Our Summer School sessions are underway and one of our most popular regular classes – Pattern Cutting – ran as a 3 day intensive workshop last week. We were really pleased when the very lovely Katie Marcus – enviably stylish author of (officially!) two of London’s best blogs – WhatKatieDoes and WhatKatieSews – accepted our invitation to take part and review the class.
We’ve seen lots of Katie’s makes on her sewing blog and, although she’s modest about her skills, she’s certainly been busy sewing up a wardrobe and we think she’s pretty good. However, like many sewers who sometimes find the ‘one shape fits all’ aspect of commercial patterns frustrating, she felt it might be time to create her very own blocks. Pattern cutting of course is all about measuring and replicating your particular shape and ensuring that clothing fits – exactly.
The certainty of the measuring and the mathematical calculations made in class, as well as the ability to look at other people’s shapes and see how diverse we all are gives sewers invaluable knowledge about their own body shape. Discussing the many ways in which a block can be adapted will also give the confidence to design your own garments or even to go back to commercial patterns and adapt them to fit perfectly. As with the learning of any new skill though, there is a degree of mental strain involved, that’s why it’s such a good idea to have a knowledgeable and experienced teacher like our very own Alice Prier to diffuse and demystify the complex information. The outcome far outweighs the small amount of strife that gets you there, hopefully Katie agrees with us on that one…
Read Katie’s full story here on What Katy Sews…..
We’ve already been busy with our new oilcloth – here’s Rosie off to Bestival last week with her quick and easy drawstring rucksack.
And you can never have too many waterproof beach bags…we’ve already made 4!
These are from the Japanese Kokka range, with vibrant prints from Echino and more delicate prints and colours from Ellen Lucket Baker’s ‘Garden’ collection. Printed onto a cotton/linen canvas which is then laminated, the texture is nicely waxy and drapey and perfect for bags or pouches but equally suitable for table coverings or anything else where a wipe clean surface is required….
Have you taken a look at our pattern section lately? It’s heaving…!
We’ve managed to squeeze patterns into every nook and cranny of the shop since our cafe closed, and now – finally – we have them all on the site.
There’s a great selection of Simplicity, Burda and New Look seasonal styles to choose from – something for everyone. So have a look through and turn your fabric stash into some exciting summer outfits….
The first instalment of our long-awaited delivery from Japan has arrived!
As you can imagine, there’s much excitement in the shop – move over wintry plains and make way for colour and pattern – BIG TIME!
Look at these beautiful LAVA prints on Barkcloth – not actually made with bark as it originally was but with the same slubby weave, very reminiscent of 1950’s curtains with those amazing kitschy prints.
And this lightweight linen canvas with fantastic vibrant graphic prints….so good in so many ways!
Have a browse and watch this space for more Japenese fabrics arriving very soon….
As one of the world’s most stylish women, it’s no surprise that the actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly is such a revered style icon and that so many attempt to emulate her very elegant look.
To celebrate the release of new biopic Grace Of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman, we have fully restocked and updated our Vogue Vintage Patterns collection allowing you to do that very thing. Predicting that this will be a summer of elegant ladies striding out in bold colours and big skirts, we urge you to try your hand at one of these amazing Vogue Reproduction patterns. Don’t be afraid, they look high couture but they’re really quite straightforward to make.
And if you need an encouraging hand, our Sewing School is also running a special course where you can make your own Grace dress! We’ve chosen the V8789 because it’s a lovely classic, simply constructed with two flattering neckline options. We also think it would look amazing in a bold cotton print (Leah Duncan’s Meadow?) or a pretty Liberty Lawn… Our very experienced teacher Luisa will be taking the class and guiding you through the process, the class runs over four weeks so you’ll have plenty of time to make a beautifully finished, glamorous gown and when you’ve created it, you can hit the town knowing you look good enough for your close up….
Click here to book the class… 4 Friday Evening Sessions, Beginning June 20th, 6.30 – 9.30pm. £155 (includes pattern and all sundry materials)
Or call the shop – 020 7704 1060.
They came and went in a flash and when we reordered, they’d been so popular WORLDWIDE they’d gone out of print. But here they are again, Elk Grove Knits from Birch Organic Fabrics. We’re delighted to have nearly all of them back in stock but hurry, they might disappear again….
Hello to our new range of 100% linen dressmaking fabric!
Available in 18 beautiful colours (so hard to choose!), very soft, very drapey and perfect for summer makes.
Works particularly well with simple, shift style dresses and tops, loose trousers and unstructured skirts. Try any of the Merchant and Mills patterns, Colette Laurel or Zinna, or the Lisette Shirt Dress…..
You’ve likely heard the famous statement “ornament is crime” and another well-known saying that “form follows function.” Well, in this issue of UPPERCASE, we respectfully disagree! If an object plays with form, function and ornamentation . . . so much the better! When it comes to decorated surfaces, more is definitely more—especially for folks who derive their livelihood from creating patterns for such things as fabric, stationery and interior decor. Our special Surface Pattern Design Guide profiles 100 artists who work at making our world a prettier place through their art. The Guide also features tips and advice from industry experts representing companies such as SURTEX, Liberty Art Fabrics, Cloud9 Fabrics, Spoonflower and teNeues Publishing. The creators of popular blogs Print & Pattern and Sew Mama Sew offer their insights. Lotta Jansdotter—one of Janine’s personal heroines—shares her tips on living a life full of pattern.
We are big fans of surface pattern designer and illustrator Leah Duncan. Although we’re quite clearly a fabric shop, we couldn’t resist adding her printed calendars and cards to our stock a couple of years ago – good news for us then when she transferred her designs to fabric and brought out two collections for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Leah’s skills as an illustrator are easily matched by her amazing use of colour. Meadow, her newest collection, is exactly what we’re ready for here, what could be more inspiring and uplifting than her spring-like nature motifs brought to life with a clever mix of vivid and delicate colours. We love it!!
Her work is inspired by her southern and Native American roots and her love of folk art, “leah creates a world where quirky meets beautiful, folk meets modern, and feminine meets delicate” Read more about her on her site here and take a look below at the lovely projects showcasing her prints (not made by us sadly – we wish!)
The full collection of Meadow can be found here….
We’d be delighted if you’d pencil Monday, 14th April 2014 into your diaries for a reception hosted jointly by ourselves and Les Soeurs Anglaises at our London shop.
The event will highlight the upcoming spring/summer classes here at our Sewing School and will also be an opportunity to meet Les Soeurs Anglaises! – “The ultimate in textile workshop escapes, based in a stunning location, with superb accommodation, exceptional food and wine as well as expert teaching that allows you to learn at your own pace.” Read more about the delightful venue and workshops here…
Several of Les Soeurs Anglaises‘ artist/crafter workshop leaders for this year’s summer programme will be bringing along examples of their work and greeting guests throughout the day. Please note that numbers are limited for this event and by invitation only; so if you’re able to join us for breakfast, afternoon tea or an evening glass of wine, contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com with your address details and we’ll make sure you receive a personal invite in the post.
The reception will also provide an opportunity for Ray Stitch and Les Soeurs Anglaises to announce the exciting collaboration they are planning for 2015 – Ray Stitch allez en France!
We are offering a 10% discount to invitees on everything in the shop and Les Soeurs Anglaises will offer further discounts on their workshops if you confirm in interest in joining one. It promises to be a fun day – don’t miss it….
Ever stylish and fresh – the By Hand London girls have come up with the goods again. The new Flora Dress pattern is fab in a glam but wearable way, it’s a party dress you could wear to work!
“Fundamentally feminine and universally flattering with her cinched in waist and voluminous pleated circle skirt (dipped or straight hem options), Flora is the definitive party dress.
Choose from two entirely different bodice variations: a classic sleeveless faux-wrap style, or the more demure tank bodice with her high square neckline and simple shoulder straps.”
We love it of course and we’ve actually been expecting it’s release for a while. The girls asked us to provide the fabric for some of their pattern testing bloggers. Take a look at Emily’s lovely version in our Liberty Tana Lawn on her blog – Me and My Polar Bear….
Great fabric choices girls!
It’s official, the sun has peaked through and we can declare that spring has sprung. You know what that means – time to dig out those projects that put some light back in our lives. We’re awash with some beautiful new organic canvas prints in the shop, and the question we keep asking ourselves is, which one are we going to use first? It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite – which one takes your fancy and what’s first on your spring to-do list?
Yesterday we had the pleasure of seeing two very special quilts. These two beauties have been in the making for the last 30 years and are made using the paper piecing method. All the fabrics are from Liberty, some you can recognise as prints they are still selling, others you wish they still were! The darker quilt is made using Liberty wool, which is lovely and fine. Aren’t the colours beautiful, just like an autumn walk.
The workmanship is incredible and instantly made me want to turn all my tiny scraps at home into something similar! Maggie came in to get help from our tutor Michael on how to turn these patchwork tops into quilts. They decided to hand quilt the pieces, so she’s gone off with all her layers sandwiched and a big task ahead of her!
If you have a special project you need help with, whether it be pattern cutting, quilting, or an unfinished project that’s gone wrong you can have a 1-2-1 session with any of our tutors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
Maggie picked this Liberty print designed by Jamie Oliver for the back of the hexagon quilt, definitely not one that was available 30 years ago! Here are some close ups…
Quilting is officially on trend but have you ever thought about making yourself a quilted dress?! This years London Fashion Week might just inspire us to do so. Designers Alice Temperley and Roksanda Ilincic have come up with some really beautiful collections with a big nod to the revival of skilled craftsmanship.
Jessica Stockholder and Mel Bochner are ‘Roksanda Ilincic’ both designers are known for their emphatic use of color and this is made apparent by the newest Autumn/Winter collection. The range sees a variety of different sewing techniques put together to create a cocophany of texture and colour. Just like Jane Brocket teaches on her ‘Quilt Me’ course at Ray Stitch, it’s all about the diverse mix!
Next up we have Alice Temperly’s wonderfully graphic collection which draws inspiration from Art Nouveau and Byzantine mozaic patterns. Temperly has used a fine, micro quilting technique on her evening wear, which contrasts beautifully with her embroidered organza dresses and blanket sized scarves.
We already bursting at the seams in our little shop but we need a bit more room to make way for our ever expanding stock and a new exciting range of upholstery fabrics (watch this space..) Hence a BIG reduction on these BIG Finnish Prints – 1.5m wide and reduced from £22/m to £11/m, find them in our Sale section here.
Now’s the time to start thinking about brightening up your interiors and these are perfect. Grab them while you can….!