This shirt gives you wings: I AM Barbara

I AM Barbara is a classic shirt pattern with an added dose of bonkers. With three flounce variations and the option to ditch the flounce altogether and stick with the classic shirt, you can tailor this to your preferred level of quirkiness. I’ve never seen a design like this, and with so many shirt sewing patterns out there, I was really excited to see something new and unique on the home sewing market. Plus it’s fun. And who doesn’t need a bit of fun in their wardrobe?

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The 2023 List: Sewing plans to kick off the year

The new year seems to get us all in planning mode and as an avid list maker, I love the excuse to plan some sewing projects! I gave up on the Make Nine challenge a couple of years ago; it’s brilliant but I’m too indecisive/fickle to plan that many projects in advance. Instead, I’ve had a good look through the fabric I have, thought about what shapes and styles I feel good in, and created a plan around that. This list will no doubt evolve, but as it stands, this is the current Plan. Of. Action…

Bonkers cotton sateen

I got this in the Black Friday sale from Fabric Godmother. It’s bonkers and brilliant. When else would you see rain clouds, scissors, sunshines, animals, eyes, dots, pencils, even ketchup on one print?! I’ve already made a start on this one and cut out a shirt using the Lyra Dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I’ve made a couple of these before and it’s the ultimate preppy shirt, although it’s nothing like the intended design (a floaty viscose dress)! I’m faffing about whether to add a contrast frill around the collar, but I’m hoping to start sewing this in the next couple of days, along with a matching neck tie

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Let’s sew a button up skirt

The flat front skirt (FFS) tutorial went down a storm (thanks, everyone!), but if you’ve been following my sewing journey for a while, you’ll know I love a button. Shirts, dresses, skirts…add some buttons and you have my heart. So how to level up the FFS? Making a button-up version of course! This has all the comfort of the elastic at the back, but with a flat front waistband so it’s super flattering. The gathered skirt gives this added oomph, you can add some gorgeous buttons, and this will work with more structured cottons and drapey viscose, so you can make it to suit your style. Let’s sew a button up skirt (BUS!). 

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Denim dresses – the unsung wardrobe hero?

I just finished making the denim dress of dreams. It’s another Named Lempi Button Down Dress, this time with bright yellow topstitching on a gorgeous indigo denim from Ray Stitch. I’ve been eyeing up similar dresses for years (literally, I have screenshots from & Other Stories on my phone from August 2020!), so this dress has been a long time coming. The glory of this denim dress got me thinking, without the risk of sounding all Carrie Bradshaw…are they deeply underrated? As sewists it’s so easy to get lured by bold prints, but a good denim, that isn’t destined for jeans, is a thing of beauty. Not too sure? Read on for some denim inspiration.

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10 Instagram Reels ideas for sewists

…no trending audio or dancing required.

Instagram is a massively important tool for sewists – it’s hugely responsible for connecting a bunch of creatives who would otherwise, for the most part, be enjoying their hobby in solitude. While frivolous for some, the platform provides sewists with a way of discovering new patterns, independent fabric shops and pattern designers, and a wealth of inspiration from fellow sewing enthusiasts. Who hasn’t searched the hashtag for a pattern they’ve got their eye on?

However, with the increasing pressure on Reels as a way to connect, and endless changes to THE ALGORITHM, lots of people have found themselves getting frustrated with the app. Reels can be really daunting, and while some hate the idea of succumbing to them, I find myself really enjoying making these short videos. They’re a fun way to create content, and as dressmakers, video form gives us an opportunity to show our handmade clothes in motion – to show how the fabric moves with us, how the clothes fit when we’re moving rather than standing still for a photo, which is really important. 

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