sewing products

TPP Xmas Gift Guide

The Pattern Pages Xmas gift guide - everything you will need to please even the novice of sewers

When it comes to christmas we all dread what to buy for our friends and family and we all say we don't know what we want ourselves. But lets face it us dressmakers are pretty easy to please when it comes to gifts, give us anything to do with sewing and we will make it, perhaps a pattern for auntie Sue, or a eye mask making kit for the niece, these are all presents they will love.

Heres our top 8 favourite christmas gift ideas. 

1. Merchant and Mills Rapid Repair Kit

The perfect repair kit, for keeping in your bag, compact and everything you need for those fashion mishaps. 

2. DMC Crochet Tie Kit

Want to get your other half doing a bit of making? The perfect gift for him, get his creative spark going with this tie kit. 

3. The New Craft House, Knicker making kit

This is the perfect ultra girlie gift, this will make a cute stocking filler.

4. The New Craft House, Madalynne X Simplicity bra making kit

A beautiful little kit full of everything you need to make a pretty, soft cup bra using the Madalynne X Simplicity pattern.

5. The Makery, Make a purse kit

The cutest little clasp purse, perfect for the little sewers.

6. The Make Arcade, Milkshake and Doughnut embroidery 

For the arty sewer in you! Create something more quirky with a great attention to detail. We love this one, it is different and a nice modern take on classic embroidery.

7. Cath Kidston, Sewing Box

Have all the sewing gear but no where to put it? This cute box is perfect for keeping everything you need for sewing and dressmaking from your fav scissors to all your threads. Love this, so nice!


sewing events

The Dressmakers Ball

Get yourself a ticket to the dressmakers ball, the best excuse to dress up in your favourite garment you have made and show it off

The ball is perfect to converse with likeminded people that all enjoy the wonderful world of dressmaking and sewing, whilst celebrating Leicester's rich textile heritage. Begin the wonderful evening with a champagne reception as the Crafty Sew&So team run through how the evening is going to go. After the champagne reception the night will go on to the beautiful ball room for an evening of food, drink, music and dancing.

To find out more information about The Dressmakers Ball or to purchase tickets visit the website.

Sewing books

New ebook, My Capsule Wardrobe - City Break from Sew Over It

Lisa Comfort from Sew Over It has this week launched the first sewing pattern eBook,
My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

The book features a collection of five gorgeous patterns to sew a capsule wardrobe that's ideal for a city break and includes a versatile denim skirt, essential jersey top, stylish shirt dress, must-have skinny jeans and a beautiful waterfall-front coat.

The five sewing patterns make up the perfect capsule wardrobe and will take the wearer from from day to night in any city you care to visit. The garments are interchangeable so that you can mix and match

So what does the e-book include?

Erin Skirt
Lisa has based the Erin Skirt on the iconic Alexa Chung-style denim skirt, and it's bound to become a stylish staple in your wardrobe. It features a comfy highwaist with button-down front, and comes in two lengths. 

Molly Top & Dress
This is such a handy pattern and definitely will become the go-to dress and top in your wardrobe. This jersey classic top can be made using a breton stripe fabric, use colour block to jazz it up or make in the popular heavier Ponte di Roma jersey and this pattern makes a perfect casual dress. It's the perfect sewing pattern if you haven't worked with jersey fabrics before too.

Alex Shirt and Dress
The Alex shirt dress provides two-patterns-in-one and will look different when made in a variety of fabrics. Make in linen, the shorter Alex shirt is ideal for daytime but make it in lightweight crepes, viscose or georgettes and you've a stunning evening shirt dress to go out to dinner.

Mia Jeans
Mia is a key pair of skinny jeans and is the ideal pattern for those that haven't made jeans before. , Again, they feature a comfortable highwaist but this time with front fly and back pockets. ,

Lola Coat
Lola is a stylish yet comfy waterfall-front lightweight coat (more like a jacket) that you can throw on over anytime and anywhere! Make it in the short or long version, and wear it open or with a belt. It's an essential bit of kit for your everyday wardrobe.

My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break are sized from a UK 8 – 20 and available from the Sew Over It website for a reasonable £20.

If you liked this - then read our Pattern makers in the Spotlight interview with Lisa -
Lisa Comfort, the beauty behind Sew Over It

sewing events

Love Thy Denim Exhibition

Oh wow the Love Thy Denim exhibition looks amazing, showcasing the love for denim through haut couture fashion, the history and much more!

 Love Thy Denim HANNAH JINKINS JKT Photo credit Prexa Shrestha

Love Thy Denim HANNAH JINKINS JKT Photo credit Prexa Shrestha

This exciting exhibition revolves around the world of denim and the much loved (seems live everlasting) relationship us fashionistas have with the wonderful fabric! There will be many key garments on show at these exhibitions from haut couture Vivienne Westwood to Jean Paul Gaultier.

Textile manafacturer collaborations will be shown at this exhibition as well as denim art! This is going to be a truly fascinating show! With free admission too you should all check it out! We certainly are going to!

Start date - 27th August at The Winchester Discovery Centre and runs until 23rd of October, before moving to The Gallery @ Gosport Discovery Centre on the 29th of October till the 21st of December. 

sewing books, Handmade products

Lingerie Design: A complete course by Pamela Powell

This beautiful book shows how to design and construct lingerie, sleepwear and foundation garments with a practical approach with step by step illustrated demonstrations.

Lingerie Design by Pamela Powell


Pamela Powell shows how to create the basic starting blocks and manipulate them into different styles. Throughout the book she takes you through the basic techniques needed to make different parts of the lingerie such as boning, elastic and lace insertion and the use of myriad closures, with the use of photographs and diagrams. Finishing the book off with embellishments, how to get that luxury lingerie look. 

Inside pages of Lingerie Design
Lingerie Design: A Complete Course
By Pamela Powell

Sewing books

Brooches - 20 creative projects

Brooches - 20 Creative projects is a A5-sized hardback book that contains 20 little projects to make cute and quirky brooches.

Brooches 20 Creative Projects by Corinne Alagille is published by Thames & Hudson. The book is clearly laid-out with step-by-step instructions to show the reader how to create pretty jewellery. From contemporary designs to vintage-shaped brooches, there’s something for everyone. What’s wonderful in each of the brooches featured is that they’ve been made from everyday materials like scrap-metal, left over objects and recycled paper.

“This is a fabulous book for using up craft materials from a simple scrap of fabric to an old pencil that all of us will have lying around.”

fashion and films

Pattern Magic 3

Pattern Magic 3 is the long-awaited next edition to the cult Pattern Magic series

Pattern Magic 3

Author, Tomoko Nakamichi teaches how to shape fabric and produce wonderful 3D sculptural garments. With step-by-step instructions, learn the techniques to create movement within clothing using ruffles, shirring and precise, sharply pleated lines. Like the rest of the series, all the patterns are based on a basic block, which is supplied in the book, plus all the measurements and scaling information you’ll need to start pattern making.

This book is amazing and a breath of fresh of air for more advanced sewers that want to learn fabric manipulation and take their sewing to another level.
Pattern Magic 3
By Tomoko Nakamichi

Sewing books

Figuring Out Fashion by Jay Hunt

This handy little guide is the perfect for helping sewers and anyone who loves clothes. Figuring Out Fashion by Jay Hunt is a handbook to help you balance your wardrobe on a budget.

Figuring Out Fashion by Jay Hunt

Everyone has those garment mishaps with things that didn't really fit or was one of those impulsive purchases. This fun book engages the reality of buying clothing that we never really needed, taking these and re-fashioning them into something original.

The guide starts with a witty look at the steps of shopping, which shockingly knocks the nail on the head and a reality check of our shopping habits. It identifies winning brands, essentials, where it all goes wrong, and a guide to getting your style back on track!

Re-fashioning has become a big part of the fashion and sewing industries in the past few years, so having someone explain how to save those tired or miss bought garments is essential.

The book takes you through everything, from changing necklines and hemlines to changing fabric colours, T-shirt tailoring and dress adjusting. Just about everything you need to know to re-vamp your wardrobe without putting your hand in your pocket!

Figuring Out Fashion by Jay Hunt
We love the little checklists and top tips throughout that help you purchase items perfect for you and guides on the perfect underwear. There's also great advice on updating garments. This book is well and truly packed with everything you need to know about buying and making clothes.


Sewing books

Simply the best sewing book from Simplicity

With over 1 million copies sold, this handy tips book is truly proving to be one of ‘the best sewing book’ a home sewer can buy.

Sewing clothes can really bring out the creative side in anyone, and this book will help you to achieve a professional finish.

This sewing book by Simplicity is the must-have guide to just about everything! From machine sewing to hand stitching, this guide takes you through all the processes. With tips and techniques to improve your basic sewing skills as well as advice on body measurements and fundamental sewing basics and advice on sewing on specialty fabrics and how to get the most from your patterns.

We love this book because you can dip in and out of it to check on a technique that you might have forgotten but also it some fun pattern-less projects for you to try in the back of the book. 

Get a copy of it for £10 from the Simplicity website here.

Fashion India

Phyllida Jay's Fashion India book showcases the diversity of contemporary Indian design whilst challenging what Indian fashion is

Fashion India

India is set to join the world’s fashion hubs and contemporary Indian fashion is rapidly making its mark on the international stage. In this wonderful book, Fashion India showcases the diversity of contemporary Indian design whilst challenging what Indian fashion is.

Celebrating the work of many Indian designers, this book explores the ways in which these designers respond to the relationship between Indian and Western fashion. It reveals how garments such as the sari or the churidar kurta are being adapted, re-invented and de-constructed by Indian designers from the traditional garments to make new forms of fashion. 

Divided into six themed chapters – Bollywood, Luxury Bridal and Formal Wear, Crafting and Weaving Indian Fashion, The Whole Six Yards, The Art of Indian Fashion, Designing the Boundaries of Indian Fashion and Generation Next – Jay demonstrates today’s assortment of contemporary Indian fashion.

Fashion India showcases influential and revered Indian designers such as JJ Valaya, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Abraham and Thakore, as well as young labels making a name for themselves, including Little Shilpa, Kallol Datta 1955, Aneeth Arora and Rahul Mishra (winner of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize in 2014) – all making their mark at home, and on the international fashion scene.

Anyone interested in fashion and making their own clothes will love this book for its wealth of rich mixture of Indian culture and contemporary westernism.

Fashion India by Phyllida Jay is priced at £18.95 (ISBN: 978 0 500 2920130) and published byThames & Hudson and can be purchased here.

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fashion and films

Fashion at a flip!

Flip Fashion Designer is a fun book that'sbeen put together by
Lucille Clerc, French, London-based graphic designer,
who has been working in the creative industries for a host international
clients including textile designers

Flip Fashion Designer book

Great book if you have some time on your hands and love fashion. This interactive book is split into four parts and lets you mix and match your dream designers together.

Flip Fashion Designer

It’s a nice book for anyone who loves fashion and brings together ready-to-wear garments and Haute couture from some of the most coveted designer labels. With more than 100,000 different designer looks at your fingertips, this gorgeously illustrated flipbook allows you to think creatively.

The following designers are included in this book – Balenciaga, Céline, Christopher Kane, Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Gucci Tom Ford, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander, Kenzo, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Meadham Kirchhoff, Roksanda, Roland Mouret, Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto.

Flip Fashion Designer

We had great fun mix and matching the styles and desginer labels and came up with a merger of Marni, Roland Mouret, Yohji Yamamato and Christopher Kane.

Flip Fashion Designer
Published by Laurence King
Priced at £9.95
ISBN: 978 1 85669 9686

 Available from Amazon for £

sewing products

Pretty in pink fabric scissor set from Sewline

Sewline has a new fabric scissor set that's been designed especially for dressmakers

sewline scissor set

The new Sewline fabric scissors are a dream for dressmakers (and quilters) and makes cutting fabrics super quick and easy.

The scissors are made using the same SEKI technology like the famous Japanese swords, the scissor bladesare forged and tempered to remain sharp through many years of use (which is good news). They deliver a clean, high quality cut all the way down to the tip for long lasting, easy cutting and have been innovatively designed for both right and left handed sewers.

The composite handles, which although rigid, feel soft and comfortable in either hand and are available in this gorgeous gift box complete with a large (8in) and small (5 ½in) pair for all sorts of intricate cutting.

sewline scissor set

We say:
The set would make a perfect present for any sewer and re-use the box is great for holding your everyday sewing essentials. The scissors are really comfortable to use and take very little pressure to use so you have good control when cutting.

Sewline products are distributed by EQS and you can find your local stockist by visiting the
EQS website here.

Sewing books

3 Books for DIY refashioning and up-cycling

Restyling and altering old clothes that you no longer like, is an excellent way to start learning to sew your own clothes from scratch.
Here’s 3 new books out to help you a long the way

DIY Wardrobe Makeovers
DIY-style blogger Suzannah Hamlin Stanley shows us how to look at your wardrobe and unlocking its potential with simple, stylish wardrobe refashions that you can sew at home. With her blend of basic alterations and step-by-step restyling tutorials, you’ll end up with garments that you’re love to wear!

Refashioning is also a great way of expressing your own style but also saving pennies in the process. Embellish, alter, and combine old garments into newfound favourites with this book. The book is split into two clear areas for alterations and re-styling. There’s no sloppy shortcuts here, Susannah shows how to alter your garments so they fit better from taking in a loose-fitting sweater, shortening a pairs of jeans to letting out trouser side seams.

DIY Wardrobe Makeovers

The remake section includes some wonderful restyling ideas such as an infinity scarf, colour-blocking old sweaters, turning a dress into a peplum top, and our favourite jazzing up a blazer with a contrasting trim (as shown on the back of the book).

DIY Wardrobe Makeovers
Published by Stash Books
Distributed by Search Press
Priced at £17.99
ISBN: 9781617450426

Available here from Amazon


The Fashion Factory London
Learn how to create one-of-a-kind clothes, develop an eye for fashion, spot trends and hone into your personal style with The Fashion Factory from Amanda Riley.

The Fashion Factory is a new kind of making book as well as sewing workshops for fashion-aware girls and younger women. The book features students from the sewing school modelling a selection of clothes that haven’t required any special skills other than an interest in style and fashion. All you do need is a love of rummaging in Charity shops, and a willingness to cut up old clothes.

This book sets out to teach the maker a basic set of sewing skills as they create the garments featured in the book and includes a vintage scarf top, dungaree dress, and firm favourite, the denim skater skirt.

They’re organised into easy to intermediate projects, and encourages up-cycling, re-purposing of textiles and avoids wasteful landfill. Yes, this book is geared at a young market but actually has 12 projects that can be adapted, as well as including some useful techniques on how to add appliqué to clothing, add shirring to a shirt to give it a defined waist and dip dyeing.

The Fashion Factory
Published by Quadrille Publishing
Priced at £16.99
ISBN: 978 1849495547

Buy it from Amazon for £14.88 here


The Upcycled T-shirt

The Upcycled T-shirt
The Upcycled T-shirt encourages us to join the revolution to reduce our carbon footprint – one T-shirt at a time. Widely known for her recycling efforts, environmental crafter Jenelle Montilone shows how to up-cycle T-shirts into all sorts of craft projects including clothes and with easy-to-make ideas, it aims to have us consuming less and creating more. It starts with a good section of the basics and lays out all the equipment and materials you may need to get going.

The Upcycled T-shirt

There are 28 easy craft projects such as a this flounce dress, men’s tie, pom-dot scarf, earrings and gift bows to name just a few plus tips on cutting and dyeing knits, appliquéing, embroidering, block printing, painting, and stencilling.

The Upcycled T-shirt
Published by Stash Books
Distributed by Search Press
Priced at £16.99
ISBN: 9781607059714

Available from Amazon here

Sewing books

Freehand Fashion by Chinelo Bally

Freehand Fashion is the new book from Chinelo Bally.
We all saw her on The Great British Sewing Bee choosing not to use sewing patterns
and preferring to using the draping method

Freehand Fashion by Chinelo Bally

Well here's your chance to learn the freehand cutting method with Chinelo, who now runs workshops across the UK and also writes a blog offering tips on this subject.

Freehand Fashion is full of how to make classic garments that fit perfectly but without the use of a sewing pattern. Chinelo now lets us in on the secret on how to create stylish, fitted garments using this technique in. In the book, she uses a series of basic garment blocks, where she explains how this technique can be used to create a whole wardrobe of fashionable clothes.

Based on a traditional Nigerian technique that her auntie taught her, Chinelo has developed a freehand cutting method that puts the emphasis on your body measurements and one that anyone can learn. There's no need for fancy equipment except for a sewing machine, measuring tape, chalk and a good pair of scissors!

This hardback is priced at £20 and will be available from October 2015. There's full step-by-step instructions included for a range of garments, including tops, skirts, day dresses plus evening wear. More information to follow when I get my hands on the book! Fitting is always an issue for me, so I look forward to having a go!

Buy it here for £16.59 from Amazon

Sewing books

Festival Fabulous by Ros Badger and Christine Leech

Festival and crafting have come together!

Crafting for Festivals

Festivals have become a commonplace for celebrating the summer. This book couldn't be better timing for me as my daughter is already planning for Bestival (not until mid September, I might add) and its all become a bit of an obsession on what outfits and accessories she'll be taking.

Of course, I had to utter the words "Why not make it yourself then no-one will have it." Well of course, that means me! So when I saw this book, I was intrigued to see what it had to offer festival-goers.

Festival Fabulous book

Festival Fabulous is written by Ros and Christine, designers and authors who met through their love of craft and last summer, they ran the very first craft workshops at The Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall and showed attendees how to decorate a headdress and create silk pompoms from shredded scarves.

The book's filled with lots of beautiful projects and useful ideas to get the look for this sort of event. It's not just for those who want to have a go at easy sewing projects for hair accessories, handy bags, ponchos and welly warmers but also the book has make-up tips and other essential outdoor living ideas, and includes ways to make your camping space stand out from the crowd through a collection of handmade projects and on-trend styling ideas such as bunting, flower garlands and pompoms.

Most of the projects are easy to achieve, and are aimed at beginners who have little crafting experience. . Techniques within the book include cutting and sticking, printing and sewing as well as crochet and knitting. The book is shot on location so you're already immerse in the festival spirit!

Published by Quadrille and usually priced at £16.99 but if you fancy a copy use this link and get Festival Fabulous (ISBN 9781849496278) for £14.88 from Amazon.

Sewing books

Sew Over It Vintage by Lisa Comfort

The book Sew Over It Vintage is a fabulous collection of stylish projects from sewing expert,
craft café owner and tutor Lisa Comfort

sew over it vintage.jpg

Sewing, the vintage way is still one of the key trends of the moment and we can't seem to get enough. Inspired by Lisa’s love of vintage fashion and design, this book features 30 projects, ranging from jewellery, hats, tops, dresses and bags to cushions, lampshades, placemats, lanterns and a luxury chair pouffe - all modeled by the lovely Lisa.

The book starts off with some informative sections with guidelines for pattern cutting, what pattern cutting tools you'll need as well as top tips for measuring.

Each project has a clearly labelled skill level, as well as step-by-step photography, plus instructions on how to draft your own bodice block so that all the clothing can be made to fit your body shape perfectly.

My favourite projects are:
Vintage Brooch Embellishment that will add sparkle to any plain sweater
1950's button-up full-circle skirt

Sew Over it Vintage Skirt 1.jpg

This book is RRP £15 but purchase below for a cheaper deal!

Sew Over It Vintage
By Lisa Comfort


Sewing books

Merchant & Mills Workbook

We've just got our hands on a copy of the stylish Merchant & Mills Workbook
and it includes six everyday sewing patterns along with great instructions

Merchant & Mills Workbook.jpg

Those who like making clothes will be familiar with authors Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field, aka Merchant & Mills. They already produce a range of sewing patterns and notions in utilitarian packaging that we've all come to love.

The book has been produced to fit in with this company's simple but stylish branding. The book and collection of six patterns comes in a beautiful Kraft cardboard folder with handy elastic tie to stop your sewing patterns from escaping and getting lost.

The folder contains sewing patterns to sew six all-season garments that will help the reader/maker to create a wardrobe of clothes that can be layered up, mixed and matched. The patterns are all full-size and folded neatly and ready to be used.

Introducing the six patterns - they are as follows:
The Bantam - effortless vest top (or dress) with a boxer back detail
The Curlew - elegant bias-cut long-sleeved dress or T-shirt with short and long-sleeves
The Saltmarsh - simple long gathered skirt with a drawstring waist
The Heron - stylish batwing wrap top
The Haremere - over-sized drop-shoulder jacket or coat
The Strides - classic pair of wide-legged trousers

What's great about Carolyn's selection of patterns is that they're versatile for any season but adaptable to make fashion work for the individual sewer. The way in which the book is presented allows the maker to learn new skills along the way but I think more importantly offers lots of variations and options to make the garment your own.

The step-by-step instructions and wonderful photography is laid out in away that's really easy-to-follow from the moment you first pick up the book. I think my favourite sewing pattern has to be The Curlew, and I can't wait to make up in linen for holiday.

Read Pavilion's Q&A with Carolyn and Roderick from Merchant & Mills here.

Merchant & Mils Workbook
ISBN: 9781909397422
Published by Pavilion

Recommended price is £25 but I've found it on Amazon for an amazing £18.80 so there's a saving that you can put towards your fabric!

The inspirational video below showcases each of the patterns in this book. The only tough decision is to choose which one to make first now!

sewing products

The Bow Maker

I’ve always thought that making bows should be as simple as tying shoe laces – but in reality it’s a tricky task to get that perfect and even bow. One pair of hands isn’t enough and tying a tight knot isn’t easy either. And how do you get the end of bow ribbons to point the right way?

Embellishment Attic boasts the Bow Maker, a simple but extremely effective tool can give you the extra pair of hands you need to create neat bows every time.

The bow maker package is well presented and consists of a DVD and a tool. It’s priced at £15. This tool has been designed by expert crafter Stephanie Weightman who’s also a TV presenter, designer and well known face in the craft industry.

3. bowmaker.jpg

This comb-like tool can be used to make bows from a wide range of ribbons, strings, cords and lace from 3mm to 100mm in width. You can create single, double and triple stranded bows for all sorts of craft projects.

The instructional DVD is presented by Stephanie and has a running time of about 15 minutes. In the DVD, she takes you through making the simplest of bows, with lots of tips and advice for perfecting more complex bows.

The tool has four lower slots that act like an extra pair of hands to secure, anchor and angle the ribbon correctly, and ultimately hold in position and avoid the ribbon slipping off. It aids controlling the ribbon tail’s final direction, which is important in professional bow making.


  • Excellent for making really small bows
  • Handy compact flat tool that doesn’t take up much space
  • Avoids chunky knots
  • Can be used with different types of ribbons including organza and wired ribbons
  • Makes bows even on both sides
  • Works with single or several pieces of ribbon, string or cord at the same time
  • Uses ribbons straight from the reel so there’s no wastage
  • DVD is great for showing how to achieve double and triple bows and adding buckle embellishments.

A second DVD, featuring more advanced techniques, is coming soon.

This tool reminds me on my Afro comb from the ’80’s that I used (showing my age now!) but really does make bow making a lot simpler and neater! Priced at £15 and available from Fantastic Ribbons with 20m of ribbon to get you started!

Here’s a quick demo on how to use it:

Purchase it here from My Craft Studio on Amazon.

fashion and films

Dior and I – short documentary

Read about the Dior and I docu-film  below but you'll be pleased to know
you can buy it on DVD for £8 from Amazon here.

Knowing that I was going to London yesterday, I couldn’t resist booking tickets to see Frederic Tcheng’s documentary Dior and I. I wasn’t sure of what to expect but I knew I wanted to see it.

The film followed Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons’ first season as Creative Director at Christian Dior. Raf had launched his own menswear label in 1995, and had now been propelled into the world of Couture! In fact, his first task would be to create his first Couture Collection in less than eight weeks. This short film documents how he went about it.

The film is around 90 minutes and from the moment it started you’re hooked! Raf Simons isn’t what you would expect from a Creative Director, he’s a down to earth sort of guy (as much as he can be in this high profile position), really shy and hates all publicity but his passion for fashion and determination to succeed shone through. He took with him to this prestigious job, his right hand man Peiter Muller. Peiter had assisted Raf for more than 10 years, and his job was to work closely with the atelier.

Raf’s first induction to Haute Couture would be Fall-Winter 2012 and he had already decided to centre his designs on original Christian Dior 1950’s famous New Look silhouettes: the ‘A’ line and the ‘H’ line, and the Bar jacket. His aim was to bring back the emotion to the collection. The film played tribute to the things that Christian Dior and Raf Simon’s had in common and included voice overs from Christian Dior’s biography. Raf wanted this first collection to show that although his previous work had been minimal, really he’s not a minimal designer!

The real interest for me was about seeing what went on behind the scenes in the ateliers and the amazing work these seamstresses do. The film follows quite closely the two premières, who are in charge of the ateliers and important to getting the garments on the runway.

You get to watch the garments go from Croquis sketches to Couture masterpieces with Raf commissioning fabric taken from artist Sterling Ruby along the way. These colourful prints were complex and looked absolutely stunning on fabric.

Whats also amazing and inspired by Jeff Koons’ giant flower puppy and Christian Dior’s love of flowers, Raf filled all the high-ceilinged rooms of a Paris mansion with walls of fresh blooms for his first show – the aroma must have been absolutely gorgeous!

At the end of an amazing show, my heart was in my mouth and I felt for Raf who being quite a private man was so nervous about the idea of walking down the runway at the end of the show and It brought a lump to my throat when he did it! I dare you not to find in truly inspirational!

This documentary is only at a few select cinema’s in London and other major cities. We went to a lovely very personable Curzon cinema in Mayfair which I’d recommend. For screenings, take a look at the Dior and I official website.

Watch the trailer here:

sewing products

Clover’s Kanzashi flower templates




As sewers, we’re always looking for ideas to add great finishing touches to a range of projects. Kanzashi is the traditional Japanese art form of folding
and stitching fabric petals.

Clover’s Kanzashi flower templates come in six different styles; round, gathered, orchid, daisy, pointed and petal maker, and each style is available in extra small, small and large giving a wide choice of options to stitch.

Simply set, cut and sew to create a beautiful petals.All you need to do is sew a series of stitches through the template to make a well-stitched flower.

These are brilliant for adding a creating quick and pretty embellishments for garments, accessories, jewellery and ready-to-wear clothing. 

Watch how to use these templates here:


Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers available from Amazon:

Pointed Petal/Large  £5.94
Orchid Petal/Large  £6.95
Orchid Petal/Small £6.39
Round Petal/Large  £4.88
Gathered Petal/Small £4.92