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Sewing Christmas Gift Guide! All under £25!

Sewing Christmas Gift Guide! All under £25!
The festive season is in full swing and I couldn't resist dreaming up a sewing themed Christmas wish list. Whilst also dropping not-so subtle hints to my family. So make sure you point your gift getters in this direction too sewists, you're going to want these dreamy sewing goodies.

... At least that's how I started this post originally. However, after a stressful few days and a full Amazon basket, I accidentally bought everything on my list! But, with all these gorgeous sewing goodies each under £25, it'd be rude not to! Have a peek at what I treated myself (and my sewing room) to this Christmas...

You can see why I couldn't resist!
Oh Sew Quaint - Doughnut Pattern Weights - £24.99

This Christmas's must have sewing accessory!
I'm so excited to share with you more goodies from my new fellow Shrewsbury sewing pal, Danni's adorable Etsy store. I recently reviewed her super sweet Macaron Pattern Weights and I was lucky enough to be gifted my own set of these doughnut weights too. Amazing right? But be quick, she's baking new batches nearly every day at the moment as these beauties are fast becoming a must have sewing gift for the festive season! Tilly and the Buttons also recently included them in her Christmas Gift email newsletter which I had to message Danni about immediately!

- please note Danni's waiting times as these doughnut are selling like CRAZY. But who doesn't love a gift for the New Year too?

Definitely squealed in excitement for Danni when I saw Jade - finalist on The Sewing Bee grabbed a set!
Rose Gold Dressmaking Scissors - £20

Beautiful scissor alert! How stunning are these rose gold scissors? I'm such a sucker for beautiful sewing tools, not to mention the fact they make any Instagram photo look so good!

You'll be spotting these in a lot of Instagram snaps in the future!
Tilly and the Buttons DIY Dressmaker Tote Bag - £8.50 & Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree dress Sewing Pattern £12.50

Every sewist needs this tote bag to take fabric shopping with them! It's also a really generous size, just think of all the sewing goodies you could stash in there. Along with this Autumn's seemingly most popular sewing pattern, Cleo! See my review of the pattern HERE.

Tilly and the Buttons - the most lovely sewing gifts!
Pink Tape Measure - £2.99 & Heart Shaped Pins - £1.95

Every sewing box should be stocked with gorgeous but useful supplies and this vibrant tape measure and oh sew cute heart pins will brighten up any sewing space.

Practical and pretty!
Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book - £16

Gertie is my sewing dream girl. I got this book along with her vintage casuals book for my birthday back in May and they really are gorgeous books. The patterns are great and so interchangeable. I highly recommend them for all sewing abilities, especially the Ultimate Dress book - perfect for the party season! I'm yet to make anything, but have so many plans and not enough time!

Endless dresses to make!
I hope you've enjoyed my sewing gift guide and I hope you get to treat yourself to some lovely new sewing goodies this festive season, just like I accidentally (ahem) did...

What's at the top of your sewing Christmas list?
Thanks for reading, pinups!

All prices correct at the time this post was published.
The Crafty Pinup
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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Grainline Studio - Archer Shirt

Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Grainline Studio - Archer Shirt
I'm super excited to be part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network! I recently shared my sewing plans for my first 3 months, check it out HERE to see what I'll be getting up to. Thanks so much to Minerva for having me on board, I had so much fun choosing my projects.

Each month when my post goes live on the Blogger Network, I'll be posting a little preview here with my usual sewing summary and an image or two, but all the images and my full pattern review will be in my full Minerva post! Got it? Right....

My land-girl inspired Archer shirt!
For my November, and first, Minerva make I chose the Archer Shirt by Grainline Studio, a pattern I've been eyeing up for quite some time. I wanted to create a vintage inspired land-girl shirt in a classic plaid fabric.

Sewing Summary:

Sewing time: I spent the best part of a day on this, with plenty of tea breaks and time to make sure my top-stitching was neat and pressing throughout for a crisp finish.

Modifications: None!

Fit: Okay. Too big on the sleeves for sure, but I could definitely size down at least one size and down two sizes for a fitted shirt.

Difficulty: Nice and simple. A great project for adventurous beginners to learn lots of new skills.

Watch out for: Tidy top-stitching, pattern matching if applicable and getting the collar nice and neat.

Make Again?: Yes! I'm sure this will become a wardrobe staple for me. Plus Minerva Crafts have so many gorgeous colours in this plaid fabric, it's hard to resist making another version!

For my full pattern review and images, CLICK HERE!

I hope you like my first Minerva make!
Thanks for reading.

The Crafty Pinup
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Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress

Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress

Okay, okay, I know. I do too many Tilly and the Buttons pattern reviews. But seriously, the designs, the packaging, the simple and clear instructions. I'm powerless to their charms and I'm not sorry.

Sometimes a pattern comes along, very rarely, and you have to stop everything you're doing immediately and sew it up. The new Cleo dungaree dress was exactly that for me, but I also have no idea why! Firstly, it's not particularly vintage inspired and it's the last thing I would think would suit my body shape. But I had to have it!

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Such cute everything!
Whilst I love vintage styles, I'm definitely a lazy 60s style girl in the colder months and save the 1950s for Summer. And luckily a lot of Tilly's patterns lend themselves to a little 60s twist so they fit in to my wardrobe very nicely indeed!

I was worried I would lose my shape in this style. If you've seen some of my other pattern reviews, I have a reasonably hourglass figure. So some styles which don't have a waist often hit my boobs and hang off my chest like a sack - which is reeeally unflattering on my 5"4 frame. So Cleo was an experiment with a new shape for me...

New favourite pattern alert!
As I said before, I just had to stop everything I was doing and sew up a Cleo. I opted for a length between the long and mini options, the front slit, button fastening and with one larger bust pocket.

Luckily I had some black denim in my stash left over from a denim jacket I've been sewing with supplies from Sew Essential (on the blog soon!). You can pick up the gorgeous medium weight denim I used HERE.

I'm also going through a bit of a top-stitching phase, so instead of sticking with black thread for my dungarees, I decided to use baby pink. To make my top-stitching stand out and for an extra professional finish, I used a 3 stitch straight stitch (not sure if this stitch has an actual name but it's basically a regular straight stitch, but each stitch is made up of 3 rows of thread) for all my top-stitching on my new Janome Atelier 5 sewing machine from Weaver Dee (review also coming soon to the blog). I'm obsessed with the stitch and it's a great alternative to buying a top stitch weight thread.

Cleo and Agnes, a match made in sewing heaven!
I found Cleo super simple and a total joy to sew. It's worth mentioning that there is a fault with the front facing of the pattern and if you purchased a pattern with this fault you should have received an email with instructions on how to amend it, or download a new pattern piece. When I spotted the fault, I thought it was something I had done and split the facing piece in half and created a centre seam. Which Tilly later instructed to fix the issue this way too. Otherwise, this pattern was quick, simple and looks super cute.

I wore my new Cleo dungaree dress with my Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top! Made with fabulous nautical jersey from Girl Charlee. Check out the pattern review for my Agnes top HERE. It's such a great basic jersey top pattern to have in your stash. 

Will you be making Cleo?
Sewing Summary:

Notions: 2 buttons

Sewing time: Half a day - need time to concentrate on that top stitching.

Modifications: As above, the facing piece was printed faulty. I also opted for a hem half way between the two options.

Fit: Good! It's a tighter fit on me that some I've seen online because of my figure. I think when I make it again, I'll add a little extra on the hips. But I like the tight fit with the denim fabric. It makes these dungarees feel accidentally sassy!

Difficulty: Easy-peasy! Beginners - get this pattern!

Watch out for: Tidy top-stitching takes extra care and making sure your pockets are central/even.

Make Again?: Yes! I have lilac needle cord and dungaree clips waiting in the wings for my next one!

I see many more Cleo pinafores in my sewing horizon!
Overall, I'm surprisingly happy with my Cleo dungarees! I didn't expect to like this pattern as much as I do or have it fit me as well. I can't wait to make more and would highly recommend it for all sewing abilities.

Like Tilly and the Buttons patterns as much as I do? Check out all my pattern reviews so far for her awesome range HERE. Are you making Cleo? See you at the Instagram party on Saturday 26th November! #SewingCleo

Get the pattern:

Thanks for reading, pinups!

The fabric was supplied to me free of charge by Girl Charlee & Sew Essential. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links.
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Vintage Vogue 2903 - Sew Style Vintage Bookazine Pattern Hack Feature!

Vintage Vogue V2930 - Sew Style Vintage Bookazine Pattern Hack Feature!
Something a little extra exciting today, which I've been dying to share for months! My first ever magazine feature! I was contacted to be part of a pattern hacking feature for Sew Style Vintage bookazine. A series of sewing bookazines by Sew Style, other titles include Fashion & Home, Quick & Easy and For Beginners. Each one is £9.99 but the price is totally justifiable as they are designed to keep, love and use over and over again plus there's FREE patterns! Available to buy HERE.

I just wanted to share a little of what I got up to and show you a couple of images that didn't end up in the bookazine. Here's a peek at the vintage pattern hacking feature:

So exciting to see myself! And how gorgeous is Victoria's dress too?
Product Description of Sew Style Vintage:

"Welcome to Sew Style Vintage, your keepsake project book celebrating the joys of stitching the styles of bygone eras. Step back in time with us, taking a fashion journey from the 1920s right through to the 1980s, and discover a wealth of inspiration for stitching the glamour of old. Start tonight with one of the gorgeous Vogue® Patterns included in your pack, or turn to our project section for a collection of retro ideas. Add a touch of 1940s and 1950s style to your wardrobe with your two patterns. Within these pages you’ll find tips and tricks for stitching these as well as a whole host of fabric ideas. These are classic looks, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn with today’s trends, too, so turn to page 50 for all the styling inspiration you’ll need.

Once you’ve read all about the history of the hat, had your 50s tea party, and consulted vintage bloggers for expert advice, there’s a collection of stitchy projects that embody all things retro – whip up some fifties flair with a Monte Carlo skirt, or wrap up in style with the tartan cape. The accessories you choose can complete your ensemble, so check out an effortlessly elegant fur stole, stylish denim bag and a very retro headband, too.

Whether you’ve got a spare hour or a whole day to indulge your hobby, this handy tome will have you covered. Grab some fabric, raid your stash and get stitching vintage lovelies to wear and wow."

If this doesn't tempt you, I don't know what will!

My finished pattern hacked Vogue 2903 dress!
I'm not going to go into my pattern hack as that's all in the bookazine. But I was given the vintage Vogue 2903 dress pattern from 1957 along with the fabric and asked to hack it into something new!

Here's a peek at the pattern:

There was sooo much fabric in that skirt!
As I say in the magazine I chose to hack my dress using my favourite sewing skills (if you can call them that), shirt collars and button holes! If you've been following my blog, you'll know I love a shirt dress. I'm pleased with the outcome and it will be a lovely addition to my Summer wardrobe.

Pattern: hacked!
A huge 'thank you' to the team at Sew Style Vintage for asking me to be a part of this feature, it was so much fun! I can't wait to pick up a copy of this gorgeous retro sewing publication and get inspired by all the vintage sewing fun!

Thank you for reading, pinups!
The Crafty Pinup
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Tutorial: How to Sew Heart Pockets - Sweeten up Any Make! Ft. Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress

Tutorial: How to Sew Heart Pockets - Sweeten up Any Make!

Welcome to my first sewing tutorial! I love sewing with jersey and as I'm trying to sew some more everyday items and cosy Autumn pieces, it's time to get creative with it! I recently picked up this (link above) beautiful ponte roma jersey with another Coco dress in mind and I think this classic black and white stripe is dying for a red colour pop. In the form of a cute heart pocket of course!

I've seen many, many versions of the Tilly and the Buttons 'Coco' pattern with contrast colour pockets and I've been dying to try and sew heart shaped pockets for a while now. So I thought if all went to plan, I'd share a tutorial on how I made them, and share the heart pocket love! 

FYI this isn't going to be a pattern review of the 'Coco' pattern, I'll do a bumper post another time as I've made a few versions now and want to show them altogether. I chose to do this tutorial on the 'Coco' pattern as it's my go-to jersey pattern at the moment, but this would work great on the 'Gable' Top I recently made too.

So, lets crack on with my first sewing tutorial!...

Such a simple and a fun way to add a splash of colour to any make!
Now I'm a simple, one session, kind of sewist. This tutorial is easy-peasy and recommended for all sewing abilities. I've obviously made my heart pockets for a jersey make, but this would also work on multiple fabrics. It'll be lovely on a cotton Summer dress or a denim skirt.

Here's what you'll need to make your heart pockets:

You really don't need very much for this tutorial, just basic sew equipment and a small amount of jersey. Pockets are a great way to stash bust!

Got everything you need? Let's begin...

Step 1: Draw your heart template:

As a size guide I used the large pocket pattern piece from the 'Coco' pattern. Fold a piece of paper in half and draw one half of a heart. At this point it's a good idea to cut the whole heart out and pin it to your top or dress to give you an idea of the size. You can then re-draw the heart.

Once you're happy with the size of the heart, add a 1cm seam allowance all the way around. Cut out and open out your paper heart template.

Step 2: Cut out your heart pockets:

Use your heart template to cut out your pockets. You need to cut out 2 hearts for each pocket as they are bagged out. To create the 2 pockets for my 'Coco' dress I cut out 4 hearts in total.

Step 3: Bag out your pockets:

Pin two hearts right sides together. Sew you pocket leaving a small gap on one of the straight edges to bag out your heart. Trim down the seam allowances and clip the curves. Turn the pocket inside out and iron. Some people may like to slip stitch the opening closed. But I personally hate slip stitching and find carefully tucking in the seam, ironing and eventually, top stitching is fine.

Adorable pattern weights always help. Check out my review of Oh Sew Quaint's Macaron Pattern Weights HERE
Step 4: Pocket placement:

You'll now have 2 lovely neat hearts ready to turn into pockets. Pin your pockets in place and mark on each pocket how far you want to sew up the hearts to form the opening. I did mine about 1cm from the top of the hearts.

It's always good to try on your garment now while your pockets are pinned on to check the placement.

Step 6: Time to sew!

Neatly and carefully sew your pocket in place with a simple straight stitch. Making sure to secure the stitches at the openings.

Tada! You now have adorable heart pockets that'll sweeten up any make!

Heart pockets? Done!
I'm really happy with the outcome of my pockets. They are simple to make and don't take long, which is certainly my kind of sewing. I'll definitely be doing these again!

Will you be trying out my heart pocket tutorial?
I'd love to know if you try out this tutorial for yourself! Please tag me in any pictures on social media if you do, or comment below. Also if you have any questions regarding this tutorial, ask away...

Want to make this Coco dress for yourself? Here's what I used:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress and Top Sewing Pattern
Fabric: Stripe Print Stretch Ponte Roma Jersey Knit Dress Fabric

+ scraps of red jersey from my stash

I hope you enjoyed my first sewing tutorial, hopefully this is the first of a few as I've got a couple of ideas floating around!

Thanks for reading, pinups.
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