Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Looking forward to the Great British Sewing Bee tonight? Do you think you'll be inspired by it in the same way you were by the Great British Bake Off? I.e. will you spend half your wages in the nearest haberdashery department, cackhandedly set up your dusty sewing machine, ruin some fabric and bin the lot in a huff?
Well, before you run before you can walk (zigzag before you can overlock?), get yourself along to By Hand London. Set up by friends Charlotte and Elisalex, By Hand London takes classic patterns and give them a modern twist, and provides ideas on how to customise them. The high-waisted Charlotte skirt, pictured above, can be adapted with a peplum or ruffle. Check out how different it looks with a floral ruffle:
AND it's designed with hips in mind. Hallelujah! I suspect this is what happens when two 20-something ladies set up a sewing label - you can almost sense their fury at trying to squeeze into a narrow Zara skirt.
Intermediate sewers might want to try making the elegant Elisalex dress, which comes with a low scoop back, fitted waist, tulip skirt, and three sleeve variations. The model is rightly giddy about her new frock. The dress pattern is £12 and the skirt is £10.
Still feeling nervous about getting started? Then follow the sewalongs on the By Hand London blog, which take you from how to find your size and cut your fabric through to assembling the finished piece. There's even a brilliant tutorial on adding pockets, which I'm tempted to try on all the substandard pocketless skirts I own. So why not take the sewing plunge - if you order today you could be happily outsewing all the Sewing Bee contestants by this time next week.