26 April 2017

Sewing Space Tours... Ana's Sweet Sewing Space!

Sewing Space Tours... Ana's Sweet Sewing Space!
Sewing Space Tours... Ana's Sweet Sewing Space!
Fancy some mid-week sewing space inspo? You're in luck! Lexy here to introduce Ana, who has let us peep into her sweet and serene sewing room in the latest instalment of our Sewing Space Tours series. Over to Ana for more!

Hi! My name is Ana, I am originally from Spain, but I have been living in London for the past 6 years (and yes, I complain about the weather quite a lot – but who doesn’t!?). I used to work as a journalist and writer, as this is what I studied at university in Spain, but after starting my own sewing business in 2014 here in London, I gave up my freelance writing job to work on CocoWawa Crafts full time (or, as I usually say, 24/7!). It was a very scary thing to do in my thirties, but well worth it.

Sewing Space Tours... Ana's Sweet Sewing Space!

When it comes to sewing, I actually only learned 5 years ago! I wasn’t very crafty as a child – I even used glue to make clothes for my dolls, rather than stitch them! But since learning, I have not been able to stop, and now sewing and creating sewing patterns is my actual job.

Sewing Space Tours... Ana's Sweet Sewing Space!

19 April 2017

Your Makes... Cleo Special!

Your Makes...Cleo Special!
Hello, sewing friends!

Lexy here, and it's time, once more, to give admiration to (as well as seek inspiration from) the excellent things that you have been making with our sewing patterns this month. We've absolutely LOVED seeing all of your gorgeous Cleo dungaree dresses on social media, so we've decided to devote this Maker Gallery post to that very pattern! We've been totally spoilt for choice putting this post together, but here's a selection that have really caught our eye...

Oh. My. Goodness. Zoubi and Rumana (who you may recognise from the last series of The Great British Sewing Bee) have struck gold with their beautiful Cleo dresses. Zoubi's bold and bright Cleo is really eye catching, whilst Rumana's take on the pattern is classic and chic.

Your Makes...Cleo Special!

Ooh, denim and stripes!! Alexandra looks fantastic in her classic blue denim Cleo dress. Harriet also looks amazing in her bright red Cleo, styled perfectly for the unpredictable English weather with sunnies and wellies!

12 April 2017

How to Sew Four-Step Buttonholes

How to Sew Four-Step Buttonholes - Tilly and the Buttons

Sewing buttonholes is one of those techniques that many beginner stitchers try to avoid… but once you get to grips with them, buttonholes are honestly pretty straightforward! Plus it’s a great skill to have under your (handmade) belt, as it opens up a whole world of shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts and more.

In this post I’m going to take you through sewing four-step buttonholes on a mechanical sewing machine. Check out my post of making one-step buttonholes on a digital machine too. (If you’re not sure which type of buttonholes your sewing machine makes, take a look at the manual.)

Four-step buttonholes take a bit more effort than the one-step kind, but the good thing about them is you have more control over how they turn out. Always always always test sew a buttonhole (or five) on a double scrap of your fabric (interfaced if your project is) before starting on your precious garment, so you have a chance to alter the settings and check everything is in order first. The other key with four-step buttonholes is to ensure that you’re stitching them to the correct length.

How to Sew Four-Step Buttonholes - Tilly and the Buttons

Mark the buttonhole on your fabric. Attach the buttonhole foot to your sewing machine, and position the fabric underneath it so the window is showing the full buttonhole and the top end of the buttonhole (the end furthest away from you) is underneath the needle. Lace the thread under the foot and towards the back.

5 April 2017

Big Project in the Works!

As you may or may not have already guessed from hints dropped here and there, I'm working on something BIG for 2018... my second book!

I know it's been a long time coming since the publication of my first book, Love at First Stitch, in May 2014, and that a lot of you have been asking for a second book sooner. The truth is that I felt so burnt out after writing the first one that I really needed a break. And then the sewing pattern and online workshop side of my business started growing... and growing... and the idea of trying to write a book alongside running a business seemed crazy!

Last Summer I decided that the time had come, and I started getting excited again about the idea of writing a second book. I wrote the proposal and outline over the Summer and designed all the projects, then pitched the book in September 2016. In the Autumn, I started fleshing out the content - this time with the invaluable help of Vanessa, our pattern cutter, on the patterns themselves.

The book will be published in Spring 2018 by Quadrille. So far I've designed all the projects, outlined the structure and content, written three chapters, sourced the fabrics, sewn lots of samples, had two photo shoots, and Vanessa has drafted the majority of the patterns. We've still got quite a bit to do before the deadline at the end of June, but it's really getting there.