I’m a member of the Sew Crafty Design Team 

Have you heard the news? I’m part of the Sew Crafty Design Team!


I’ve been waiting to share this for a while but was finally able to let people know on Thursday and I’m very excited!

So what is the Sew Crafty Design Team? I hear you ask… Well I am part of the team with eight other lovely ladies who will be inspiring you with a bunch of exciting makes for the next three months in partnership with Sew Crafty.

sew crafty design team www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

I,of course, will be sticking to my dressmaking ways with the makes I have planned but I know that some of the other ladies will have some other inspiring crafty things to show you!


So my first makes are in progress so stay tuned and I will be sharing what I’ve made towards the end of the month. Eee! To keep up to date with all the makes from the design team follow the hashtag #scdesignteam

In other news, thank you to everyone who has started following my YouTube channel I’ve been so happy with the response so far!  I am planning to make another video this week, so if you haven’t subscribed yet make sure you do, so you don’t miss out!

But what kind of things are you guys interested in seeing in video rather than written on the blog? Would you be interested in a fabric haul? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Pay Day Sewing Wish List – June edition

It’s that time of the month again, pay day is here and my wish list has grown. Sadly, what with booking holidays and all of that stuff I didn’t manage to get much from last month’s wish list but I am definitely still lusting after it. That being said I still plan to add to it, you can’t stop a girl from wishing.

There have been quite a few pattern releases creeping up on us and I’m need of a wardrobe update, what with this so called summer approaching. (Sun if you’re reading please start shining soon.)

But here’s an older pattern that I’m surprised I haven’t bought yet but have definitely been lusting over and that is the Tilly and the Buttons Francoise. 

pay day sewing wish list www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

This classic 60s shape can be made in everything from classic fabrics to jazzier pattern fabrics. I love the sleeveless version and feel it will be the perfect addition to my handmade wardrobe.

I’m also really loving Meghan Nielsen patterns at the moment. There are quite a few so it’s hard to choose one. But if I had to, I think my current favourite  is this one from the Darling Range. I quite like the ease of the unfitted version and think it will make a great casual summer dress in a light chambray. Perfect for travelling and when you don’t want something clinging to you in the heat.

pay day wish list megan neilsen www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com.jpg

Now there’s no hiding the fact that I love dungarees. I already have the Kwik Sew K1438 dungaree pattern as a wip but that doesn’t stop me lusting after the Pauline Alice Turia dungarees. I’ve seen quite a few bloggers making them and I think it’s about time I made my own.

pauline alice turia dungarees pay day sewing wish list www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Alongside, a bunch of new patterns I have of course been eyeing up some new fabric.

First up a stiped jersey. I love a striped top, well who doesn’t? But as of yet I haven’t actually sewn one myself. So I’m very tempted to rectify this with this really cool stripe jersey. I like how the stripes are zig zag which I think adds a cool twist.

stripe jersey fabric pay day sewing wish list www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

It’s no secret that I love a print but this time I have one that isn’t a floral! I really like this lip print fabric and think it would make a great jumpsuit.

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Remember those Turia dungarees? Now how about those in this awesome floral denim fabric? Yes, just perfect.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 20.34.59

 

Now that’s all for this months pay day sewing wish list. Having just booked a holiday I need to be a bit more careful with how I spend my money so I can spend it all on lovely sewing things when I go away. What’s better than visiting sewing shops in places you’ve never been before? Currently I’m off to Vancouver, Portland and Seattle so any recommendations, please send them my way!

What’s on your pay day sewing wish list? What patterns and fabric did you buy last month?

Summer Sews- Drafting a Midi Skirt

First up I did make a great midi skirt in a 70s inspired floral fabric and yes this is the first time in a long while that I have actually completed a project for myself. But more importantly I threaded by overlocker! It has been sat unused for a couple of months because threading it is such a pain in the arse. But I decided it was about time and I did it. It was actually not as bad as I remembered.

Anyway back to the make.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 20.27.32.png

I bought this viscose fabric a little while back. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it but I knew I loved it. But this week when i was sorting through my wardrobe I found an old rtw midi skirt also in a 70s style fabric and that’s when inspiration struck. I knew the swishy fabric would be perfect for a half circle skirt and the movement that’s often much needed for summer. 

What do you need? 

To start drafting your skirt shape.

To sew the skirt

  • fabric (the jazzier the better I say, I bought mine here)
  • an invisible zip
  • thread
  • fabric shears

And of course a sewing machine. (I also used my overlocker to neaten those seams!)

Let’s get started!

Taking Measurements

So this skirt is going to be based on your own measurements.

You’ll need to take your waist measurment and then decide on how long you want your skirt to be. The app suggest 24 inches but adjust this based on your height and where it will be most flattering for it hit.

Then the lovely ladies at By Hand London have made a clever app that tells you how to use these measurements to draft your skirt. I won’t take credit for this.

I made a half circle.

By Hand London Circle Skirt App Dominique Major

It will then tell you, your waist radius and how much fabric you will need, followed by can image of how to set this out on your fabric.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 19.58.32

For my waist area.I drafted the radius on to paper, cut it out and pinned it to the skirt. and cut it out.

I then drafted a waistband, attached my zip and hemmed it all.

Then Ta Dah! A swishy summer skirt. I even have some fabric left that I perhaps could squeeze a matching top out of.

I also hope this jazzy video makes up for my lack of pictures of me wearing the actual skirt.

What have you all been sewing this weekend? Do you have any makes lined up for when the sun reappears? Let me know in the comments below.

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June Sewing Plans

Hi Guys! Long time no blog. I’ve hit a bit of a creative block which means despite having a week off of work last week I didn’t get any sewing done and haven’t started any new projects.

I often find myself so overwhelmed with ideas that I don’t know where to start, so I just don’t. I also find myself more creatively stimulated when I am working, this might be strange but maybe it’s my mind wanting to escape. What I find is that by the time I get some time off I’m exhausted and just want to sit and do nothing! Does that happen to anyone else? How do you fight a creative block?

But that being said I’m not going to beat myself up about it, it happens! On the plus side we are in June and despite last week’s miserable weather (which I think contributed to the block) the sun seems to have put its hat back on.

So I thought I’d ease myself back in by making some plans for June. Now I know that May was a crazy month – Me Made May had taken over our Instagrams and put handmade into the forefront of our minds, but what now?

For me I’ve just finished my course at LCF, so with all those skills under my belt and my Saturdays now free I can’t wait to put that into practise. I’m currently drafting a summer dress, so keep your eyes peeled. Also I do plan to do a bit of a round-up of my course at some point in case anyone else is interested.

Another reason for my sewing block is that I haven’t bought any new patterns recently. There’s nothing really screaming out to me that I need to have that isn’t similar to what I already have. I think it’s also the knowing that I can make some of my own that’s putting me off, but I do have a bunch of fabrics just waiting to be used.

Seeing as drafting my own pattern just adds more time to process and I am eager for some new clothes, I do have some old patterns I’m hoping to tackle.

The first being a Rigel bomber in a stand-out fabric. I love a bomber jacket and I want one in a nice bright floral for summer. I think it would look good over denim and t-shirts, to jazz up a more casual look.

These three other fabrics I’m hoping to use for some self drafted goodies. The black and white I’m hoping to make into a summer dress. The 70s floral fabric I plan to draft into a midi skirt and the denim into a must-have pinafore.

It’s also my birthday at the beginning of next month so as a birthday treat I’ll make a birthday dress out of the this Liberty fabric I’ve had for ages but am always to scared to cut into.

What’s everyone’s sewing plans for June? I’d also love to hear how you get yourselves out of a creative block. Let me know in the comments below.

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Me Made May 2016 – Round Up

Tuesday 31st May 2016… we made it. It’s the end of May and therefore, sadly, the end of Me Made May 2016.

So I managed to do it. I successfully wore a Me Made item everyday for the month of May. Here is my original pledge.

I didn’t manage to wear a different piece each day, which I always knew was unrealistic but I did pretty well. I was very impressed with how my me made wardrobe held up.

You can catch up with all my previous weekly roundups here, here and here.

 

My Favourite Me Mades

My Lisette. I love the shape, the colour, the pattern and it’s damn comfortable.

Can you tell I like my Miette? Can you tell I like that pink colour? Enough said.

This dress always gets compliments. It has elephants holding balloons – oh, and it’s pink!

I love the colour of this dress and these hidden bunny buttons are so cute!

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I also managed to sneak in my me made shoes.

So what did I learn?

I learnt that lots of my me made items are colourful and have lots of pattern. Before this I had thought about whether this is something I should change, but what, Me Made May has shown me is that these are things that make my wardrobe mine and I like that.

I learnt that I have so much more I want to sew but I didn’t do anywhere near enough sewing this May.  While I managed to wear lots of me mades, May was a super hectic month.

I’ve been taking a pattern cutting course at LCF. I’ve learnt SO much and I can’t wait to put it all into practise. I have so many plans…

I also made a custom order for a band!

The Tuts Dresses by Dominique www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

The Tuts are an all-girl band who have just recorded their debut album and I made 70s style pinafores for their upcoming music video.

I’ll be putting together a post when the video actually comes out but here are a sneak peek of the dresses. I’d love to do more things like this, so if you are in the market for a new dress do contact me.

All in all I didn’t even have much of chance for some selfless sewing. So my aim for June is to add more me made pieces to my wardrobe.

This was my first year taking part in Me Made May and I’m so glad I did. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s Me Made May makes and enjoyed the thought I’ve had to put into my wardrobe for the month of May. So thanks to So Zo for setting up this challenge it’s been great.

How did you do this Me Made May 2016? What’s everyone’s me made plans now that May is over? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Pay Day Sewing Wish list

It’s pay day! Yay!

So it’s that time of the month where I can think about treating myself to something new sewing-wise. I do have a stack of fabrics that I need to work my way through but I need some new patterns to inspire me.

Here are a few things I’m considering adding to my sewing collection, plus a bit of a fabric wish list. It is only just over a month till my birthday after all!

May Sewing Pattern Wish List www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

May Sewing Pattern Wish List Sew Over it Doris Dress www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Sew Over It – Doris Dress

Surpisingly, I’m yet to try a Sew Over It pattern. I’ve bought the Ultimate Trousers for my mum but never actually got round to buying anything for myself, despite liking most of their patterns. But I saw the Doris dress being released and saw Sew Over It owner, Lisa, wearing some of her versions and loved it. I like the shape and the button front. So if there is any pattern I will purchase this pay day, it will be this one. I have a bunch of fabrics already in my stash that I think will suit this.

May Sewing Pattern Wish List Tilly and the Buttons Bettine www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Tilly and the Buttons – Bettine

I’ve wanted to buy a new Tilly pattern for a while but have been umming and aahing about which one I want. It has been tie between this one, the Martha or the Dominique (but mainly because I want a sewing pattern with my name on). But thinking about what my wardrobe needs and which would be best suited to my stash, I think the Bettine has to be the winner. I’ve seen so many great Bettines floating around on the internet, I think it’s about time I made my own to join them.

May Sewing Pattern Wish List wear lemonade Lila www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Wear Lemonade – Lila

I really like all of the Wear Lemonade patterns and I’ve sewn the Paloma dungarees which I love. So again choosing one pattern from the collection is a tough one but I love me a button front skirt, and this Lila looks like a great option with its side buttons. I do already have the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle but I think the shape of this skirt makes it different enough. The only downside of these patterns are that they are in French, but I have heard that this is going to change soon and they will be available in English. Yay, no more Google Translate.

 

May Fabric Wish List www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

I think I have enough fabrics in my stash. But the real question is, is there such a thing as enough fabric? Assuming the answer to that question being no, here are some fabrics I have been coveting recently.

May Fabric Wish List Sew Over it www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Sew Over It – Entomology Story

While bugs might actually be a real pain in the summertime, look at how great they look on fabric! Even better yellow fabric. I just love this and think it will be great for summer.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 17.51.58May fabric Wish List rifle co www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Rifle Paper Company – Les Fleurs Collection

Ok guys. Let’s take a moment here. Have you all checked out the Rifle Paper Co collection for Cotton and Steel? If you haven’t be warned as you might be popping the whole collection into your shopping basket for pre-order. Could it be any more perfect?

Unfortunately, I dont find myself sitting on a whole pile of spare cash. So while I might love it all, I can’t buy it all. But as I said it is my birthday in just over a month, so I might start hinting.  While I love it all, I love to travel, so am really drawn to these two travel-inspired patterns. When I orginally chose this I opted for the darker options but that first one is also available in periwinkle and I might already find myself swaying towards that one. Basically I have so much love for these, please someone buy me them all!

May fabric Wish List v haberdashery www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Greatest Adventure – Camp

While camping is never high on my list of things to do (I camped twice at Reading Festival, that’s probably enough) I love the whole camp and wilderness theme. Maybe it’s Moonrise Kingdom and my love of Russell from Up that drew me to this fabric. But I just think the tents are so cute. This would be perfect for an adventure dress, maybe even a Bettine adventure dress… but maybe not one I’d take camping.

What do you think my Sewing Pay Day Wish List?  What’s on your sewing wishlist at the moment? Let me know in the comments below.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing – The Language

If you’ve been following my guide so far, you should have your kit sorted and you’ve chosen a pattern. Now you’ve opened your pattern and you’re worried you’ve bought it in a different language… what does it all mean?

So the next part of my guide is to help get you speaking the sewing lingo and ready to apply for the next season of the Great British Sewing Bee!

The following things are what you would normally find on your pattern pieces and what you need to do with them.

Notches

A Beginner's Guide to Sewing The Language Notches

You’ll find notches on the edges of most pattern pieces and they are often triangular shaped. These are used to help match up pattern pieces accurately. For example match a notch on the side of your front bodice to the side of the your back bodice and all your side seams should match up! Ta da!

On the fold

A Beginner's Guide to Sewing The Language on the fold

When your pattern asks you to cut on the fold, it means place this edge on the folded edge of your fabric. When you cut it this will be one piece that you can open up. Often used for front pattern pieces as they wont have a seam running down the front.

Cut 2

This means once you are all cut out, you should have two of these pieces. If you’ve folded your fabric you should have two but, unlike when cutting on the fold, these will be separate pieces.

Seam allowance

This how much allowance has been added to the pattern to allow you to sew without compromising the size. Most patterns give you 1.5cm or 5/8inch but do check.

Grainline (arrow)

A Beginner's Guide to Sewing The Language grainline

This showing you where to place your pattern piece on the fabric. This line should run along the grain of the woven fabric you have. This is important as it can change how the final garment fits or hangs.

Darts

A Beginner's Guide to Sewing The Language darts

These are used to give your final piece shape. Your pattern, when on paper is flat, your body is not. When these darts are sewn into your fabric you can see how it creates a shape that fits with the human body. The fabric in this area is usually pinched together to create the shape. Usually found around the waist or bust the help remove the extra fabric. Clever little things.

So that’s it from me this week. Hopefully this helps you understand your pattern a little better.

Is there any sewing language I’ve missed? What would you like to see next?

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Me Made May 2016 Week 3

This week has been hectic. Have you ever had one of those weeks where it just drags and every morning feels like it should be Friday? Well it was one of those, I woke up 3 times thinking it was Friday when it wasn’t. However, while it was long it wasn’t all bad.

Huffington Post The Great British Sewing Bee gbsb www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

This week I had another article published on the Huffington Post, about Five reasons the GBSB Should Inspire You to Start Sewing.

Dresses by Dominique handmade for the The Tuts www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

I also finished some dresses for the band The Tuts for a video they are shooting for their first single off their upcoming album. I’m so excited to see how it all turns out. This was my first custom order and I’d love to do more, If you ever need something do contact me. I plan to do a post on this one so stay tuned.

So enough about that, here is my round up of my Me Made outfits from week 3 of Me Made May 2016…

Day 15

I spent the Sunday not doing a lot. I only ventured out to Tesco to do shopping for the week, so I wore this very old matching top and skirt. This is one of the first things I ever did sew. It still holds up but you can see a lot of progression in my sewing skills with this one.

 

Me Made May 2016 Day 15 www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Day 16

I posted a video about my favourite sewing patterns and the outfit for this day was one of the dresses featured. Here is a clip of my video with the dress in question, but be sure to watch the full video here.

Day 17

All yellow in my Tilly and the Buttons Lilou dress from her book Love at First Stitch. I carried on the yellow theme with my Topshop shoes.

Me Made May 2016 Day 17 www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Day 18

As you can tell from my previous outfit(s) I like to wear colour, so it’s quite rare for me to wear an outfit with so much black in it. But for this day I wore my self drafted faux leather skirt with exposed zip. I spent the whole night finishing off the dresses for The Tuts so it was an extremly long night…

Me Made May 2016 Day 18 www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Day 19

… and an early morning. A 5am wake up call to get some last minute photos before the dresses were sent off meant this simple outfit was cobbled together. Another self drafted skirt with exposed zip, this time aline. The tshirt is a great Amelie top from Thailand.

Me Made May 2016 Day 19 www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Day 20

Hold on isn’t this the same fabric as yesterday’s skirt? Well yes, yes it is. But this time it’s a hacked Papercut Patterns Rigel bomber. I did wear it with my trusty self drafted button front denim skirt but I tore a button off it. It couldn’t be photographed, RIP skirt.

Me Made May 2016 Day 20 www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

Day 21

Which brings us to my first repeat item of Me Made May 2016, my maroon cord Tilly and the Buttons Arielle Skirt . This was part 3 of my pattern cutting course at LCF so i brought along my trusty Tilly and the Buttons tote to carry round all my pattern cutting essentials and matched it my Stay at Home Club t-shirt because sometimes you just need to stay home.

Me Made May 2016 Day 21 Tilly and the Buttons Arielle www.dominiquemajor.wordpress.com

What have I learnt this week?

I’ve worn all my Me Made clothes that are either appropriate for the weather or I’m happy to be seen in public in. So the next week might see a few repeats crop up. This doesn’t bother me, We are 22days into the challenge and I’ve had one repeat which I think is pretty good going. This has shown me that my Me MAde wardrobe is larger than I thought and also more versatile. This week should be quieter and I have a few makes that I have been working on, near to completion. So this next week might also see some new sews enter the mix.

How is your Me Made May 2016 going? What are you learning? What have you been sewing?

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Five Reasons the Great British Sewing Bee Should Inspire You to Start Sewing – Huffington Post


Was everyone inspired by the GBSB? 

Well I was and this time it’s inspired me to write about  sewing for the Huffington Post. 

Be sure to check out my article 

http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/9995496

A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing – The Kit

So there’s one week till The Great British Sewing Bee is back on your screens. Yay, sewing on the TV! I love any of the shows that start with the Great British anything and if you’re anything like me, they inspire you to learn a new skill that you’ll often never start. I considered pottery for a very long time after watching the Great British Throwdown, just sayin’!

But it’s great news that the GBSB is going to get so many people catching the sewing bug and hopefully prompt them to take the plunge into making their own clothes. However, from my own experience of being inspired by these shows the thing that often puts me off taking up these cool new hobbies is not knowing where to start. Once the shows are over you’re on your own.

I’m sure there are lots of you here who feel the same way about sewing and have a ton of questions in your head, like: what equipment do you need? Why do I need so many pairs of scissors? Do I really need to buy that? All valid questions, and questions that can cause people to quit before they’ve even touched a sewing machine. But don’t let all the equipment and jargon overwhelm you. During this season of the GBSB I will be running a beginner’s guide to sewing here on this very blog. Running alongside your Monday episode of the GBSB I will be posting a guide to ease you through the process of starting to sew your own clothes.

To kick it all off here is my guide to the perfect beginners kit to get your sewing journey started.

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Sewing Machine

Ok this is the thing that might put people off. Yes, you can sew things by hand but if you want sewing to be enjoyable and if you want to be able to wear your clothes anytime soon I wouldn’t recommend this.

Sewing machines can be pricey but remember it’s an investment. You’ll be making your own clothes, so your sewing machine essentially will start to pay for itself. Now, there could be a whole post on sewing machines but there are plenty of machines available to suit your budget. So my advice would be pay as much as you can. Remember, an expensive sewing machine isn’t going to make you a better seamstress but it might last longer. It’s important to remember that sewing machines do last but people can get overwhelmed by sewing and give up easily. While this is shame for them it might be great news for you because you could pick up a second machine for cheap.

What sewing machine do I use: Janome DC3050

Fabric Shears and Paper Scissors

Yes, you do need this many pairs of scissors. Just like your sewing machine your fabric shears are going to be working hard, so spend your money wisely. However, the main thing to remember is that these scissors are purely for cutting fabric, don’t use them to cut paper!  Paper blunts your scissors making them harder to cut with and essentially making them useless. But paper patterns do need to be cut, so have scissors that you use just for this. I’m not fussy which ones you choose for this, go wild! I normally just use these scissors to cut pieces of thread, though I know some sewers like to have separate ones for this as well.

What scissors do I use: my fabric scissors are from a sewing shop in Brunei but check out these ones here… and my paper scissors are just from Ikea.

Pins and Needles

Steel pins with a sharp point are important when sewing your own clothes. You’ll forever be losing them but luckily they are quite inexpensive. Opt for glass-headed pins, they’re harder to lose!

What do you need them for? Pinning patterns to fabric so you can cut it and pinning together fabric pieces so they don’t move around while you’re sewing.

As much as I hate hand sewing it needs to be done. This is why you need sewing needles. Again this is something that doesn’t matter too much they come in various sizes, just make sure it’s sharp. Mine was a gift and came in this very nice Cath Kidston pouch. Again this is great because I’m always losing these as well.

Tape Measure

Measure twice, cut once. Well, you can’t do that without a tape measure.

What do you need it for? Measuring yourself, measuring fabric, measuring pattern pieces, measuring, measuring and more measuring.

Invest in a plastic-coated one to ensure it doesn’t stretch out. Actually, invest in 3 or 4 you’ll find you are forever misplacing them.

What tape measure do I use: Cath Kidston retractable tape measure but any will do.

Thread and Bobbins

You’ll eventually need a  bunch of colours to match your fabrics but starting off with white and black in your kit is never a bad place to start your collection. When hand sewing you don’t need to be too fussy with your thread but when it comes to your machine you’ll have to be a little picker. A good all purpose 100% polyester should do the trick and get you started. Also have some extra bobbins to go alongside your rainbow of threads. These go into the sewing machine and saves you having to thread them each time.

Seam Ripper

This thing will be your best friend. Trust me, everyone makes mistakes and every sewer needs a Seam Ripper in their life. It makes unpicking any mistakes a breeze. The amount of time I’ve sewn things together the wrong way and my seam ripper has saved me…

Tailor’s Chalk

As we progress through this beginner’s guide and we start to look at understanding your patterns you will find that are lots of little marks that need to be recorded as you sew. Enter tailor’s chalk. Leaves a mark for when you’re sewing but disappears when washed or even brushed away. I have mixture of these and pencils. They don’t cost much and you’ll soon find out which you like best.

So that’s this week’s ‘ A Beginner’s Sewing Guide’ check back next week for The Patterns.

What’s in your sewing kit?  Are you planning to start sewing?  Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about others starting their sewing adventure.