bag is now finished...enjoy!<br />

<strong>Sewing</strong> with faux leather:<br />

The Modelo faux leather used<br />

here is available in a great<br />

range of colours including<br />

metallic and pearl finishes. It<br />

has a woven fabric backing,<br />

which sews really well with a<br />

normal machine foot.<br />

Depending on faux leather<br />

fabric you choose you might<br />

find it easier to sew with a<br />

teflon foot or walking foot<br />

(the Modelo is easy to sew<br />

with so I didn’t need either),<br />

also make sure you increase<br />

your stitch length a little to<br />

around as this avoids stressing<br />

the faux leather at the seams.<br />

To view everything used in<br />

this project – click here

WHAT’S<br />

NEW<br />

We keep you posted on the latest<br />


Bag making is as popular as ever and is a<br />

great way to express your creativity and<br />

style. Anna Graham from Noodlehead is<br />

renowned for her wonderful bag patterns,<br />

and has recently added two stylish totes<br />

to her range.<br />

The Redwood Tote is a mid-sized crossbody<br />

bag with front zip pocket, back slip<br />

pocket, zip top closure and reinforced<br />

base. This will become your go-to bag for<br />

everyday use! The handy short handles<br />

make for easy grabbing while the long<br />

strap keeps you hands free! This bag is<br />

great for travelling and keeping your belongings organised.<br />

The Crescent Tote is a smaller bag that’s ideal for stashing a few essentials. The<br />

small shape fits snugly under your arm and the curved lines really plays up its<br />

feminine design. The zip front pocket holds those little items you want to get quick<br />

access to, while the flat bottom makes it easy to set on a table.<br />

To find these bag patterns and others – click here<br />



Woolfelt is the registered trademark of<br />

the famous wool and rayon mix that’s<br />

exclusive to National Nonwovens.<br />

Designed for easy sewing and<br />

accurate cutting, it’s popular as a<br />

crafting medium as the uses are never<br />

ending. You can use it for decorations,<br />

ornaments, wearables, appliqué,<br />

cushions and more. Six new colours<br />

have been added to what is already an<br />

extensive range, so there will always<br />

be the right colourway for your<br />

sewing project.<br />

To view the complete range of<br />

Woolfelt from National Nonwovens –<br />

click here<br />



Scanfil, known for their popular organic thread, have introduced<br />

a new all-purpose polyester thread, which complies with<br />

environmental standard Oeko-Tex 100. This means it's free<br />

from harmful substances. There's 200 colours catering for<br />

pretty much any fabric match you require, and it's available in<br />

100 metre reels. Additionally the reels include a handy thread<br />

catcher. We love the way it sews and you should be able to<br />

find it in all good sewing shops.<br />

To see all the Scanfil thread colours – click here

Beautiful Pima Cotton<br />

by Art Gallery Fabrics ... soft,<br />

drapable and wonderful to sew<br />

Photograph courtesy of Alexis Wright

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