Dressmaking class – make a pair of funky culottes!

Fabric shops

Raystitch – https://www.raystitch.co.uk/

Plush Addict – https://plushaddict.co.uk/

Village Haberdashery – https://thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/

Pound fabrics – https://poundfabrics.co.uk/

Fabric godmother – https://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/

Myfabrics – https://www.myfabrics.co.uk/

Fabrics galore – https://www.fabricsgalore.co.uk/

LittleMissSewdsew – https://littlemisssewnsew.co.uk/

Frumble – https://frumble.co.uk/


For pattern adjusting you will need:

* A ruler, I use a long (24″) quilting ruler as it is really helpful to have a see through ruler with inch lines, and angles, and 9- degree corners, marked on it. A yard stick or other long ruler could work too.

*Cello tape or masking tape to tape pattern pieces together. Clear tape is preferable and especially the kind you can write on

* Paper scissors

* Pens/ markers in different colours

For sewing you will need:

* Fabric shears – they don’t need to be expensive or fancy! My favourites are these Kai ones and they’re only about £20!

* Embroidery scissors or any other tiny scissors that are sharp enought to double as a stitch picker. You need these by your machine to cut threads as you go

* An accurate tape measure

* Decent thread. For dressmaking you need either Coats Duet or Gütermann Sew All. Anything cheap and cheerful is not strong enough for dressmaking

* Excellent quality needles – I only use Schmetz ones now

* Sharp pins. I like flat headed flowery ones, but whatever you use don’t use ones without heads, they are annoying to remove and if you drop one inside your machine it can cause havoc! Make sure they are sharp, lots of pins are rubbish and blunt or rough!

* Something decent to mark fabric with. I love Pilot Frixion pens, they are cheap, come in a range of colours, they iron off fabric, and they work well, make a sharp mark, and last ages.

* I love masking tape to mark seam allowances

* Stitch unpicker. You WILL need one, everyone makes mistakes, it’s just the way it goes.

* An iron and something to iron on, I like the Duronic mini iron and wool ironing mat if short on space.

Measure, find your size, adjust size and cut pattern

Pattern notes: The pattern is supposed to sit at your hips NOT at the waist. If you want it to sit at your waist and you waist is on the high side then you may have to lenghten your pattern at the top lenthening line. I didn’t have to, and still have soom room in the crotch (maybe 2.5″!). If you are happy to have it as a hipster – fine too. You can adjust a lot with the elastic waistband anyway.

Sizing then. If your hip size are larger than your waist size IN THE SIZE CHART then cut out the size your hips need, and you can pull the waist in by adjusting the pleasts and the elastic. Do not follow along with the adjustment I was trying to make from the crotch curve down, in the video. Basically normally your sizing adjustment goes on the outside/ side seam of the pattern, I have never seen it on the inside leg, and this set me on the wrong track. You can if you want to flare the leg out a little but not to the extreme I was suggesting on Lorainne’s pattern for example, as it would do weird things to your crotch (and we don’t need that kind of shit in our lives haha).

how to fold your fabric and lay out your pattern

Making marks

From left to right: Prym chalk wheel, Pilot Frixion rollerball, wax pencil, chalk retractable pencil, chalk marker. Some are better than others, and some of it is personal preference. I love the Frixion pens as they are cheap, long lasting, and accurate, easy to find everywhere too. But they don’t worl on dark fabrios, for those I use the wax pencil, or chalk pencils. But I will use whichever one I can find really! The pictures below take you to the Amazon product if you want to buy any of them.

photos and text marking tools and amazon links etc

Applying interfacing

How to pin in dressmaking

Tailor’s ham

You can make a few in different sizes if you want. I have a small very solid one and a larger floppier one, and they are both useful. I also have a sleeve roll which is basically the same thing but in a different shape!

Essentially you cut two oval shapes out of some funky fabric, it needs to be a natural material so it doesn’t melt when you iron it, but whether that is line or wool or cotton or canvas is neither here nor there. I would stay away from too much texture tho so you don’t iron ridges into your garments! It would need to be almost A4 size if you want to use a paper pattern. The sleeve roll will be much longer than it is wide, and each piece should be around 10cm wide, bigger if you just want to use it for adult sleeves. Rounded corners are easier to sew nd use, you can use a mug or jar to draw rounded edges around! Sew the two fabric pieces together right sides facing, leaving a big enough gap to turn. Make sure you back stitch at both ends! Turn right side out and stuff very densely with saw dust, rice, wood shavings, anything that can take heat and can be molded into shape. Stuff it more tightly than you think is possible! Then hand stitch the opening shut. I enclosed a loop in the seams so I could hang them up. To do this cut a length or ribbon, fold this right sides out and line the raw edges up with the raw edges of the fabnric befoire sewing all the way round. The ribbon faces inwards as you are sewing which feel counter intuitive but it means it will turn out with your fabric and face the right way out!

PDF patterns and copyshop printing

More and more companies are offering PDF patterns only or at least as a second alternative along side printed patterns. It does away with shipping costs and I see the benefit of that. However if you have ever printed a pattern at home and after printing 63 pagfes then had to trim all the edges and cello tape them al together you will hear me when I say I detest printing at home. The cellotape makes the pattern hard to store and it’s is massively time consuming to put it al together, plus the colletape doesn’t last and starts peeling away or gets crispy after some time. So having the option to email or upload your PDF pattern to a dedicated printer who then prints ot off at A0 and posts it back to you is to me the only way to go with PDF patterns. There are more and more companies offering this service, some cheaper or easier to use than others, but I think I have now found the cheapest/ easiest/ best, and they are local-ish too. CLC Essex (https://www.clcessex.com/sewing) seems to have the personal touch and professionalism just right. You pay for the pages you need (most PDFs will have an A0/ copyshop option and will tell you how many pages they are each), you thern email them the links and a few days later you have the patterns in your possession, all neatly folded into an A4 box. It cost me £1.50 per sheet for a colour print out, lots of others are 2-3 times as much as that!