Why choose an indie sewing pattern?

why choose an indie sewing pattern

There was a time when buying a sewing pattern meant picking up an envelope from one of the ‘Big Four’ (Butterick/Simplicity/Vogue/McCalls), unpacking the delicate tissue pattern and trying to make sense of the large instruction sheets written in three languages.

I’m please to report that times have moved on and the options are far better! Indie sewing patterns are produced by independent designers and these are the reasons we think they’re great.

1. High Quality Instructions

The instruction booklets are usually excellent, full of clear advice, photographs and/or well drawn images showing the steps clearly.

2. Additional Visual Instructions Online

The designer often has additional help on their website, sometimes a full step by step sew-along featuring photos and sometimes video to help you step by step

sewing patterns help and guidance
Video instruction from Grainline Studio

3. Crowdsource Ideas

Many people who use indie patterns document their makes on Instagram, by searching the pattern hashtag eg #KieloWrapDress, will show you people’s take on the Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress. Take inspiration from the fabrics people use or how they style the garment!

Reasons to choose an indie sewing pattern

4. Pattern Hacks

Pattern designers and sewists in the community are creative people and often share the ways they’ve hacked the pattern to make changes.… Read More...

How to use Prym Vario Pliers

Prym vario pliers press studs (1)

Prym Vario Pliers are great for adding plastic or metal snaps to your projects. However, they can look a little daunting when you first use them so we thought we’d share a tutorial to help you get to grips with them.

How tp use snap fastenings

First you need to get a matching set of snaps. Each set of snaps needs to make a male snap (the one with the sticky out bit) and a female snap (the one with a hole). You then want a round smooth top to go with the female part of the snap, and a flat base with a narrow sticky up bit to go with the male part. So in the image above the 2 top parts form the male side of the snap, and the 2 bottom pieces form the female side.  If you have a pack with lots of different sizes of snaps them put the 2 female parts together, and same with the 2 male parts to check they fit, to ensure have the right sizes.

Using Prym Vario pliers

You then need to add the correct plastic pieces to the pliers. The cup piece should be large enough for the smooth snap top to snugly fit inside. You can easily pull off any pieces you already have fitted so you can snap them around for the correct ones.… Read More...

Get more accurate hems with the Hot Hemmer

Accurate hems with a Hot Hemmer


We thought we’d write a post to tell you more about one of our new products, the Hot Hemmer, and how it can help you get more accurate hems.

This clever product is designed to help you press accurate hems, both straight and curved, but can also be used to make perfect mitered corners as well. It’s made from a heat resistant nylon which allows the steam from the iron to pass through it onto your fabric. It is also non-slip to hold your fabric in place whilst you press.

How to use a Clover Hot Hemmer

How to get perfect accurate straight hems

The simplest way to use the Hem Hemmer is to use the straight edge to fold your fabric around it to the depth you want your hem (up to 10 cms). The material is heat resistant so you can put your iron onto it. It is 15cm long so you won’t have to reposition it too often when pressing your hems.

How to press curved hems

Pressing curved hems with a Hot Hemmer

We all know how tricky it can be pressing a curves. The non-slip material really comes into play here, along with the curved edge on the tool. Allow you to press your fabric into a gentle and even curve.… Read More...

6 Tips for Sewing With Leather

Sewing with leather
Sewing with leather

After adding the gorgeous handmade leather labels to our range (shown below) we thought we’d share a few tips for sewing with leather so you don’t feel daunted.

  1. Use a leather needle, it will penetrate the leather more efficiently than your regular needle making it easier to sew.
  2.  Use a Teflon non-stick sewing machine foot, or a roller foot to help the leather move smoothly through your machine. If you don’t have one try laying a sheet of tissue paper on top and tear it away afterwards.
  3. Don’t use pins or clips on leather, it will make it. Use pattern weights to hold it in place or alternatively you can use double sided tape.
  4. Use a longer than normal stitch for sewing leather, around 3.5 to 4 works well. Sew a test piece first because you may need to reduce your tension to about half what it normally is.
  5. Use a nylon or polyester thread, cotton thread will deteriorate in time due to the tannins in the leather.
  6. Don’t rush! You will make holes that cannot be removed when you stitch on leather so go slowly and carefully so reduce the chance of mistakes.

Leather label patch for handmade jeans

Enjoy making your leather creations or sewing our ‘handmade’ leather labels which are ideal for bag making.Read More...

Sewing Room Organisation

We confess, we love organising!  We’re always looking for solutions to make our sewing room more organised and our supplies easier to find and use. Why waste time rummaging through to find what you need when you could be sewing instead? The urge to organise is what lead to the invention of many of our products, so let us tell you more about them below so you can get your sewing room organised too. Organise your thread and bobbins with Spoolpods SpoolPods, was born from the frustration of never being able to find the matching bobbin when changing thread!…

When to use sewing clips

Let’s talk about sewing clips – also known as quilting clips, binding clips and wonder clips.  These handy little clips are an essential for anyone’s sewing stash, not just for quilters. They were originally intended for quilters, mainly used for attaching binding to quilts, and then people realised they come in handy for piecing too, to hold your pieces of fabric together whilst you stitch them. They can be used in all kinds of sewing: dressmaking quilting, soft furnishings, bag making etc. Basically anything that requires holding multiple pieces of fabric together. They are much quicker and easier to…

Tracing patterns for children

One thing you can rely on is that children are always growing! There are so many brilliant childrens patterns on the market and most of them cover a very large size range making them excellent value. We were gifted a copy of Two Stitches Charlie Hoodie so we could show you how to really make the most of sewing for the small people in your life! First things first, this is a beautifully presented pattern, the stitching on the spine especially is just perfect!    I’m making the hoodie for my nephew who’s about to turn 1, so I’m…

Using washi tape when sewing

  We have decided to start selling a range of pretty washi tapes as washi comes in so useful in so many ways when you are sewing. We’ve round up our favourite uses for it below, if you have any others please do comment and let us know.   To hold pattern pieces onto fabric when cutting out If you have issues with you pattern pieces shifting whilst you are cutting out, or don’t have pins or pattern weights to hand simple use washi tape to hold them into place whilst you cut out. To label fabric pieces Help…

Project Planning Tips

Spending a bit of time planning your projects out can help to save you time and stress in the long run. Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to make next, so many ideas and so little time! Our tips below will help you focus and prepare for future craft projects. Think about how much time you have –  If you haven’t got a lot of time in the next few weeks then why not go for some quick makes so you get that finished project satisfaction, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going on forever. If you…

10 Top tips for beginning a new sewing project

Pre-wash the fabric, yes I know, you wish you’d done it yesterday I know, but it must be done. Trace your pattern pieces, mark the tracings up with the size and all the little notches you need. Your original pattern sheet can be folded and put back pristinely ready for you to trace another size at a later date. [gap height=”30″] Cut out all of your fabric pieces, if you’ve got some sticky labels or masking tape make a little name label for each piece, that way you know what it is and there’s the added bonus of remembering which…