TOP TEN SEWING GIFTS GUIDE 2022

Annnnd finally….. drum roll please….. The Top Ten Christmas sewing gift ideas for Gemma… ahem I mean Adults….. 2021 !

After all , you’ve been sooooo good this year ! CLICK on the photo to visit the shopping link .

( Pssssst – If you are reading this on someone else’s device – the tab may have been left open as HINT – I shall make it clear – ITS A HINT !!!! )

O

NUMBER 10…

The Prym Patchwork and Quilting starter set is perfect for all levels of sewing ! Including a mat , pen , ruler and rotary cutter it’s the perfect gift for any stitcher 

NUMBER 9

A sewing Trolley ! Need to transport your sewing machine and bits n bobs to class ? These are a must 😉

NUMBER 8

Thread is the way forward ! And look at all those pretty colours !

NUMBER 7

Clip , clip , clip clippy clippy clip clip ! You can NEVER have too many of these wonderclips ! And they make a fab stocking filler 

NUMBER 6

THE marking pencil ! The Prym cartridge chalk pen is great for marking all types of fabric and comes with refillable cartridges in different colours , perfect for any stitcher.

NUMBER 5

Modern labels for modern stitchers…..

NUMBER 4

One of the most useful travel sewing accessories – the A4 multi mat ! Available in a range of colours these fab little mats have 

  • Self-healing cutting mat with metric and imperial guidelines
  • Anti-slip layout sheet for placing blocks or pattern pieces
  • Sandpaper pattern marking surface to keep fabrics in place
  • Can be opened up to create a padded ironing mat

NUMBER 3

You can never have too many organiser boxes… but this ones our favourite ! It’s double sided and has a handle on the top so it’s easy to move around and keep all those precious threads tidy and safe.

NUMBER 2

Well there had to be a sewing machine in there somewhere right ? This Janome DKS100 SPECIAL EDITION is a fab sewing machine and great for all levels , sturdy and with over 100 computerised stitches you are covered for all types of sewing.

NUMBER 1….

C’mon now…. you know it was coming…. Sewing lessons have got to be number one right ?

There’s lot’s of shiny new workshops and courses on the way , and did you know we also do vouchers ?

Happy shopping 

Gems x

TOP TEN SEWING GIFTS FOR TEENS

Today it’s the turn of the Teenagers ! It can be realllllllllllly difficult knowing what to buy a teen stitcher , after all they are sooo different in tastes ( esp when it comes to fabric eek )

So here is my top Ten gift IDEAS LOL or ya knowwww whatttevverr.

Click on the photos to visit the link ….

NUMBER 10

WONDERCLIPS ! Ahhh these beautiful little clippy clips , great for sewing just about anything without having to stab yourself with a pin anymore hurrah ! Plus they have a handy little seam guide on the back , and are great for flicking across tables or using as a hair clip……….

NUMBER 9

RECYCLED Poly Thread pack – in rainbow of course ! Save the planet and sew sustainably 

NUMBER 8

Magnetic seam guide ! May your stitch lines never be wonky again with this awesome gadget , great for when you are learning to sew straight, or have your mind on Justin Bieber…………… 

NUMBER 7

R…I….PPPPP To the seams you used to seeeee , those dayssss are ovvvverrrrr…….. everyone loves a seam ripper , but this ones a giant…….

NUMBER 6

Handmade labels ! Everyone needs to know its handmade and you can’t buy this ! Kylie and the machine have a lovely range of funky labels perfect for teen stitchers #cantbuythis

NUMBER 5

NUMBER 4

The perfect accessory for your pins ! The magnetic snap bracelet fits any size wrist and is super handy !

NUMBER 4….

In at number 4….. It’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Available in Blue or Pink these Prym kits are an essential sewing item. Just don’t forget to write your name on them or I will get them mixed up….again….. 

NUMBER 3

Dressmaking scissors ! The perfect sewing gift for all ages ! Plush Addict have you covered with lot’s of sizes and styles.

NUMBER 2….

In at number 2…… It’s the sewing machine of Beginner dreams ! ! We use these lovely machines in class , and they are great for Teen / adults ! And a complete bargain at just £80

NUMBER 1….

Come on now , you know it already don’t you ? ME !

Happy Shopping !

See you tomorrow for the final part of the series….. Gift Ideas for Gemma ! ….. hahah JOKES ….. It’s adults honestly 

Will stop being crinnnnnge now. Laters :p

CHILDREN’S TOP 10 SEWING GIFT GUIDE 2022

It’s nearly that time of year when father Christmas slides down the chimney and leaves lot’s of lovely sewing goodies under the tree 

It can be tricky knowing what to buy for someone who sews , so if you are reading this… take note ! It’s been left open on the device for you to see 😛

(Click on the photo to visit the link to see prices from recommended independent sellers / local businesses )

TOP TEN GIFTS FOR CHILDREN AGE 4-10 YEARS

Also known as Stitch Bridgend’s children’s sewing club !

NUMBER 10…..

A seam Guide ! These magnetic blocks stick to the base of the machine plate and help you to keep your fabric straight ! Great for practising those seams 🙂

NUMBER 9…..

WONDERCLIPS ! Ahhh these beautiful little clippy clips , great for sewing just about anything without having to stab yourself with a pin anymore hurrah ! Plus they have a handy little seam guide on the back , and are great for flicking across tables or using as a hair clip……….

NUMBER 8…..

RECYCLED Poly Thread pack – in rainbow of course ! Save the planet and sew sustainably !

NUMBER 7…

Fabric scissors for little hands ! These Prym love scissors come in a range of colours and are the perfect size for ages 4-10 years.

NUMBER 6….

It’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Available in Blue or Pink these Prym kits are an essential sewing item. Just don’t forget to write your name on them or I will get them mixed up….again…..

NUMBER 5…

A bumper sewing kit ! Button Bags make the most amazing sewing suitcase gifts … check them out – click the photo.

NUMBER 4…

A sewing machine bag ! Transport your sewing machine to class safely with all your bits and bobs 🙂

NUMBER 3…..

A bundle of felt ! Felt is great to learn to sew with , it doesn’t fray and is nice and stable for all those last minute fantastic idea projects.

NUMBER 2…..

The latest in children’s sewing machines… this Janome mini sewing machine is the same as our class John Lewis ones… but without it’s disguise ! Add stickers for the full on personalised look…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…… NUMBER 1……

That’s right folks…. Number one has to be……..

ME ! Sewing Lessons are a great way to learn new skills , make friends and take home a lovely new project every Sunday !

Sewing classes , lessons and online sewing patterns for all ! YAY ! 

Hehehehehe.

I will be back with the Teen club & Adult club list soon… so stay tuned !

And happy shopping *Santa* 😉

Sampler Quilt a long… Block guide.

Hey everyone !

How are we getting on with those blocks ? Have you made it to the more difficult ones yet…..

I thought maybe a little visual guide would be helpful for those of you that are new to quilting 🙂

Let’s start with an easy ish one…. THE HST (Or hall square triangle ! )

Some of our blocks will ask you to make HST – Here’s how !

Place two blocks RIGHT SIDE TOGETHER . Draw a line through the middle of the diagonal on the block. Stitch 1/4 inch from line on BOTH sides.

Now cut on your line you drew in the beginning – Press your blocks and ta da ! Two HSTS !

Press *TO THE DARKKKK SIDE * and trim your block to the finished size as in your instructions. Don’t worry if your block is slightly short in places , we can hide that in the seam allowance later on 😉

DOUBLE HST

A little trickier …

Prepare you blocks as in HST above , stitching either side of your line , cutting on the line and pressing to the dark side.

Now , place the HST you just made on top of each other right side together with alternate colours touching ( So in this case grey and oranges )

Draw a new line. Stitch either side of the line , then cut on it. Ta da ! a double HST !

FLYING GEESE

There are many , many methods to sew these blocks , but for our sampler we are using this super easy technique.

Place your rectangle with the right side facing you. Put your first square on top. Draw a line. Stitch 1/4 inch from the line. Trim.

Press the block backwards. Now add your next square right side down. Draw another line , stitch and trim again.

Annnnd you are done !

Stitch them all together and you have your flying geese blocks.

I hope these little tutorial guides help make things a bit clearer 🙂

Next time we will be prepping the finished blocks using the quilting as we go method…..

Happy sewing !

Happy Halloween Quilt a long

Hi everyone !

Fancy sewing along with me this October?

THE HAPPY HALLOWEEN QUILT A LONG

The Happy Halloween Quilt a Long is a quilt as you go sampler quilt – Perfect for sewing in smaller pieces with twenty blocks each finishing at 12 inches .

A selection available from The Plush Addict sale !

To join in you will need :

A selection of FAT QUARTERS , You DON’T need to make a halloween sampler ! You could do any theme you like.

THE PATTERN – Click here

Quilt Wadding or Batting

Backing fabric / binding fabric – more on that later …

To get started download your pattern and print it out.

On the left hand side of each card is a list of what you need to cut for each block , So chop away ! I find it much easier to cut all my pieces and attach them to the card , all ready to sew .

Happy cutting ! Part two assembling the blocks is coming up in a few days… so stay tuned !

Don’t forget you can work on this sew a long at your OWN PACE

Happy sewing !

Gems x

Buying a new sewing machine – The updated guide

Hey everyone !

Welcome back to my updated series of blogs….

Today we are talking about the big one… Buying sewing machine !

I get soooo many messages and emails about which machine to buy as a beginner or advanced stitcher.

And I’ll be honest… its a minefield ! There are many many types of machines out there , and whilst the majority do the same thing , there are a LOT of extras that are useful for different types of sewing.

I’m going to go through a list of basic sewing machines and why I think they are great , or not so great. Now these are my PERSONAL opinions , I’m not a sewing machine guru per say……… but I have used several thousand of them at this point both old and new teaching various beginners classes etc.

  • Prices correct as of October 2022.

REPAIR MACHINES/ KIDS MACHINES/MINI MACHINES

Now , the problem with this category is that these machines are great for single layer repairs of cotton , poly cotton and thinner fabrics , but are totally useless for anything thicker.

Sadly sometimes these machines are sold as ‘sewing machines’ and give the impression they are a bargain general sewing machine , when in reality they fall over or break easily.

AVOID THESE MACHINES – INCLUDING KIDS MACHINES !

See how tiny they are ? They just fall over or snap and cause lot’s of tears and frustration.

The ONLY half size machines I recommend are these ones below. (£)

We have used these in our children’s classes for 10  years now , without a single repair – and they’ve been chucked about quite  bit !

These are great for younger children to practice and stitch on… but I wouldn’t recommend ANY mini machine for an adult or child aged 10+ .

BEGINNER / TEENAGERS MACHINES (££)

Great for beginners and all round stitchers.

These are the more common ones used in our classes over the last 10 years.

There’s quite a few out there , SINGER , BROTHER , PFAFF , JOHN LEWIS ( JANOME) ETC.

Here are a few of our favourites in our classes – and why.

IN AT NUMBER 1…

One of our top beginner favourites , we use a LOT of these in classes for beginners , teenagers and some older children. The Brother LS14 features a top loading bobbin – much easier to see when you are low on thread . This budget machine has all the basic stitches you would ever need. Prices around £80 .

At number 2……

The singer basics ! TRADITION , 8280 , SIMPLE , PROMISE , FASHION these are all bottom loading machines , slightly tricker but do have more stitches the the Brother. Prices around £150

At number 3…….

The Janome JL110 – Also known as the John lewis machines. These come in soooo many funky colours as well as just the white , They have all the stitches you need for the basics and beyond and are bottom loaders. Priced around £100-£140 depending on styles. Good solid machines.

MID RANGE MACHINES. ( £££)

There’s a LOT of these out there !

The difference between a mid range and budget is usually that they have more stitches ( including stretch stitches) and an automatic buttonhole. Some have a needle down function , digital display and automatic tension. They usually are designed for serious quilting , dressmaking or advanced sewing.

These are some classroom favourites.

Janome DC6030 Sewing Machine NOT a cheap machine by any standards , but a personal favourite of mine ! This machine features an automatic thread cutter , top loading bobbin and can be used without the foot pedal ( button to go instead ! ) Prices around £550
Janome HC8100 Computerised Sewing Machine features every stitch you would ever possibly need ! Prices start at around £300
Singer Patchwork Quilting and Sewing Machine 7285Q – does what it says on the tin ! A sewing machine full of quilting possibilities ! Prices around £400
Brother FS130QC Sewing Machine, White SO.MANY.STITCHES . With a handy flip chart none the less ! This machine is a really good all rounder , prices start around £350

SUPER EXPENSIVE BUT OH SO LOVELY SEWING MACHINES. ( Dear father Christmas…….)

BERNINA – ANY OF THEM.
I love them all , these truly are dream machines , they come with some accessories and a range of stitches and possibilities , but oh they run like a dream !
My baby girl – Janome DC7100 Sewing Machine She’s a kick ass model , but I had to sell a kidney to get her so she’d better be good ……..
Janome Atelier – any of them.

Gah ! I’m winding myself up now. I’ll stop.

Obviously there are different types of  machines out there – embroidery machines , over lockers , cover stitch etc , but today I just wanted to cover some of the more basic models.

The rule of thumb is … check the reviews online , go and see a machine and have a go if you can ( John lewis and some sewing shops will give you a demo) and if in doubt , ask a fellow stitcher !

If you are looking for a new sewing machine , that’s great. But PLEASE don’t be put off by using an older machine. Some of the more ancient machines I have seen and used in my time are perfectly fine to use as a beginner ! The older the machine , the more solid they are too ! Usually a bit of oil and a clean and these too run like a dream. We welcome older machines at our classes no problem , but if in doubt pop me a message before class.

Just an FYI ….. DON’T BUY ONE OF THESE…..

I’m a piece of rubbish in a packet… please don’t buy me. I will never work.

The Summer of Dressmaking

It’s the summer of dressmaking !

Both at home and in classes we have been super busy making our own summer clothes this year.

Who would have thought that for the first time in almost 38 years it’s now actually cheaper to make your own summer dresses than buy them 😮 !

(I’m talking shirred , french seams ‘posh’ dresses – not Primarni here though mind ! )

We have made Trillium dresses , maxi dresses , Cami Tops , Pjs , Shorts , Parasol dresses and more …. So many projects !

As we move into autumn and winter dressmaking classes , I thought I would share a secret……

ahem…

I can’t draw ! I am so terrible at drawing ! I always tried to sketch my dressmaking ideas but they always looked like wonky stick men… Until I found this….

Behold ! The Gerties Fashion sketchbook !

It has quickly become a favourite ! Inside there are lot’s of ‘realistically’ shaped models in a faded watercolour , which makes them easy to trace and draw over ! Hurrah !

It is making my Autumn / Winter wardrobe planning so much easier ! I simply lie out my collection of fabrics , and draw them onto the models in the styles I want to make. No more seeing something in a shop and thinking ooo I should make that and then forgetting about it… Now I take a snap on my phone and sketch it into my book.

A Trilluim / Beatrix dress hack.
Sketchy Sketch sketch.

Ok , so my drawing is still a little ropey ( what is with the faces – I look like someone’s stolen the last biscuit) but it’s helping me design the wardrobe of my dreams hurrah !

I am so looking forward to our September term ! Dressmaking , quilting , techniques , beginners …. and of course the Children’s sewing club and Teen textiles 🙂 You can see our new timetable here – www.stitchbridgend.co.uk

Happy sewing everyone !

Gems x

Adults Top Ten Sewing gifts 2021

Annnnd finally….. drum roll please….. The Top Ten Christmas sewing gift ideas for Gemma… ahem I mean Adults….. 2021 !

After all , you’ve been sooooo good this year ! CLICK on the photo to visit the shopping link .

( Pssssst – If you are reading this on someone else’s device – the tab may have been left open as HINT – I shall make it clear – ITS A HINT !!!! )

NUMBER 10…

The Prym Patchwork and Quilting starter set is perfect for all levels of sewing ! Including a mat , pen , ruler and rotary cutter it’s the perfect gift for any stitcher 😉

NUMBER 9

Rainbow dressmaking scissors anyone ? How cool are these !

NUMBER 8

Recycled Thread is the way forward ! And look at all those pretty colours !

NUMBER 7

Clip , clip , clip clippy clippy clip clip ! You can NEVER have too many of these wonderclips ! And they make a fab stocking filler 😉

NUMBER 6

THE marking pencil ! The Prym cartridge chalk pen is great for marking all types of fabric and comes with refillable cartridges in different colours , perfect for any stitcher.

NUMBER 5

THE most requested link in class …. where do we get our funky coloured self healing mats ? Well here they all are … Blue , Green , Orange , Pink and more !

NUMBER 4

One of the most useful travel sewing accessories – the A4 multi mat ! Available in a range of colours these fab little mats have

  • Self-healing cutting mat with metric and imperial guidelines
  • Anti-slip layout sheet for placing blocks or pattern pieces
  • Sandpaper pattern marking surface to keep fabrics in place
  • Can be opened up to create a padded ironing mat

NUMBER 3

You can never have too many organiser boxes… but this ones our favourite ! It’s double sided and has a handle on the top so it’s easy to move around and keep all those precious threads tidy and safe.

NUMBER 2

Well there had to be a sewing machine in there somewhere right ? This Janome DKS100 SPECIAL EDITION is a fab sewing machine and great for all levels , sturdy and with over 100 computerised stitches you are covered for all types of sewing.

NUMBER 1….

C’mon now…. you know it was coming…. Sewing lessons have got to be number one right ? Use the voucher above to take £5 off any adult workshop in 2022 just for you ! 🙂

Happy shopping 😉

Gems x

Top Ten sewing gifts for Teenagers

Today it’s the turn of the Teenagers ! It can be realllllllllllly difficult knowing what to buy a teen stitcher , after all they are sooo different in tastes ( esp when it comes to fabric eek )

So here is my top Ten gift IDEAS LOL or ya knowwww whatttevverr.

Click on the photos to visit the link 😉

(You can find the children’s list from yesterday HERE)

NUMBER 10

WONDERCLIPS ! Ahhh these beautiful little clippy clips , great for sewing just about anything without having to stab yourself with a pin anymore hurrah ! Plus they have a handy little seam guide on the back , and are great for flicking across tables or using as a hair clip……….

NUMBER 9

RECYCLED Poly Thread pack – in rainbow of course ! Save the planet and sew sustainably ❤

NUMBER 8

Magnetic seam guide ! May your stitch lines never be wonky again with this awesome gadget , great for when you are learning to sew straight, or have your mind on Justin Bieber……………

NUMBER 7

R…I….PPPPP To the seams you used to seeeee , those dayssss are ovvvverrrrr…….. everyone loves a seam ripper , but this ones a giant…….

NUMBER 6

ALLLLL THE FABRICS ! The coolest modern dressmaking & cotton fabric online shop ! Frumble Fabrics has something cool for everyone …. and yes I have a Banana top made from this fabric… wait until I finish my dinosaurs RAWR 😉

NUMBER 5

I erm was going to say … he ain’t heavy , he’s my sewing machine…. but you teens won’t get it. So erm here’s a sewing machine bag , to ummm carry a sewing machine in ? Obvs *eye roll*

NUMBER 4

In at number 4….. It’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Available in Blue or Pink these Prym kits are an essential sewing item. Just don’t forget to write your name on them or I will get them mixed up….again…..

NUMBER 3

A little something for our dressmaking fans…. This lovely easy sewing book will guide you through some super easy patterns to make for yourself or others !

NUMBER 2….

In at number 2…… It’s the sewing machine of Beginner dreams ! The John Lewis JL110 ! These lovely machines are available in lot’s of different colours , and come with all the basics you need to get sewing just about anything you like ! Plus this machine is a JANOME in disguise , so all JANOME parts and bobbins are compatible! YAY !

NUMBER 1….

Come on now , you know it already don’t you ? ME !

I have soooooooooo many siickkkk classes coming up ! Am I more excited than the teens to be making a ‘wearable blanket’ 😉 ? Probably…….

Happy Shopping !

See you tomorrow for the final part of the series….. Gift Ideas for Gemma ! ….. hahah JOKES ….. It’s adults honestly 😉

Will stop being crinnnnnge now. Laters :p

Children’s Christmas Sewing Gift ideas 2021

It’s nearly that time of year when father Christmas slides down the chimney and leaves lot’s of lovely sewing goodies under the tree 😉

It can be tricky knowing what to buy for someone who sews , so if you are reading this… take note ! It’s been left open on the device for you to see 😉

Click on the photo to visit the link to purchase.

TOP TEN GIFTS FOR CHILDREN AGE 4-10 YEARS

Also known as Stitch Bridgend’s children’s sewing club !

In at NUMBER 10….

Yep it’s everyone’s favourite in the sewing class boxes…… The classic Prym Tomato pin cushion !

NUMBER 9…

In at number 9 we have the most requested sewing class of all time… sewing clothes for Barbie ! This Fab book gives you all the pattern know how to make sure your Barbie is fashionably clothed for all events 😉

NUMBER 8

One of my favourite sewing kits for kids EVER ! This fab felt scrapbook is perfect for getting to know your sewing machine or hand sewing needles 🙂

NUMBER 7….

Make your own sock hedgehog ! He’s so cute !

NUMBER 6….

Everyone needs a sewing bag to carry all those lovely fabrics and machine to class right ?

NUMBER 5….

Sew all thread pack ! This coats moon rainbow thread pack means you have all the colours you need in a handy 1000 yard reel pack Bargain !

NUMBER 4

FABBBBBRIIIIICCCC ! Well it had to be rainbow didn’t it ?

NUMBER 3

Yep it’s the sewing kits we use in class ! Also available in pink ❤

NUMBER 2…..

The latest in children’s sewing machines… this Janome mini sewing machine is the same as our class John Lewis ones… but without it’s disguise ! Add stickers for the full on personalised look…

NUMBER 1…

That’s right folks…. Number one has to be……..

ME !

Sewing classes , lessons and online sewing patterns for all ! YAY !

Hehehehehe.

I will be back with the Teen club & Adult club list soon… so stay tuned !

And happy shopping !