Meet the new bloggers network.

Ever since starting to produce the Bobbins and Buttons range of patterns I have always worked with a group of ladies who have tested the patterns for me before they go out into world. As a designer this really is an invaluable part of creating a pattern. No matter how careful I think I have been there is always something that needs amending or tweaking and these extra eyes and sewing hands are a massively important part of the process.

Last year Abi (one of the ladies who I think has tested every pattern from the very first) asked if she could contribute a blog post about a hack she had done with one of the patterns. I liked the idea of sharing a bit more from these talented ladies who test the patterns.

Obviously I am aware of all the inspiring blogger networks out there, but it hadn’t crossed my mind to start one for Bobbins and Buttons. I ran the idea past a few of the other ladies who test my patterns to see if we could create a little network….They said yes!

Abi, Rebecca and Karen will be sharing their ideas for hacks or straight makes from the Bobbins and Buttons pattern range or showcasing fabrics from Bobbins and Buttons using other patterns. I think its going to be exciting and inspiring to see and hear about what they make.

Lets meet the ladies..

Abi

I’m Abi, and I started sewing in 2015. I’m a self-taught sewist, and I started sewing because I was looking for a dress to wear to my Dad’s wedding, but couldn’t find anything on the high street that looked like what I was imagining. I live in Hampshire with my husband and two dogs. I sew for myself, my husband, the dogs, friends, and family. My goal is to eventually have an entirely self-made wardrobe. I have a regular sewing machine and an overlocker to sew with. I also have a 1904 singer sewing machine that is hand-powered – it belonged to my great grandfather when he was a tailor on Savile Row. It seems sewing genes skip a few generations! I love using stretch fabric in my makes, and tweaking patterns to make them more suited to the individual who will be wearing them.  

In this picture, I’m wearing one of my favourite dresses – it’s a Sew Over It Shirt Dress, in this lovely mustard cord, covered in dinosaurs. I tweaked the pattern to have pockets – all dresses need pockets! I also made the coat –  from the Butterick 6947 pattern. I added some thermal interfacing inside the panels, to make it extra warm in winter. 

I made all seven of these outfits under the supervision of my wonderful cousin (on the far left). My wedding dress is in two pieces, and is a mixture of drafted blocks and making it up as you go along. I made it able to come apart, as I had a tea-length skirt I swapped into for the evening. This meant I got the best of both worlds – I got the long train and the hoops, and I also got the easy-to-dance in dress. The bridesmaids dresses were all the same pattern – infinity dresses that can be tied in different ways. This meant each lady could tie her dress in a way she was comfortable with and suited her.

You can find me on Instagram.

Rebecca

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I was very happy to be asked by Julia to be part of her blogger team, I’ve tested a few of her patterns and love her selection of French terry fabric, so can’t wait to be part of this too.

I started sewing in 2014 when my eldest was one years old. I started with a baby quilt as I wanted to make her something she would treasure and would be useful. So, my early sewing consisted of quilts and dolls for the first 18 months, until a good friend sent me a dress for my eldest and a playsuit for my son. She inspired me to use my sewing machine for clothes making, until this point it hadn’t even crossed my mind this was possible!

I booked onto a ‘make a pair of children’s pyjamas’ sewing class and haven’t looked back. I taught myself the rest by just buying all the patterns and fabric and making whatever I fancied, no fear. I’ve been sewing clothes since 2016 and during that time I’ve sewed the ‘big four’ and indie patterns, along with various pattern tests for some indie pattern designers. I have also tried out selling bags and purses in a local gift shop where I live for a short time, but it didn’t leave me with much sewing time for clothes, so I only did that for 9 months.

This past August I was featured in the Sew Hayley Jane magazine as make of the month for my Zadie jumpsuit I made with her fabric, this made my month and was a sewing highlight.

This past summer I also started to make some fit adjustments on patterns, which leads me onto my favourite make, my most worn and favourite make in the summer was the Darling Rages dress thanks to the fitting I made which included lengthening the skirt, a full bicep adjustment and a broad shoulder adjustment (see my first photo).

You can find me on instagram.

Karen

Hello, I’m Karen – a very keen dressmaker and lover of all things crafty.

My journey into the fabulous world of sewing started around 10 years ago and it was all because of 1 little dress that my mother-in-law had made for my niece, who was about 18 months old at the time.  When I went to visit one afternoon, I saw my niece in this little dress and couldn’t believe that my mother-in-law had made it.  I instantly knew from that moment that I wanted to sew – even though I’d had no prior experience.  I was determined to have a go and even though at the time I didn’t have any children of my own, I went out and bought a romper suit pattern for a baby and my mother-in-law taught me to sew that step by step, using that pattern.

I was given an old Singer sewing machine to use as I started out, which can only do straight stitches, so I just practiced by making basic pillow cases and things for the home.  When my 30th birthday came around, I asked for a sewing machine as my present and I was instantly hooked.  I made several little crafty projects alongside many romper suits and little dresses for babies and children – ready for when I had my own, or I gave them as presents to friends.

Initially, my finishing wasn’t the best, but the more I sewed, the more confident I became.  I started adding quite a bit of haberdashery to my sewing box then, with different types of sewing machine feet, decent cutting materials and trying out sewing with different types of fabric.  It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I actually started making garments for myself – the first thing I made was a skirt and I went on a day class to be taught how to make it.  After that I got more confident with reading pattern instructions and knowing what each symbol meant on a pattern piece.  I then started trying out different pattern companies, and my quest for a handmade wardrobe began.

I now sew at every spare opportunity I have, which can be tricky sometimes as I have 3 young children.  My most extravagant make to date, is the dress I made for the Dressmakers Ball that I attended in Leicester during 2019.  It had a lot of new techniques that I’d not tried before and I found it really pushed my skills and has enabled me to grow even more in confidence with my sewing ability. 

I am also an active member of the sewing community on both Instagram and YouTube, where I document my makes and plans, I absolutely love sharing my sewing knowledge with fellow sewers and take great pleasure from giving other sewists sewing inspiration.

I am over the moon to be part of the Bobbins & Buttons blogger team and look forward to sharing what I make with you all.

Happy Sewing!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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