A blog about sewing by www.sewing-online.com


Lots Of Free Sewing Patterns For Women’s Dresses

Lots Of Free Sewing Patterns For Women’s Dresses


Hi everyone. Before I give you all those sought after links to free sewing patterns for dresses - can I just remind you that our summer sale finishes on the 25th July 2014.  Only 2 days to go! You can see some of the highlights of the sale in this blog post but the best way to find the bargains is to pop over to our website and have a browse. :-)  We have offers on sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery and craft products.  

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So back to today’s topic….I know how much you all love to sew dresses and as you know we sell hundreds of sewing patterns for dresses which our customers love (take a look at the creations Karen from Willowears has made with them) but sometimes you don’t want to pay for a pattern and wait for it to arrive in the post - instead you want a freebie that you can print out straight away at home. That is what I am dedicating today’s blog post to …. free dress sewing patterns from around the web. 

As I’m sure you’ll guess the variety of free dress patterns available doesn’t compare to the vast scale of pattern company dress patterns which you can buy but all the same you are sure to find a free pattern that you’ll love to sew. When the occasion arrives that you would like to buy a sewing pattern for a particular style of dress then we’d love to see you shopping over at Sewing-Online - we stock sewing patterns from Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, Kwik Sew and McCalls.

Here are all the patterns…Happy Sewing!

Links To Lots Of Free Dress Patterns  - So Sew Easy

25 Free Women’s Dress Patterns - Craft Habit

264 Free Dress Patterns - Sewing Support

10 Free Sundress Sewing Patterns - Premeditated Leftovers - Naturally Frugal Living

Tons Of Free Sewing Pattern Links On This Pin Board By Deby Coles

Colourblocked T-shirt Dress - Sew Petite Gal

The Coffee Date Dress - The Selfish Seamstress

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Summer Bias Dress Tutorial - Melly Sews

The Audrey Dress - The Selfish Seamstress

The English Tutor Dress - The Selfish Seamstress

DIY Floor Length Infinity Dress  - Diary Of A Mad Crafter 

Wrap Dress Pattern - So Sew Easy

Ballet Dress - Crafter Hours

Cabana Dress - I Heart Jenny’s Art

Simple Sew ‘Brigitte’ Dress Pattern

If you would like to download any of the following free sewing patterns from BurdaStyle and Craftsy you will need to register for a free account. I’ve done this and the process of getting the patterns is very simple. :-)

Hope Wrap Dress - By Erdronen on BurdaStyle

Danielle Dress - BurdaStyle

Mila Dress - BurdaStyle

Mini Dress With Shirred Bodice - BurdaStyle

Wrap Dress - BurdaStyle

Gathered Sleeve Tee Dress - BurdaStyle

Draft-It-Yourself One Shoulder Dress - BurdaStyle

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The Allie Dress - Made With Hugs And Kisses On Craftsy  - This is My Absolute Favourite!

Faux Wrap Dress with Flutter Sleeves - CraftHabit Designs On Craftsy

Simple Wrap Dress Pattern - CraftHabit Designs On Craftsy

Maria Dress Pattern - On The Cutting Floor On Craftsy

Mom’s Raglan Dress - Serger Pepper On Craftsy

Pam Dress - On The Cutting Floor On Craftsy

Tricia Dress - On The Cutting Floor On Craftsy

Brasilia Dress - House Of Pinheiro On Craftsy

Easy Summer Dress - So Sew Easy On Craftsy

The Beach Dress Tutorial - On The Cutting Floor On Craftsy 

Two Become One Dress - So Sew Easy On Craftsy

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Wear Everywhere Easy Knit Dress - So Sew Easy On Craftsy

Little Black dress - So Sew Easy On Craftsy

60s Kimono Sleeve Straight Dress - Mixy Mitzy On Craftsy

RaglanTurtleneck & Fishtail Bias Skirt - Mixy Mitzy On Craftsy

The Project Peggy Dress - The Sewing Lab Patterns On Craftsy

High Cut Sun Dress - Frocks & Frolics On Craftsy

Faith’s 15 Minute Dress - Design Fixation On Craftsy

Vintage Frock / Flapper Dress Circa 1927 - Sew Craftfully Patterns On Craftsy

Triangle Maxi Dress - Craftsy Blog On Craftsy

I hope you all enjoy sewing with the free patterns that are available from around the web. If you do decide to make something using one of those wonderful patterns then I’d love it if you would consider sharing a photo of your creation with us on our facebook page or tagging us on twitter. I’d love to see what you make.

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If after sewing yourself a few dresses you decide that dressmaking is your new passion they you might want to consider investing in a dressmakers dummy. If that is the case then please be sure to pay a visit to the dress form section of our website. We stocks all sorts of mannequins to suit every budget.  The dressmaking dummy in the above photo is the Sew Simple Dressmakers Dummy by Adjustoform. It is a popular choice with our customers.

Have a wonderful week and you shall all hear from me again at the weekend when I will have another blog post for you.

Best wishes, Kim



20th Century History Of Fashion Trends

20th Century History Of Fashion Trends


Hi everybody. Today I have a guest post for you all about the evolution of 20th century fashion.

History, politics, economics and popular culture all have a dramatic impact on the fluctuation of fashion trends and styles. When you are embarking on a new dressmaking project or looking to craft your own furnishings, then, you will want to ensure that you are not only using the correct materials but also keeping to current trends and looking to them for inspiration irrespective of whether you want to construct a contemporary or classic article of attire or decor.

At Sewing Online, we aim to supply you with a diverse variety of materials and equipment to enable you to be as creative as possible and produce designs which are not only beautiful but allow you to be imaginative and innovative too.

With the revival of vintage fashions, furnishings and novelty objects many designers and crafters are looking to the 20th century for their designs. Fashion during this time saw hemlines rise and fall each decade and the unstable economy often meant that there were many sacrifices in material being made which left designers to use their creativity and produce innovative in clothing from mixing and matching to using different variations of fabrics.

In a world where we are inundated with advances on the runway and popular fads like bell-bottom trousers and ripped jeans, we at Sewing Online have brought you our timeline of men and women’s 20th century fashion.

1900s – 1920s

Contrasts can be seen between rich and flamboyant designs before the Great War which then turned to more practical garments.

Women

This period marked the appearance of, Haute Couture a Parisian movement meaning ‘high fashion’, which saw a rise in custom made clothing for women of higher classes which highlighted the silhouettes of the mature and full-figured bodies with S-shaped corsets thrusting the chest outwards and hips back creating a feminine curve. Skirts were often fitted on top which were fluted towards the hem.

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As the end of the 1910s grew closer glimpses of ankle were revealed and the appearance of dresses of narrower and straighter angles appeared as designer Paul Poiret liberated women from the confines of a corset.  This also meant form fitted gowns with high waists and long tunic jackets accentuating the waist appeared with frilly blouses creating a softer emphasis on the bust. 

Men

Three piece suits including jackets with high smaller lapels were worn by men of the 1900s and were often complemented with bowler hats. While some men wore their collars turned down it was a popular trend to starch collars so they stood pointing upwards. Modern knotted ties became more popular as the decade drew to a close. The Great War loomed as 1920 approached which saw men being photographed adorning military uniforms as opposed to upcoming fashion trends.

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1920s – 1940s

The 1920s marked the modern era of fashion for the 20th century meaning liberation as well as overseas influences as a result of WW1.

Women

As women liberated themselves from restrictive clothing for the first time – more comfortable styles appeared on the fashion market. Women were seen sporting shorter knee length skirts and lower waistlines and often wore cloche style hats – this became known as the flapper era, where women wanted to minimise their hips and emphasise a boyish look. The hourglass figure didn’t return until the Great Depression of the 1930s forced more traditional designs of dress to return where waistlines reappeared and longer skirts – difficult times called for more conservative attire where women had to wear more practical clothing as they worked harder at home.

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Dressmakers began adding fabric, trimmings or fur to their old 1920s skirts to make them longer while cutting collars to create a cleaner finish.

New fabrics such as metallic lame were a popular choice for evening wear in addition to synthetic rayon although silk was the most popular choice for luxurious design houses.

Men

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Two contrasting periods adorn the 20s to 40s of the 20th century, tradition and post war. Fabric was something of a luxury to returning soldiers which meant that the former military jackets and Victorian suits were replaced with narrow cut lounge suits with pointed collars which were always turned down.

Colours were often neutral with lighter shades of cream symbolising wealth. Single breasted jackets were adorned with double breasted vest waistcoats which are trends often used by contemporary designers Hackett and Ralph Lauren to date.

Pinstripes were popular among the elite as the decades progressed as were anchored ties and wide legged trousers often referred to as the ‘Oxford Bags’

The working class often wore cloth caps and plainly patterned or colour cotton modern knot ties.

1940s – 1960s

Mood and economy affected the fashion of these two decades as uniformity of clothing was embraced by people who had to work with clothing they already owned in the midst of WW2.

Women

Fabric shortages as a result of the war meant there were fewer pleats in skirts and blouses and almost no trimmings. As many men and women were already wearing uniforms accessories became among the most important ways to customise clothing, from ribbon right through to tall flowery hats and platform sandals.

Those who could afford clothing wore knee length straight skirts and jackets with padded shoulders. Buttons were often restricted to just three per item of clothing, meaning jackets offered more minimalistic designs.

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At the close of the war, fashion designer Christian Dior bolted the fashion world into a new look with a return to femininity with dresses styled with curvaceous busts, small waistlines and long skirts made of excess fabric which twirled.  His creations meant new bras had to be created to lift the bustline and petticoats were often worn to keep skirts full, cardigans became all the rage and women starting making their own cocktail dresses with luxurious fabrics that they had missed.

Men

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Men’s fashions still revolved around suit designs, whether it was a military suit or three piece suit. Post war, 1945 saw men leaving the armed forces issued with a ‘de-mob’ suit which consisted of a shirt, tie, double breasted jacket and loose fitting trousers, later on grey flannel material lounge suits were of the trend for the 1940s man particularly when worn with a shirt, tie and pocket handkerchief.  

As fashion trends progressed it became fashionably acceptable for men to be seen wearing tweed or check jackets or cotton with mis-matching trousers complemented by open collared shirts for more casual attire.

Teenage boys started to dress differently after being inspired by American icons that wore leather jackets and jeans and pointed shoes.

1960s – 1980s

A youth explosion began in the 60s and 70s which completely overhauled fashion as it was seen in the early twentieth century as rebellions against systematic styles of dress were created.

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Women

Bell bottoms, short miniskirts and hot pants were no longer shocking items for women to wear and became increasingly popular making it, by the 1970s, very difficult to tell what was in fashion and what wasn’t. It was a time of social change with the arrival of ‘free love’ and the Beatles, women were adopting an anything goes approach to fashion. – Although conservative designs did make it to the catwalks in the 1970s, choice meant creativity - merging conservative tailored jackets with miniskirts.

The back end of the 1960s saw experimentations with the hippy movement over from America. Fashion houses experimented with colour and textures of material including tweed, chiffon and PVC.

Men

These two decades saw the most dramatic turn of events for men’s fashion, while previously tailor-made clothing of plain and sombre materials was almost compulsory colourful new elements were being incorporated and experimentation was encouraged. Collarless jackets appeared with slim fitting trousers and boots.

Along with the arrival of ‘hippy’ vibrant printed shirts appeared, and no longer were men afraid of frills. Toward the end of the 60s wider legged trousers were being worn by men with every aspect of men’s clothing from shirt cuffs through to lapels took on hyperbolic dimensions of width.

 

1980s – 1999

Colour, textures and decorative garments such as a sequins arrived on the scene during these two decades allowing further creativity and versatility. Loose clothing was particularly of the time and involved a lot of heavy mis-matching.

Women

The 1980s saw the arrival of eye-provoking and bold designs with the arrival of shoulder pads, to make shoulders look bigger and broader and sequined blouses, tops and saris as statement pieces allowing room for more customisations and creativity.

Black and Gold Sequined Dress - 1980's Vintage

Miniskirts also saw a revival and were often seen worn by women as day wear as well as evening attire, sometimes with leg warmers for a bit of warmth, while ripped or stonewashed jeans, which were heavily influenced by the grunge music movement, were opted for as more comfortable, causal options with less of a focus on femininity.

As the 90s approached street wear became heavily popular with neon shades of fluorescent shades a big hit being worn with leggings, oversized sweaters, fur jackets and trousers, thanks to the likes of the rising hip-hop advance over in America. Music had a heavy influence over fashion as youths aimed to replicate their music icons, pop stars like Madonna created their own images designed to shock and inspire. Fishnet gloves, lots of lycra, leather and polyester made for excellent materials during these two decades.

Men

These two decades hold some rather iconic images for men’s fashion particularly when the word shell suit is mentioned –  tracksuits made from the non-breathable material, polyester, making them useless for athletic purposes but perfect for bold, bright and for some, hideous prints.

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The 80s did however bring the leather jackets which were often worn with pushed back sleeves, shirts were also as bright and colourful as the previous decade as were casual slogan t-shirts which were often worn under smart jackets to make a fashion statement.

The term, ‘the looser the cooler’ became a handy slogan for men wearing baggy trouser in the 1990s, particularly with the arrival of the infamous parachute pants promoted by MC Hammer - hyperbolic trousers made from rip-stop nylon which were compared to parachute materials. These often had neon or bold prints which were eye-catching and rather impractical.

Baggy or high-waisted overall denims became popular in the 90s and are still worn today and can be seen in the numerous Levi styles that are available to this day.

Present

Whether you are looking to create your own revival, customise a piece of clothing to make it reminiscent of a particular time period or design your own pieces then sewing-online have a vast collection of haberdashery items that can facilitate. From dress making mannequins through to ribbons and beads you will find all your needs in one place at competitive prices…get sewing today!



Our Big Summer Sale Is Now On! Sewing, Craft And Knitting Bargains To Be Had!

Our Big Summer Sale Is Now On! Sewing, Craft And Knitting Bargains To Be Had!


Hi everyone, it is SALE time here at Sewing-Online! We have reductions all across the site and there are some real bargains to be had.  Today I am going to highlight just a small selection of the many offers but to see all of them please visit www.sewing-online.com.

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As you can see there are some great deals on our products but to see even more July sale prices please head on over to our website www.sewing-online.com.

Our Big Summer Sale ends July 25th, while stocks last, so make sure you place your orders asap to avoid the disappointed of items being sold out. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the sales team on sales@sewing-online.com or phone them on 0115 987 4422.

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We look forward to you shopping with us.

I hope you all have a great week. Fingers crossed the sun will start shining so we can all get outside, relax in the garden and enjoy our summer.

Best wishes, Kim



History of Dressmakers

History of Dressmakers


Today I have an interesting guest blog post to share with you all. It is all about the history of dressmakers.

At Sewing Online we provide sewing equipment for both the amateur sewer who enjoys the craft as a hobby, and the professional dressmaker.

Although dressmaking in one form or another has been taking place for hundreds of years, its recognition as a true art form and complex skill became most apparent at the beginning of the 20th Century. This recognition is still very much alive today, most notably in the form of television programs such as The Great British Sewing Bee that have inspired a new generation of avid sewers.

Over the course of the late 19th and early 20thcentury specific designers stood out and have become iconic figures in fashion for the rest of time. Have a look at our timeline of some of the world’s most notable dressmakers:

Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907)

Although she may not be a household name like some other designers, we begin with Elizabeth Keckley who used her skills as a dressmaker to make a living for herself after escaping slavery. Born a slave in Virginia 1818, she bought her freedom for $1200 in 1855, and earned a living working as a dressmaker. She moved to Washington where she found success designing dresses for the wives of the most established politicians in the country. Her designs were a lot more conservative than the traditional style of the day; she chose not to use lots of lace and ribbon but instead focused on making a flattering streamlined shape. Keckley worked for Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of Abraham) and over the years the two women were said to have formed a close bond. Their relationship went beyond that of a traditional dressmaker and Keckley became something of a confidante for Mrs Lincoln. However, the relationship soured when Keckley sold a book about her time with the Lincolns; a betrayal in the eyes of Mrs Lincoln.

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(Photo courtesy of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries)

Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895)

Although he was born in Lincolnshire, Worth became a worldwide name when he made his mark in French fashion. After marrying a model whom he met while working in a shop, he starting making dresses for her and they were soon noticed by other women who wanted copies for themselves. Encouraged by his local success, he eventually opened his own business with a partner and retailed his designs. He is considered the founder of Haute Couture with his love of luxurious materials. He removed the frills on dresses that were popular at the time and replaced them with smoother, simple outlines that flattered the feminine shape. He also decided against the tradition of allowing the customer to determine how they wanted their clothes to look. Instead he would present his dresses in fashion shows four times per year then allow women to choose the design they liked and the colours they wanted them in, and then he would tailor the dress specifically to their figure.

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(Photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Frederick_Worth)

Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975)

French designer Madeleine Vionnet is known for her graceful Grecian-style dresses and for being the first designer to use the “bias cut” (a technique of dressmaking used to exploit the stretch or diagonal direction of fabric so that it accentuates body lines and curves).  Her family had very little money when she was growing up so she took an apprenticeship as a seamstress when she was 11, moved to London to work as a seamstress at 18, before inventing the bias cut which made her the master of haute couture in the 1930s. Interestingly, Vionnet never actually sketched her dresses. Instead she would begin by pinning material to a model with a plan only visible inside her head. Her figure-hugging, slinky designs were worn by the likes of Jean Harlow, and Christian Dior even went so far as to say that “no one [had] ever carried the art of dressmaking further than Vionnet”

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(Photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Vionnet)

Coco Chanel (1883-1971)

Listed as one of the most influential people of all time, Chanel has transcended time after revolutionising women’s fashion in the early 20th Century. She lost her mother at an early age and as placed into an orphanage by her father. She was taught how to sew by the nuns who ran the orphanage; the skill that would go on to shape her life[i]. Her fashion career started with one shop retailing hats and then expanded this to three. In 1910 Chanel’s first clothing collection was panned in Europe but she found success in America when Hollywood stars including Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly were taken by her boxy cardigan suits and unique style. She is widely credited with introducing the “little black dress”, a staple piece commonly considered a “must have” for all women. Chanel continued to design clothes until she died at the age of 87.



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(Photo courtesy of http://94.136.40.103/~mumsru.co.uk/iconic-women-coco-chanel/)

Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972)

Like Coco Chanel, Balenciaga began work as a tailor when he was 12, most likely influenced by his mother who worked as a seamstress. He was formally trained in tailoring when one of his wealthier clients sent him to Madrid. Balenciaga enjoyed exceptional success in Spain where even the Royal family frequently wore his designs. During the Spanish Civil War however he was forced to move to Paris where he became a huge name in Haute Couture with his wide-skirted Infanta and embroidered dresses. His designs were usually based on fashions from previous centuries that he would update for his modern audiences, such as the 17th Century pendant for small waists and large, blooming skirts. In the 1950s he designed the sack dress and chemise dress which unlike other fashions of the time did not feature a clear waistline for an hour glass silhouette, but instead were considered flattering for the way they fell away from the body.


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(Photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristobal_Balenciaga)

Christian Dior (1905-1957)

Born to a wealthy family and with a passion for painting, his father bought him a paint gallery where he could showcase his work when Dior was a young man. Unfortunately his father lost his money, the gallery closed, and Dior went to work with designer Robert Piguet. The following year war broke out and Dior served as an officer in the French army in 1942. He founded the House of Dior after the war, in 1946, with the help of wealthy textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac. Their first collection featured the “New Look Style” that gave women an obvious hour glass silhouette by padding out the shoulders, pulling in the waist, and padding the hips.  It was an instant success primarily due to the relief that women found in his luxurious, decadent designs that contrasted tremendously with the restricted, plain clothes that women had become used to over the course of the war. It was the flamboyancy of Dior’s clothes that re-established Paris as the fashion capital of the world after World War II.

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(Photo courtesy of www.colognereality.com/christian-dior.html)

Pierre Balmain (1914-1982)

Pierre Balmain was a French designer who founded the global fashion house Balmain which is known for its highly sophisticated clothing lines. Balmain was born in Saint Jean de Maurienne, France in 1914. After studying at the school of Architecture for one year, he left to work as a sketcher for the fashion house Robert Piguet in 1934. He designed long dresses that were slim at the waist and bloomed out towards the bottom and once described dressmaking as “the architecture of movement”. He worked as a designer for various people before establishing Maison Balmain, a couture house, in 1945. His designs were popular with Royals across Asia, Hollywood stars, and the wealthy upper classes. His pieces were often chosen by aristocratic brides while his extravagant ball gowns were regularly showcased across the world. He believed that “good fashion is evolution not revolution”; he wanted to improve on what had gone before in the fashion world and not just make a name for himself. His outfits were worn by many of the most famous fashion icons in the world such as Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh.

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(Photo courtesy of www.colognereality.com/pierre-balmain.html)

Jean Muir (1928-1995)

Born in London to Scottish parents, Muir first noticed that she had a flair for art and design while she was at school. She left school at 17 to work at a Solicitors’ office and after working here for a few years she got a job in the stockroom of Liberty & Co. Her ability to design clothes was quickly noticed by the management which meant that she was promoted and her role changed from being stock-focused to more design-orientated. After moving to Jaeger, she designed clothes for them and was soon spotted by David Barnes who manufactured jersey dresses for the mass market. Together they worked on creating couture-style pieces that were buyable for a mass audience. Her clothes stood out because of their minimalist look in a 1960s world that was obsessed with bright colours and geometric shapes.

  She was considered a groundbreaking, rule-breaking designer as she drew from classic pieces to create modern trends with lots of embellishments that had not been imagined before.

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(Photo courtesy of www.jeanmuir.info)

Jean Paul Gaultier (1952-present)

His mother and father were a bookmaker and a cashier but Gaultier spent a lot of his early life with his grandmother for whom he sketched his own designs. At 18 Gautier sent some of his sketches to various well-known couture designers and in 1970 he became an assistant to Pierre Cardin, an established fashion designer. Later he moved to Jacques Esterel and Patou where he met various people in the fashion industry before releasing his first collection in 1976. His style is a mixture of playful streetwear and more formal couture. He likes to challenge expectations and trends in both his designs and his catwalks which are often modelled by tattooed models or those who do not share the conventional lightweight, skinny body shape. Furthermore, his designs often subvert gender stereotypes to create unusual looks that don’t sit comfortably with traditional fashion. One of his most memorable designs is Madonna’s infamous cone bra which has engraved Gaultier’s name in pop history as well as fashion.

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(Photo courtesy of www.decoenligne.fr/65_jean-paul-gaultier)

David Emanuel (1952-present)

You might recognise him for his contribution to “I’m a Celebrity…” rather than fashion but David Emanuel and his ex-wife Elizabeth are two of the most successful dressmakers of all time. According to his website “his signature style is low-key understated chic, with a touch of glamour”.  David started as an assistant to the royal designer Hardy Amies before starting his own fashion label, Emmanuel, in 1977 along with his wife. Together they designed hugely successful couture dresses. Their finest hour came in 1981 when they were asked to design the wedding dress of Princess Diana who had long been an admirer of their designs; a dress that would ultimately be seen by over 700 million people. As well as Princess Diana, Emanuel has also dressed Hollywood Royalty including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Madonna, and Elizabeth Taylor.

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(Photo courtesy of www.tvrage.com/person/id-127632/David+Emanuel )

Naeem Khan (1958-present)

Originally from Mumbai, India, Naeem Khan is a modern designer of clothes that have been modelled by the likes of Beyoncė and Eva Longoria. His grandfather started an embroidery and fabric business in the 1930s and growing up Khan was always surrounded by fashion, material, tailoring, and design. He gained an apprenticeship with Halston, a successful designer, when he was just 20 and had the chance to work with the likes of Andy Warhol who still inspires his work today. One of the reasons that Khan’s work is admired is that he successfully merges together East and West. He often used the traditional patterns of India and the Far East with Western shapes such as long, low-cut, flowing dresses.

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(Photo courtesy of www.zimbio.com)

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)

(Lee) Alexander McQueen is one of the most famous names in modern fashion history. He was born in London and left school when he was 16 to complete an internship at traditional tailors Gieves & Hawkes. At 21 he went to Milan to work for Romeo Gigli as a design assistant. He later returned to London to complete a Masters in Fashion Design at Saint Martin’s. His MA collection was bought by Isabella Blow. Like Gautier, McQueen liked to challenge expectations and subvert the norm which was how he warned a reputation for being a “bad boy” designer. His fashion shows were a performance as much as representation of the clothes he had designed; they were often described as emotional, intense, and passionate. McQueen died in 2010 surrounded by reports of a suspected suicide although these reports were never actually confirmed. He had an incredibly successful career; named British designer of the year in 1996, 1997, 2001, and 2003 amongst many other rewards.


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  1. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-story-of-elizabeth-keckley-former-slave-turned-mrs-lincolns-dressmaker-41112782/?no-ist
  2. http://www.pinterest.com/jhoshowski/worth-1890s-evening-dress/
  3. http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Vionnet
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Vionnet
  5. http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/book-review-maker-of-dreams-the-mother-of-them-all-madeleine-vionnet-edited-by-pamela-golbin
  6. http://www.biography.com/people/coco-chanel-9244165#early-life&awesm=~oHlVagiO4lPPmI
  7. http://www.biography.com/people/coco-chanel-9244165#fashion-pioneer&awesm=~oHlVagiO4lPPmI
  8. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/bale/hd_bale.htm
  9. http://www.stylesequel.com/designers/christian-dior/biography#
  10. http://designmuseum.org/design/jean-muir
  11. http://davidemanuel.com/fashion/couture
  12. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/11/alexander-mcqueen-career-profile


Embroidery Thread Friendship Bracelet Tutorials

Embroidery Thread Friendship Bracelet Tutorials


When I was younger I used to LOVE making friendship bracelets from embroidery thread. It was a great hobby to have as it was fairly cheap to buy the supplies, it was portable and it made you instantly popular with the other school kids if you could make fancy design bracelets!

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I know that loom bands are all the rage at the moment but personally I think that good old-fashioned friendship bracelets will never be out of vogue as they are just so fun to make and look great when worn on your wrist.  

I recently had a go at making a loom band bracelet and I was very impressed with myself when I managed to make my finished bracelet although I have to admit I did find it a bit fiddly to keep hooking all the elastic bands over from one peg to another. I liked the fact that the bracelet was stretchy but to be honest the finished bracelet didn’t appeal to me as much as a thread friendship bracelet does.  I do think both kinds of bracelet are a great craft activity for kids to make but personally I’m much more a fan of gorgeous thread bracelets like these….(see the fab pics below)

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In the future I promise to write a post dedicated to loom band patterns as I know a lot of your kids would love to see all the fancy tutorials that are out there. For today though I am focusing on friendship bracelet tutorials:-

http://www.pinterest.com/bffbracelets/friendship-bracelets-tutorials/

http://www.pinterest.com/riikkapooh/friendship-bracelets/

http://www.pinterest.com/hrenner5/friendship-bracelets/

http://www.pinterest.com/evypix/friendship-bracelets/

If seeing these tutorials has made you want to have a go at making your very own friendship bracelet then the first thing you’ll want to do is stock up on embroidery threads. We sell a variety of bulk packs of embroidery threads in our online shop. You can buy a 36 skein pack, a 72 skein pack , a 100 skein pack or a massive 144 skein pack. We also currently have a sale on our packs of Prism craft threads.

If you decide that rather than watching/reading the tutorials online that you’d prefer to buy a friendship bracelet book to add to your craft book collection, never fear - we sell 3 books for you to choose from…..

  1. How To Make Friendship Bracelets
  2. Friendship Bracelets 101 Book and 36 Skein Pack
  3. Friendship Bracelets 102 Book and 36 Skein Pack

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have a lovely week.

Don’t forget that you have until the end of June to get 20% off Tilda craft products and fabric and 15% off Bowtique Designs ribbon. You can read more about the sale here.

Best wishes, Kim



SALE Time!! 20% Off The Tilda Sewing / Craft Collection And 15% Off Bowtique Ribbons

SALE Time!! 20% Off The Tilda Sewing / Craft Collection And 15% Off Bowtique Ribbons


It is SALE time here at Sewing-Online. Until the end of June 2014 we have 20% off our Tilda sewing and craft collections plus the beautiful Bowtique ribbons are on offer with 15% off.  

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Here are some of my favourites from the current sale products :-

You can see all of the products I mentioned above by looking at the pics in the collage at the top of this post….   Aren’t they all gorgeous! So pretty and summery.

The price of the Tilda products do vary as there are so many different things available. We have Tilda fabric, craft kitspaper pads and much more. However all of the Bowtique Designs ribbon are on offer at £2.67 for a 5 metre reel. What a bargain!

If you decide to treat yourself to some new ribbon then you must check out this blog post on Sweetly Scrapped….’100 Ways To Use Ribbon’

I hope you have fun shopping with us. :o)

Best wishes, Kim



Sewing Projects That Can Be Made With Fat Quarters Of Fabric

Sewing Projects That Can Be Made With Fat Quarters Of Fabric


Now I know how much you all love sewing projects that use fat quarters of fabric so I am positive that the projects in today’s blog post will keep you busy for months.

I have spent ages searching the web for sewing project tutorials that all use fat quarters and I managed to find loads for you. 

This post was prompted by a request I received on twitter from Lou (@SewcialWarrior) for fat quarter sewing tutorials. I said I would write a blog post dedicated to them! :o)

The reason she had asked was because she was lucky enough to win a fat quarter bundle from a sewing magazine and wasn’t quite sure what to make with the material…..thus inspiration was needed.  Lou blogs at sewcialwarrior.wordpress.com and she tends to do a lot of dressmaking. She has made some really beautiful dresses and here is a pic showing two of my favourites:-  .

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(P.S - the pic also shows the fat quarter bundle that she won)

So now to the fat quarter tutorials - I hope you enjoy choosing those cherished fat quarters of material from your stash, picking pretty buttons out of your button tin and turning on your sewing machine and putting your foot down on the pedal. Go sew till your hearts content! :o)

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Of course, if you find your fat quarter stash is dwindling you could always buy some more from us and top it up….tempting, I know!

Fat Quarter Tutorials :-

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11 Pinterest Boards Dedicated To Fat Quarter Projects :-

  1. http://www.pinterest.com/lindakay916/fat-quarter-projects/
  2. http://www.pinterest.com/kristenrice/fat-quarter-jelly-roll-crafts/
  3. http://www.pinterest.com/piscesis/sewing-projects-fat-quarters/
  4. http://www.pinterest.com/readexplorecre8/fat-quarter-projects/
  5. http://www.pinterest.com/thefabulousfq/fat-quarter-projects/
  6. http://www.pinterest.com/k_bonar/crafts-fat-quarters/
  7. http://www.pinterest.com/indy_nat/fat-quarter-ideas/
  8. http://www.pinterest.com/elrincondeteo/fat-quarter-tutorials/
  9. http://www.pinterest.com/nataliewoods/sewing-fat-quarter-projects/
  10. http://www.pinterest.com/homeiswhere/fat-quarter-projects/
  11. http://www.pinterest.com/dschleue/diy-fat-quarter-projects/

Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to take a look at our sale items in our summer selection promotion. You can read more in last week’s blog post.

Best wishes, Kim



Save up to 50% with our 2014 Summer Selection Promotion

Save up to 50% with our 2014 Summer Selection Promotion


Hi everyone. Hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the wonderful sunny weather we were lucky enough to have for a few days. I thought you’d all like to know that we have a Summer Selection Promotion on at the moment and you can save up to 50% on the RRP of selected sewing and craft products.

If you are in need of sewing threads then check out the 120 Count sewing thread that we have on sale for just 53p for a 1000 yard reel. It is available in 52 colours and at that price it is a bargain!

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If you like to knit then you will be pleased to see that we have up to 20% off all the wool that we stock in our shop. You can see the complete range here. Now is the time to start buying the wool you need for those winter jumpers that you will soon be starting to knit! :o)

In the photograph above you are able to see the other items we have in the sale. 

If you would like to be the first to hear about any of our future sales then I recommend that you sign up to our Sewing-Online newsletter.  It would also be great if you could follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook too.

Thanks everyone.

I will be back again on Friday with another blog post. It is going to be lots of project ideas for using fat quarters of fabric.

Best wishes, Kim



Buy Fat Quarter Bundles Of Beautiful Tilda Fabrics - Spring 2014 Collections

Buy Fat Quarter Bundles Of Beautiful Tilda Fabrics - Spring 2014 Collections


I am so excited to be able to tell you all that we now stock Tilda craft and sewing products here at Sewing-Online.com. There are so many items in this range that I can’t possibly talk about all of them in just one blog post so today I am only going to focus on the fat quarter bundles of Tilda fabric that you can now buy from us.

There are 6 fat quarter bundles to choose from and they can all be seen in the collage picture below.

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I don’t think there is any chance of me being able to pick a favourite bundle as each set has an abundance of gorgeous fabrics in it!

The fat quarter bundles vary in price but each pack has 9 different fat quarters of stunning 100% cotton Tilda fabric.

I have been looking through all the current Tilda fabric collections and I have decided upon 5 favourite individual fabrics and they are as follows :- Ella Blue Grey (All That Is Spring) , Emma Red (Christmas Play) , Millie Grey Green (The Seaside Life) , Star Grey Brown (Winter Memories) and Aurora White (The Corner Shop). Without the need of too much prompting, I can easily decide on even more favourite fabric designs……Laura Blue Grey (the Corner Shop), Ella Slate Blue (The Summer Fair) and Stine White (Country Escape). :o)  

Which is your favourite? Take a look through the collections and come and tell me on twitter or facebook- I’d love to know which one you love the most.

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Here are the clickable links to all the Tilda Fat Quarter Bundles that we sell :-

We also sell individual fat quarters of the Tilda fabrics plus we even sell them by the half metre or by the 10 metre bolt.

If you can’t resist having a little peek at some of the other Tilda products that we sell on our site then please click here.

We have Tilda craft kits, Tilda sewing books , Tilda ribbon and so much more. I will highlight other items from the range in a future blog post.

I hope you all have a wonderful Bank Holiday Monday and I will keep my fingers crossed that the weather stays nice for us all.

Best wishes, Kim



Lots Of Free Patterns For Crochet Sun Hats

Lots Of Free Patterns For Crochet Sun Hats


I know you all love to crochet and what could be better to crochet on a hot, sunny day like today than a pretty crochet sun hat!

I have been browsing the web for crochet hat tutorials for you and I hope you all like them. From what I can see many of these patterns are free but you may find the odd few that would need to be paid for if you wish to download them.

There is a mixture of patterns for crochet hats for adults and kids. Some of them are sun hats and some are more autumn/winter hats. Either way …there are lots of patterns out there for you to follow!

If you do crochet yourself a new hat I’d love to see a picture of you wearing it. Please tag me in a photo on facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/sewingonline) or tweet me instead (https://twitter.com/sewing_online). I will then share it with our followers so they can all admire your lovely handiwork. :o)

Before I give you those links you have been patiently waiting for….if you need to replenish your stocks of crochet cotton or need some new crochet hooks - please visit the crochet section on our website. We even have a couple of crochet hat books that we sell. There is the £4.99 book ‘20 Crochet Beanies To Make' by Frauke Kiedaisch and the £5.99 book 'Hooked On Crochet Hats II' by Sara Dudek.

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Have a wonderful week everyone. I will publishing my next blog post at the end of the week….so see you soon.

Best wishes, Kim