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Meet our teachers: Sophia Palmer, freehand machine embroidery

We are so excited to now have freehand machine embroidery on our class timetable! Sophia Palmer is the owner and creator of Jessalli Handmade, a personalised gifts company in Dorset. She spends her days making unique, fun and colourful soft furnishings and gifts for all the family. Her favourite textile media is free-hand machine embroidery and she uses it to create textile portraits from photographs as well as cute pictures and gifts. We are super happy to welcome her to our teaching team with her freehand machine embroidery classes!

Sophia Palmer

Q. How did you first discover your crafting talents?

A. My mother taught me to sew when I was young, but I never thought of it as a career until I was 18. All the skills I learnt since then I’ve taught myself, it’s been a journey of determination really, but once you love something you never give up!

Sophia Palmer

Q. We love your website, tell us about your business and how it all started.

A. When I left school I moved to Australia. It was in Sydney that I got a job at a handmade children’s clothing company. I remember going in there, looking round and just walked up to the friendly lady behind the desk and said “I’m looking for a job and I can sew!”. My boss, Colette, took me under her wing and I basically got hooked on handmade. When I moved back to the UK a year later I knew what I wanted to do. And it was Colette who encouraged me to carry on sewing. After that I just had to convince my parents that it was a good idea to cancel my place at university! (who’s need more journalists anyway!). I went full time with Jessalli in 2011, when I was just 20, it was a big leap but I haven’t looked back since. My aim was to always create personal, sentimental gifts for families, and I hope that people keep their little Jessalli-wares forever.

Sophia Palmer

Q. We are super excited for your first Freehand Machine Embroidery class. For those who don’t know, what is Free Motion Embroidery and what can students expect?

A. The only way I can explain Free Motion Embroidery is that it’s the most expressive variation of sewing. Forget what you know about a sewing machine, and just get creative. It’s great fun, and once you’ve done it, you’ll be hooked! You don’t have to be an expert, you don’t need to be a perfectionist, you don’t even need to be good at sewing! It’s totally unique to you and that’s why I love it.

Sophia Palmer

Q. What other crafts do you enjoy? Do you find the time to craft for yourself as well as work?

A. I have to say all I do is sew. For business, for work and for pleasure. It’s my passion and I hope that never goes away. Sadly I have less and less time for personal sewing projects, but I always squeeze in an evening or a couple of hours sewing somewhere.

Sophia Palmer

Q. What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

A. I love working with cotton, I find there’s such a huge variety. I love quilting cottons for the patterns and prints. I have scrap fabric baskets for my machine embroidery, colour coded of course. You can find a use for the smallest piece of cotton with a cute design on it! It’s a big problem.

Sophia Palmer

Q. Describe your style in 5 words.

A. Colourful, Fun, Happy, Free and Textured.

Sophia Palmer

Q. What would your dream commission be?

A. I would love to work on a huge portrait of someone famous. Past or present. I love doing portraits and think a giant, crazy sewn textile art piece would be great fun.

Sophia Palmer

You can books Sophia’s Crochet classes here, find her on Instagram here. or check out her website here.

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Let’s all wear…shirts and shirtdresses!

We have lots of shirt and shirtdress patterns in stock at the moment and the lovely Alice (one of the newest members of our team) has put together a round up of them all for you with some top styling tips too! Take it away Alice!

Shirts are a staple piece when it comes to your wardrobe. They’re a perfect example of a versatile garment. Whether it’s for work, a summer’s day, a night out in town or a cosy day in, a shirt will work. Here at The Village Haberdashery, we have plenty of different shirt patterns to keep you inspired! From blouses, shirt dresses, tunics, all ages for male & female – you’re bound to find a pattern you wish to make over & over again.

This month, we’ve been looking at ways to jazz those shirts up. So we’ve put together this to inspire you to get shirt making.

Named Patterns – Helmi Trench Blouse & Tunic Dress

Named Patterns have such a classic, ‘high end’ look to them – they’re great for those staple wardrobe items. This one has two different options you could go for. The Tunic Dress features a concealed button closure & half sleeves. It’s a tad more advanced, so if you’re an intermediate sewer – why not give this a go! As its made up of two parts, we thought why not mix it up and use two fabrics, just to make it even more unique to yourself! The fabrics we’ve chosen are Menagerie by Rifle Paper Co – Watercolour in Multi & Menagerie by Rifle Paper Co – Champagne in blush metallic. You could even opt for a plain solid colour & add some personalisation with our Iron – On Glitter Sheets. We feel the two contrasting fabrics would really bring this shirt to life & make it perfect if you’re having a night out!

Grainline Studios – Alder Shirtdress

You can’t go wrong with a denim shirt. This pattern is made up of two different versions – View A, is a-Line, whereas View B is a gathered skirt at the back & sides. Its great for summer as its sleeveless but also perfect for winter as you can just pop on a cardigan! We may have gone for the black Stapleford Denim, however, with a pop of colour it can become quite striking. How about these Embroidery Transfers by Sublime Stitching. They’re so easy to use & with multiple usage you could place them over and over again! As they say ‘floral embroidery is a must!’. How about a floral pocket feature or a floral collar? You could even embroider a floral bouquet on the back of the shirt!

Closet Case Patterns- Kalle Shirt Dress

The Kalle Shirt Dress is a loose fitting shirt dress, great for all seasons! If you haven’t sewn a shirt before, this is a great pattern to choose. It gives you the option to choose what kind of collar you want & button style, making it a super personalised shirt! For this we’ve opted for Linen/Viscose Chambray – Denim Blue & added some pom poms! Pom Poms & trimmings are a great way to make something fun and look totally unique! We have so many options here at The Village Haberdashery from ready made pom pom trims to a wide of variety of ribbons, such as gingham, striped, grosgrain & satins of all different sizes! They would look great as a sleeve trimming or for the hem to give it a festival feeling! They work really well against this fabric, which almost has a ‘denim look’.

Colette Patterns – Aster Blouse

The shape of this blouse is lovely! Its classic & smart, yet casual. Great for any type of wear and style! If you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer – there is no holding back with this pattern! With three different options & a variety of techniques, you’re bound to find one that suits your wardrobe – as well as learning loads of new things along the way! We’ve gone for option 3, as the fluttered sleeves would look great with this fabric. The fabric we’ve chosen is Wonderland rayon by Rifle Paper Co – Painted Roses in Orange. Paired with a classic pair of skinny jeans & boots – perfect Autumn outfit! As the fabric is so detailed, not much embellishment is needed – just some great matching & bright buttons!

Megan Nielsen – Darling Ranges Dress

We cannot go without featuring some stripes! The fabric is Cotton Chambray – Blue Stripe. It’s lovely & light, and would create a simple yet effective every day staple shirt. Iron-on motifs are all the range right now with so many options available. You could go for a cute cherry or summery flamboyant flamingo! They make a great addition and so simple to use too. Or how about some machine embroidery if you’re feeling adventurous? We have some freehand machine embroidery classes coming up too, if it’s something you’re keen to learn. This pattern features so many options from a deep v-neck, high waistline, different sleeve lengths, pockets & darts! Great to be made over & over again.

Colette Patterns – Penny Dress

This Monstera in Midnight Rayon Lawn by Rifle Paper Co. (from their Menagerie collection) is utterly gorgeous which such a lovely drape, it’s a perfect fit for this pattern! The dress is an iconic shape and reminds us of the fifties – It definitely has that ‘Christian Dior’ feel! You could sew this dress in a shirting cotton or a rayon/lawn like we’ve chosen & it would be perfect for any occasion! The pattern features a sleeve-less option, a full fitted circle skirt & a high waisted waistband. You could mix & match to create the perfect shape for you! We’ve paired it with some neutral buttons here.

Tilly & The Buttons – Rosa Shirt & Shirt Dress

Rosa Shirtdress

This pattern definitely has western vibes! They both have so many different, awesome sewing features such as a pointed back yoke, roll up sleeves with optional buttons tabs, piping & buttons! (Hello, self covered buttons!). You can buy piping, or you could have a go at making it yourself. There are so many free tutorials nowadays, definitely make the most of them. As we’re feeling western when it comes to this pattern, we went for a cotton denim, in this lovely mustard shade – a great Autumn colour! Paired with the Jungle fabric from the new Menagerie collection to make the piping & self covered buttons. It would look awesome!

Cashmerette – Harrison Shirt & Lenox Shirtdress

It’s time to bust out the tailoring skills for this one! (sort of!) Both versions of patterns feature classic tailoring details such as button bands, two piece collar and princess seams! They’re patterns that can be made over and over for workwear or for a everyday effortless style! Did I also mention the Lenox Shirtdress has pockets?! A cotton lawn would look great for these patterns. With matching buttons, you can’t go wrong! We’ve chosen the stunning Cotton Lawn – Lily Brasilia by Lady McElroy and some elegant shell buttons.

Sew Over It – Vintage Shirt Dress

This dress shouts retro chic! Its one of those shirt dresses that you can put on, whatever the season or weather and look effortless! As it is so versatile, the fabric options are endless! Whether you wish to go for a lightweight cotton like we’ve chosen (this one is Blue Moon – Folkstone in Midnight), a rayon or a heavy denim – it’s a great pattern to make completely your own. Its definitely filled with a variety of techniques to keep you learning and refreshing, with pleats, facings, collar & buttonholes! Why not make a matching tie-up belt or use some velvet ribbon to give it that extra classy feel!

Walden by Colette – Negroni Shirt

As well as womenswear patterns, we also stock menswear! This shirt is a classic, modern man’s shirt, great to pop over a t-shirt or to wear with a pair of jeans & boots. The shirt suggests a variety of different fabrics to use, such as flannel, rayon and shirting! It also features optional collar suggestions too! I feel you can’t go wrong with this pattern. This Lawn by Rifle Paper Co. is super cool & smart! It features a repeating pattern, is super lightweight with a slight stiffness, yet holds its shape. Perfect to pair with some simple black buttons.

Merchant & Mills – The All State Shirt

I’m loving this shirt! It’s bringing back that retro, american fifties feel with its short sleeve & box fit. Is great if you’re looking for something a little different. The pattern features a pockets, back yoke & short side splits. The fabric we’ve chosen is a little quirky, however, we think would work well! Its a cotton chambray (Chambray Boulevard Prints – Southwest Stripe in Indigo), with a directional print. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, directional prints are a great next step with sewing or even just making menswear itself!

I hope we’ve left you feeling super inspired to have a go at making some shirts for yourself, a friends or a partners wardrobe! Share your photos & makes on Instagram or Facebook with #thevillagehaberdashery! We’d love to see what you create!

Thanks Alice! I’m totally inspired to get shirt making now!

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Janome Sewing with Style Autumn Offers 2017!

This autumn Janome have some amazing special offers for you! If you were thinking about treating yourself (or someone else) to a new sewing machine, now is the time! (This is such a great opportunity to be thinking ahead to those Christmas presents!) Don’t miss the Early Bird offers available on a couple of the machines too!

Janome Autumn Sewing with Style offers!

Here is a quick round up of what is on offer…

The BRAND NEW Janome 230DC – Introductory offer price of £299!

Janome 230DC

Perfect for a first sewing machine!

Fully computerised with stitches and settings at the touch of a button. Simple and easy, no fuss threading with the auto needle threader and quick set bobbin as well as 30 built-in stitches, 3 styles of 1 step button hole, maximum speed controller, lock stitch feature and start/stop button. The machine also comes with a hard cover to protect and store away.


Janome 525s Sewing Machine – £249

Janome 525s

Save £40!

A really popular model which won a major consumer magazine award for “Best Buy”. It has a well balanced range of stitches & features and is perfect for beginners and those who are more experienced. It handles all types of fabric well and offers affordable power and precision.


Janome DXL603 Sewing Machine – £379

Janome DXL603

Save £70 plus get a free quilting kit worth £129!

An excellent all round fully computerised machine with built-in stitches for quilting and heirloom. Stitch selections and settings are so easy on the large information LCD screen. The maximum speed controller allows for precision sewing whilst the auto needle threader and the auto 1-step buttonhole make sewing simple. There a needle up/down facility – great for pivoting on corners and an auto-lock stitch for a perfect end to stitching. It also has a start/stop button which means the machine can be used without the foot control. There’s plenty of accessory storage and a hard cover for protection.

EARLY BIRD OFFER: Order before 17th September and get an extra £10 off!!


Janome QXL605 Sewing Machine – £429

Janome DXL603

Save £70 plus get a free quilting kit worth £129!

The QXL605 is the upgraded version of the DXL603. It has all the same stitches and great features but has the added benefit of an automatic thread cutter to trim threads at the end of sewing!

EARLY BIRD OFFER: Order before 17th September and get an extra £10 off!!


Janome Atelier 5 Sewing Machine – £899

Atelier 5

Save £100 and get a free Quilting Kit worth £185!

This brilliant computerised sewing machine has been designed to meet every sewing challenge. It is so versatile that there are three optional kits available, one for quilting, one for home furnishings and a third for fashion sewing. With a total arm length of 310mm (over 12”) and 210mm (8.3”) arm space right of the needle, this machine is ideal bigger projects and yet is equally suited to precision sewing, offering an incredible 91 needle positions. It has a superior feeding system and an easy change needle plate to enhance straight stitch performance at up to 1,000 spm. The 9mm stitch width gives added creative options whilst the host of special computerised features including 5 times stitch elongation makes it so easy to use.

This is the model Great British Sewing Bee winner Charlotte uses!


Janome Atelier 7 Sewing Machine – £1099

Atelier 7

Save £200 and get a free Quilting Kit worth £185!

Sharing the same features as its sister the Atelier 5, this amazing machine also has Janome’s AcuFeed system for great fabric handling and an easy change needle plate to enhance straight stitch performance at up to 1,000 spm. The 9mm stitch width gives added creative options whilst the host of special computerised features including five times stitch elongation makes it so easy to use. Quilters will love the electronic knee lifter and you can create your own stitch with stitch composer. At the push of a single button this machine will lock off your stitches, cut your threads and lift the pressure foot! So cool!


Janome 9300DX Overlocker – £229

Janome 9300DX Overlocker

Save £40!

A superb introductory level overlocker offering great value for money. Whilst it is easy to use, it comes with an instructional DVD to explain the wide range of stitch options. Perfect for sewing with knit fabrics and finishing seams!


Janome CoverPro 2000CPX Cover Stitch Machine – £449

Janome Coverpro 2000CPX

Save £50!

The one stop machine for perfect hemming! With a wide triple cover hem stitch, exclusive free arm configuration and seam tightening system (STS), the 2000CPX is the most advanced dedicated cover hem machine available. In addition it has TLC (Tension Level Control ) to provide greater control over fine fabrics and thereby perfect stitch quality.


Janome Autumn Sewing with Style Offers!

Feel free to drop by our West Hampstead Store to chat about which machine will be best for you! We have the 525s, DXL603, and the Atelier 5 in store for you to see in person. To arrange a demo on the machines we have in store please email [email protected]

All the offers are available until 18th December 2017. Get yours online or in store today!


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Lovely things our customers have made

Time for another round up of lovely things our customer have made! Don’t forget to share your own makes with us on Instagram using the hashtag #thevillagehaberdashery

We were totally wowed by @fosterquilts Snake quilt! The perfect selection of Kona Cotton Solids.

@lizzieb262 made this Jumpsuit using our Carolyn Friedlander fabric and we think it is amazing!

@lollyinlala is enjoying the sun while wearing her Papercut Patterns Anima Pants in our Viscose/Spandex Jersey fabric. They look super comfortable!

How adorable is this little outfit made by @girlswear in some of the Rifle Paper Co. Wonderland fabric!

We love this jumpsuit dress by @sarahyjbj in our Flamingo Popcorn Crepe fabric!

@e_boden has made these cute little drawstring bags from our Feather Palm Cotton Lawn. We especially love the embroidery detail.

@jesshartdesign looks fab in her Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse in our Frolic 100% organic cotton batiste.

Isn’t this dress by @tinabella83 just stunning. It is a mash up of the Deer and Doe Sureau bodice and a McCalls skirt in Gertrude Made‘s Outback Wife fabric.

@nixdolman has made these handy zip pouches using our metal zips and fun quilting cotton prints!

@londonlettice has her summer wardrobe sorted with this tunic dress in Artizan Splash cotton lawn!

Our Hoooked recycled t-shirt yarn works so well for jewellery crafts. @kbated has used macrame for this lovely piece.


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Four ways to use up those scraps!

If you’ve been dressmaking or quilting for a while then your scrap pile is probably getting a bit out of control! Luckily we have some really exciting classes coming up at our West Hampstead shop that will help you to tame those scraps and learn some fantastic new skills at the same time!

Freehand Machine Embroidery with Sophia Palmer
Saturday 23 September, 10:30am – 1:15pm or 2:30pm – 5:15pm (£40)

Do you want to learn a completely new and unique way of using your sewing machine? This workshop will give you a new expressive way to decorate and create. Mixing free motion thread sketching with fabric appliqué to create totally individual pieces of art! You’ll learn how to draw with thread, tips for the perfect fabric appliqué and how to trace your own designs into fabric art.

Freehand Machine Embroidery with Sophia Palmer

Knickers Masterclass with Charlotte Newland
Saturday 7 October, 10am – 5pm or Mondays 20 and 27 November, 6.30pm – 9.30pm (£95)

The only knickers class you’ll ever need! In this fun one-day or two evening class you’ll learn how to make two pairs of knickers. First, we’ll make knickers using stretch knit fabric and fold over elastic. Then, we’ll make knickers using a lightweight woven fabric and picot elastic. You may never buy knickers from a shop again!

Knickers masterclass with Charlotte Newland

Rag Rugging for Beginners with Elspeth Jackson
Sunday 10 September, 10am – 4pm or Sunday 3 December, 10am – 4pm (£75)

Learn to turn old rags into upcycled homeware with the beautiful craft of rag rugging! Our beginners’ workshop is designed to give you all the skills you need to be able to start any rag rug project for yourself at home. With plenty of help from our expert instructor throughout the day, you will learn how to use rag rug equipment, how to work with hessian, how to choose and prepare materials, how to design for rag rug, how to do the two different types of rag rugging (loopy and shaggy) and how to finish your work. During the session you will get the opportunity to begin a rug, cushion or smaller project (depending on how ambitious you’re feeling!). All the rag rug materials are provided on the day and you’ll get a latch hook to take home with you!

Rag rigging for beginners with Elspeth Jackson

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes
Sunday, 15 October, 10am – 4pm (£85)

In this exciting class we will explore different ways to use pieced strips in improvised patchwork, how to cut and assemble strips of fabric and different effects you can achieve with stripes. Depending on your level and pace, you’ll finish a quilt top for a lap or baby-sized quilt or you can use your work as the start of a bigger quilt to finish at home. Plus, you’ll leave class full of inspiration and with a new foundation for bringing your own unique style into your quilting.

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes

To browse our full class schedule, click here. For more information about finding our shop, click here.

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Tutorial: Patchwork Rainbow Cloud wall hanging

Earlier this week we posted the images of our Great British Summer Outing shop display and as promised, here is the tutorial for how to make the patchwork cloud that features in it.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

I have to admit, when I was making this I was just kind of making it up as I went along! As this is a project you can make in any size I have not given and exact measurements.

What you will need:
A plain grey fabric for the background and the backing. (I used Manchester Yarn Dyes – Steel)
Long strips of fabric in rainbow colours (skinny quarters of Kona Cotton Solids work great for this)
Co-ordinating thread
Wadding or Toy Filling (whichever you prefer)
General sewing supplies

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

1. Draw your shape out on a piece of paper making sure it is about half an inch larger than you want the finished cloud to be to allow for seam allowances.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

2. Cut out your shape. This is now your template.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

3. Draw 8 evenly spaced lines out to mark out where your rainbow stripes will go.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

4. Cut out long strips of the coloured fabrics twice as wide as the rainbow stripes, plus 1 inch. Don’t worry too much about the length, just make sure they are a bit longer than the lines you have drawn on your template. Then iron these strips in half longways. This automatically finished one of their edges.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

5. Find matching threads for each of your colours. (It is up to you how fussy you want to be about how well they match).

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

6. One at a time, layer your stripes by overlapping them in ‘rainbow order’. You are aiming for the visible parts of the stripes to be the same width as the lines you drew on the template.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

7. Top stitch them together 1/4inch from the fold of the top piece. I used the 1/4inch seam foot on my machine to help with this.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

8. You should end up with a block of coloured stripes with a neat fold at one side and raw edges at the other.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

9. Cut half of your main cloud front fabric in half diagonally so you have a piece for either side of the cloud. (Make sure you leave enough for the backing). Overlap the bottom side of the rainbow over the corresponding diagonal main cloud front piece.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

10. Top stitch 1/4inch from the fold to join them.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

11. Place the raw edge of the rainbow right sides together with the other corresponding diagonal side of the main cloud fabric. Stitch with a 1/2inch seam and press the seam towards the cloud.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

12. Your should now have something that looks something like this…

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

13. Place your paper cloud template on top and pin it down.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

14. Cut around your template to get your final shape.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

15. Cut out a second cloud shape from your cloud backing fabric. Place your cloud backing and cloud front right sides together and pin. Sew all the way around with a 1/2inch seam allowance leaving a gap for turning and stuffing. You will need to pivot at the corners.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

16. Clip the curves and snip into the troughs and turn right sides out. Press.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

17. Fill with toy stuffing or wadding and sew up the gap. You can also top stitch around the whole shape if you like or even quilt it.

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

18.You can then hang up your cloud with invisible thread if you wish or use it as something else… a cushion perhaps?

Patchwork Cloud Tutorial

The sun and the raindrops are made simply by cutting out two of each shape, placing them right sides together, sewing around them leaving a gap and then turning to the right side and finishing. Easy!

We would love to see your versions of our rainbow cloud. Share your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery.

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Top tips: Sewing with PVC and laminated fabrics!

We just love the super cool PVC fabrics we have in stock at the moment but sometimes they can be a little tricky to work with as they don’t respond in the same way uncoated fabrics do. We have put together these 13 top tips for you to conquer those laminated fabrics and make something amazing!

13 tips for sewing with laminated fabrics

1. Think about the project you want to use your laminated fabric for. Bear in mind that it will not be machine washable. Also it is best to stick to reasonably simple shapes as it doesn’t always work well with lots of curves because it has no drape.

laminated fabrics

2. Use a new sharp needle. Size 12 or 14 will be fine but if you find it is struggling try a Jeans needle. It is always best to test on a scrap of the laminated fabric first.

3. Normal sewing thread is fine. No need to use an extra strong thread. We recommend Gutermann Sew All thread.

Sew all threads

4. Lengthen your stitch length. About 3mm long should work. If the stitch length is too short the needle will create too many holes in the fabric and this could weaken your seam. A longer stitch length also helps to avoid puckers. You may however find you will need to decrease the length a little for any tight curves.

Stitch Length

5. NEVER iron on the coated side of the fabric! A cool iron on the reverse side will be fine but make sure it does not touch the front for even a second (it makes a mess of your fabric and your iron!). Finger pressing the seams with this fabric is sufficient for these fabrics. Also a pattern will usually require to top stitch the seams which will help hold them in place too. If you do need to get rid of wrinkles a cool setting on your hair dryer should to help ease them out! Always try to store your fabrics in a way that they will not get creased. Rolling is a good option here.

6. Use an easy glide pressure foot and needle plate. You may find that the right side of the fabric is getting stuck to your pressure foot and needle plate as you are stitching. There are special pressure feet and needle plates available that help to stop the right side of coated fabric. These are made of a ‘non-stick’ material called Teflon which will help your fabric glide through easily. However if you do not want to buy one of these a piece of masking tape over your normal needle plate (avoiding the feed dogs) and on the bottom of the standard pressure foot should do the trick!

7. No need to finish the edges. Happy days! The coating on these fabrics will stop any fraying so you do not need worry about finishing the edges. You could cut with pinking shears if you wanted a more fancy finish however!

8. Never use pins. Pins will leave permanent holes in your beautiful fabrics. Wonder clips are your best friend here as they do not leave any marks and hold the fabric really steady. Paper clips and bulldog clips also work but may leave some marks on the fabric.

9. Remember not to use pins when cutting out. Use pattern weights and a rotary cutter to cut out, or tracing paper and a tracing wheel to transfer the pattern. Alternatively draw round your pattern pieces and then cut. Just choose the method that works best for you.

10. Sticky tape can be super helpful. Magic Scotch Tape is great for holding pieces like patch pockets in place while you stitch. This just peels off afterwards and should not leave a residue on the fabric (always test a piece first and remove as soon as possible afterwards).

11. Double sided tape is also good for holding together openings in seams. This does not need to be removed as you won’t be able to see it once the seam gap is stitched up!

12. Waterproof the seams. If you are making something like a raincoat you will want to be sure to waterproof the seams so no rain seeps through. A ‘seam sealing tape’ will work well here and is super easy to use.

13. Check twice stitch once. Once the needle punctures the fabric that hole is permanent!

I really hope these tips have given you more confidence to work with these fab fabrics. Don’t forget to show us your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery !

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A close up on our ‘Great British Summer Outing’ vignette

As we all know, here in Britain the weather isn’t totally reliable and if it isn’t raining, wait a bit and it probably will rain! However, nothing stops us going out what ever the weather and having a good summer family outing. This vignette is inspired by days out when I was little, usually dressed up in a raincoat or dungarees and always with my welly boots on!

Three Girls

Our young Mum is wearing the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress in Cotton/Spandex Denim Buxton.

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

This is such a simply pattern to make and is super easy to personalise. I have stitched one of The Make Arcade’s Mini Cross Stitch Kits onto the front pocket for this one, but you could sew on some fabric patches, do some freehand embroidery, or even add some intentional distressed parts to the fabric if you like. Dungaree buckles and Jean buttons work so well on this dress.

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

I had really good fun with the top stitching on the pockets!

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress

Our littlest girl is dressed just like Mum with her dungaree dress. The pattern is the Two Stitches Frankie pattern and is so cute!

Two Stitches Frankie Dress


Two Stitches Frankie Dress

I couldn’t resist adding the Unicorn Mini Cross Stitch to her front pocket.

Two Stitches Frankie Dress

The shape of the skirt is just perfect and the elastic section at the back means fitting is very easy.

Two Stitches Frankie Dress

I have replaced the bulky dungaree buckles with little flower buttons for a more dainty look.

Two Stitches Frankie Dress

Our other little one is very cozy in her Amy Butler – Little Splashes Hooded Raincoat. Fabric is the adorable Magical Summer Unicorn in Mint and Gold PVC. Keep an eye out for a top tips for sewing with PVC fabric post coming soon.

Amy Butler Little Splashes Raincoat

Amy Butler Little Splashes Raincoat

The coat is lined in brushed cotton to make it extra snuggly!

Amy Butler Little Splashes Raincoat

I just love the pleated pockets with the little flaps.

Amy Butler Little Splashes Raincoat

Amy Butler Little Splashes Raincoat

Hanging above in the shop we have the Great British Summer weather cloud! Rain + Sun = Rainbow!

Rainbow Cloud

The coloured fabrics are all Kona Cotton Solids and the cloud is Manchester Yarn Dyes in Steel. We will have a tutorial for how to make this on The Daily Stitch in the next week or so.

Rainbow Cloud

We hope you enjoyed reading all about our ‘Great British Summer Outing’ vignette and are having a fantastic summer time… even when it is excellent weather for ducks!


Rain boots

What are you making to wear out and about this summer? Tag your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery. Happy Sewing!


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Our favourite resources for sewing with double gauze!

We love cotton double gauze because it is floaty and soft, lending itself to both special garments and beautiful quilts.

Double Gauze

In recent years double gauze gone from something you can only find in highly-coveted Japanese fabric collections (perhaps you’ve heard the name Nani Iro?) to being produced by some of the biggest quilting fabric manufacturers in the industry (perhaps you’ve heard of Cotton and Steel?)

Nani Iro Double Gauze

But it’s still new to many of our customers and every time we share a picture on Instagram, we get questions! We have a few favourite resources to share and we wanted to put them all in one place to give you the courage and inspiration to try double gauze if you haven’t already.

Parallels double gauze

First, start by watching this video by Cotton and Steel. They produced it when they launched their first double gauze collection a couple of years ago. It has sewing tips and suggestions and is going to make you want to get started straight away! Sorry – it’s driving me crazy but I can’t get this video to centre!!

Next, check our our own blog post Tips for dressmaking with double gauze by Jenni Smith. It’s extremely comprehensive and you’ll get to see more pics of the cute Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress Jenni made with our double gauze!

Tips for dressmaking with double gauze

Finally, Colette Patterns did a blog post on double gauze with even more information, plus lots of cute pattern ideas too.

Colette Double Gauze

Are you inspired? Yes? You can find our current selection of double gauze (and we add new prints all the time!) right here.

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Makers for Grenfell and Quilts for Grenfell Tower

I’m a little late in posting about this, but I wanted to help spread the word about a couple of really wonderful things happening in our community in response to the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Makers for Grenfell

Portia at Makery organised this fundraiser and on her blog she outlined a number of ways you, as a maker and human, can contribute, including a raffle. More than £4000 has been raised to date (check out the JustGiving page here) and she is evaluating charities to direct the funds to. For our small part, we’ve contributed a complete fat quarter bundle of Wonderland by Rifle Paper Co. to the raffle and you can buy a ticket until 31 July. There are zillions of other great prizes if you need further motivation!

Quilts for Grenfell Tower

There is also a really wonderful group of 1000+ strong quilters on the Quilt for Grenfell Tower Facebook group that are facilitating quilt donations and quilt making for Grenfell survivors. We are serving as a collection point for quilt donations Updated: contact the Facebook group if you have a quilt to donate! We are offering free studio time for anyone making a quilt for this project. If you want to get involved or make a donation, please get in touch with the Facebook group. You can also contact the London Modern Quilt Guild for more information if you’d like to help sew the blocks together at an upcoming sew day at our shop.

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