Tag Archives | sewing

Lets all wear…Christmas dresses!

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought it was time to inspire you with different outfit and inspiration ideas for your perfect Christmas dress! Whether you want something modern or with a more retro vibe, we’ve got you covered!

Christmas Dress fabric and pattern ideas

The  Tilly and the Buttons Martha Dress is a gorgeous dress pattern has so many different options to play with, its great if you wish to make more than one! Whether you want long sleeves, short sleeves, add some trim, a long hem or a midi hem, you absolutely can! We’ve chosen Pixie Noel – Pixie Socks in Navy as we think it would look gorgeous and cute at the same time! Who else loves navy at Christmas?

Tilly and the Buttons Martha Dress

The tie up bow feature from the ‘Sudley dress‘ by Megan Nielsen, makes it a must have! Its one of those dresses you want in multiple fabrics for all seasons and occasions. The festive Highland Leaves in Natural woodland fabric features evergreen leaves on a natural background and would suit this dress pattern amazingly! Great if you want an every-day dress, that you can wear with some comfy, chunky tights and boots.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress

The Collette Wren Dress has such a lovely shape and drape that a simple knit fabric would work wonders. It has a wrap-style front with optional sleeves, suitable to flatter all shapes and sizes! The ‘Interlock Solid in Tango Red‘ is a super soft, organic knit and the ideal colour for Christmas. Why not dress it up with a brooch or two?

Colette Wren Dress

Wanting some matching outfits this Christmas? The Trapeze & Trapezette dress patterns by Merchant & Mills are perfect. They are simple silhouettes, but with a beautiful fabric choice like our Garnet shot cotton you’re bound to stand out from the crowd. This fabric and all of our shot cottons are soft, with beautiful drape and a warm glow created by the different coloured yarns used in the warp and weft of the fabric.

Merchant & Mills Trapeze Dress

If you’re wishing for something bold, bright and a little funky, these adorable party Llamas (Llama Navidad in Red) are the perfect fit! The Christine Haynes Emery Dress screams sixties vibes, with the cute waist bow, fitted bodice and hand sewn hem.

We just had to feature the NamedLempi Button Down Dress as it has a great 1940s edge to it. If you’re wanting pockets and something with structure, then give this one a try! The Festive Ornaments in Black is such a cool print and pairs perfectly with this fierce dress pattern!

Named Lempi Dress

How about something with total class? Maybe something you can wear for a Christmas night out? You can’t go wrong with the beautiful Nutcracker Act 1 – Mini Overture in Cranberry fabric. It has such a lovely shimmery metallic print! The Betty Dress by Sew Over it will give a beautiful silhouette shape as it nips in at the waist and flares out. It features an invisible zip and facings.

Sew Over It Betty Dress

I hope this has inspired you to make a Christmas dress this year! And if you’re wanting to make one but feeling a little unsure or rusty with your dressmaking skills, why not take our Sew a Christmas Dress class with Charlotte Newland and make the Emery Dress? Book your place 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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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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Double gauze sewing inspiration

Double gauze is having a moment! This gorgeous fabric used to be pretty hard to find and was usually only offered by Japanese companies like Kokka (Nani Iro’s stunning double gauze collections from Kokka are probably the most well-known). But at last Quilt Market, double gauze was everywhere! The biggest news was Cotton + Steel‘s double gauze collection, Bespoke (pre-sale on now; coming around 15 January), but we also spotted organic double gauze at Birch Fabrics (coming in the spring) and there are sure to be more companies joining the party.

Double gauze is made up of two lightweight layers of cotton sewn together every centimetre with a tiny stitch. We love it because it is super soft, light and floaty. It works well in quilts and swaddling blankets and is so lovely made up as dresses, tops, skirts and scarves for women and teeny tiny baby clothes and little girl dresses. If you want to know more about double gauze, the Cotton + Steel team put together a very educational and inspirational video.

I’ve also created a new pinboard called Double Gauze Sewing Inspiration! I included my Quilt Market snaps along side lovely tutorials from our blog and around the interwebs. Double gauze is a little more expensive than quilting cotton (Bespoke retails at £18 per metre) but it is really special. I hope you’ll enjoy sewing with it as much as I do!

Double Gauze sewing inspiration

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Eva’s fabric basket tutorial

We love Eva Rose‘s fabric baskets! These are the perfect size to fit our fat quarters (the way we fold them!) most of our sewing patterns (they are the perfect width for Sewaholic, Colette, etc) and look just lovely stuffed full of pretty skeins of yarn. And in Gleeful by Caroline Hulse, they are a bright and cheerful addition to the sewing room. I bet you can’t wait to make your own. Thanks, Eva!

Gleeful by Caroline Hulse

Makes a finished basket measuring 9.5” Long, 6” deep and 6” high.

You will need:

Fabrics (We used Gleeful by Sew Caroline, Art Gallery fabrics)
• 2 Pieces 17”x 10” for the main basket body
• 2 Pieces 17”x 10” for the interior lining
• 2 Pieces 17”x 5” for the exterior pockets
• 2 Pieces 17”x 5” for the pockets lining
• 2 Pieces 10”x 5” for the handles


Fusible Fleece (We used HeatnBond Fusible Fleece Iron on High Loft, Non Woven)
• 2 Pieces 16”x 9” for the main basket body
• 2 Pieces 16”x 9” for the interior lining
• 2 Piecies 10”x 1 1/4” for the handles

• Sewing Machine, Scissors, Pins, Ruler, Pencil, Selection of Matching Threads, Iron


****All seam allowances are ½ inch*****

1) Iron all your fabics and cut them to size. We are using Charms Abloom (pink) for the main body, Springs Breeze (white) for the lining, Preppy Fleurs (blue) for the pockets, Springs Sun (yellow) for the pocket lining and Charms Abloom (pink) for the handles.

2) Cut the fleece to size


3) Place the fleece on the wrong side of the fabic leaving an even border all round. Flip the fabric and fleece over and using the iron fuse the fleece to the fabric following the manufacturer’s recommendation.



4) To make the handles, fold the handles fabric in half wrong sides together and press a crease with the iron

basket 5

5) Get the strip of fusible fleece and place it along the crease

basket 6

basket 7

6) Fold down the fabric around the fleece and press. Fold the other side and press.

basket 8

basket 9

7) Fold again to form a strip and press well. Choose a matching thread to sew around the handles.

basket 10

basket 11

8) Trim the handles to be exactly the same length.

basket 12

9) Mark a line ½ from the edge on each handle. This will be your mark for the final assembly. Put to one side.

basket 13

10) Take a pocket outer fabric and a pocket lining fabric. Place them right sides together and pin both long sides.

basket 14

basket 15

11) Sew along both long sides, locking your seam at the start and finish. Make sure you leave the short sides unstitched. Repeat for the second pocket and lining.

basket 16

basket 17

TIP: To ensure accuracy, stitch only one long side of the second pocket. Then place over the first pocket and mark the stitch line for the other side. This will ensure your pocket pieces are absolutely identical in height and give nice matching seams to the finished project.

12) Iron the pieces from the wrong side well.

basket 18

13) Roll the tube you have made, pressing the seam open with your hand. Iron the open seam down.

basket 19

14) Turn the tube right side out and press those seams open again

basket 20

basket 21

15) Get your ruler and your pencil and mark ½ inch above the seam line. This will create the top edging of the pocket.

basket 22

16) Carefully roll the fabric back and press a crease on the pencil drawn line. Take your time and move the iron slowly. This is what it will look like from both sides.



17) Repeat the process with the other pocket and you will have two nicely pressed pieces.



18) At the sewing machine you will stitch in the ditch between the yellow and blue fabric to stabilise the pocket. Use your ditch foot and a suitable colour thread. If you don’t have this foot, just stitch slowly. I used a yellow thread as I did not want it showing at the back.



19) Place the pocket on your main outer fabric. Make sure you have the edging on the top. Measure 3” ½” from the bottom of the main fabric- this will be where you place the bottom of the pocket. Pin in place.


20) Now you may wish to divide the pocket into compartments. I marked 3” ½” from the left and the right edge, to coincide with the corner of the basket, once it is formed.



21) To mark a centre line, fold the fabric over to find the middle point and press with your finger to form a crease. Using that as a guide mark a line down the centre of the pocket.



22) Choose a suitable thread for the pocket and begin sewing the long bottom side of the pocket. Make sure you do NOT sew the top with the edging. Lock your stitch at both ends.


23) Now sew the vertical lines to divide the pockets. I like to use triple stitch, backstitching a few times at both ends.



24) Use a zig zag stitch at the end of each pocket, to stop any fraying and ensure a neat finish. Repeat for the other main fabric and pocket. Once you finish sewing press well with the iron.



25) Place the main outer pieces right sides together, with the open part of the pocket to the top. Take care to match the top edging and pin the left, bottom and right side.



26) Sew these three sides- do NOT sew the top.


27) Mark a 3” by 3” square from the sewing line (or 3” ½” from the fabric edge) at both bottom corners. Flip over and do the same on the other side.


28) Stand your project up and push the corner down to form a triangle. Press the seams open with your finger.



29) Looking inside the basket, match the two lines. Walk your fingers slowly on the outside of the basket, matching the lines as you go. Pin in place.



30) You should now have the line you drew before as your guide to sew over.



31) Stitch on the line, locking your stitch. You may want to use triple stitch or go over a couple of times.


32) Trim the excess leaving a ½” seam allowance.


33) Repeat for the other side and your project will look like this. Turn it right side out.



34) To attach the handles lay the basket flat and mark 1” either side of the centre seam.



35) Position the handle using the ½” mark you made earlier as a guide.


36) Pin in place and repeat for the other end of the handle. Do the same for the other side of the basket.


37) Secure the handles to the body using a zig zag stitch. This will ensure they stay in place for the final assembly.



38) To make the lining, get your two lining fabrics.


39) Place right sides together. Pin left, bottom and right sides.



40) Stitch leaving the top side open.


41) Mark just as you did for the outer main part.



42) Stitch along the line to box the corners and trim the excess.




43) You should now have the lining and the basket ready to iron.


44) Iron the seams of the lining flat. It helps if you hook it at the end of the ironing board.



Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron from the fusible fleece.


45) Following the fleece edge and fabric pattern as a guide, turn a ½ edge and press. Continue working all around. Turn an edge for the outer basket too. Use the ruler as a guide if necessary.




This is what both should look like now.

46) Place the lining in the basket. Do not worry if it looks a mess, it will look nice soon!



47) Line up the seams and start pinning. Use lots of pins


48) Sew all round locking the stitch. You may want to increase your stitch length and width now to allow for the bulk of all the layers. I stitched a second line just under the first one, for decoration.


And you are done!




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