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Sewing a wine red Maxi Mayfair Dress with Fiona Parker

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I was incredibly excited about the Mayfair Dress when it was released by Nina Lee over a year ago and I snapped up a paper copy soon after release. For years I had this favourite style of French Connection dress that saw me through many summers; flattering, comfortable and seemingly suited for any occasion.

I owned versions in various prints, colours and lengths but may favourite by far was a maxi length version. The previous summer I'd been wearing it with too many holes to repair, hoping that the little purple, black and dusky pink print disguised them. It had been on its last legs for a while and sadly French Connection stopped making them a while before. I couldn't bear to throw it out so I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted the Mayfair and realised it was almost an exact match – I could make my own replacement!

Why, you may ask, has it taken me so long to make one? I had a really hard time finding fabric that was going to live up to my expectations of this dress. …

Joy from Pink Coat Club talks inspiration, progression and her favourite Brother machines

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Hello! I’m so excited to join the Brother blogging team and thought I’d start with an introductory post. My name’s Joy and I live in Cambridgeshire with my boyfriend and cat. I design and sell sewing-themed gifts and accessories through my online business, Pink Coat Club, and work part-time in a fabric shop. I spend most of my spare time sewing, but I also love country walks, visiting National Trust properties and afternoon tea. I guess you could say I’m old before my time! 


I got my first sewing machine – a Brother XL2620 - for Christmas in 2010 as my mum was fed up of me sending her my clothes to fix. She’s a fantastic seamstress so I assumed that sewing would come naturally to me and I’d be making my own swishy 50s style dresses in no time! As you can imagine, that didn’t happen and I mostly used it for alterations and fancy-dress costumes for a few years. It was only in 2016, when I discovered Tilly and the Buttons’ patterns and the online sewing community that sewing truly got a…

Dealer Focus: Sew Creative in Petersfield

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Sew Creative, located in the market town of Petersfield, offers a wide range of fabrics, machines and a supportive shopping experience.


Fabrics, machines and sewing support in Petersfield In 2012, life threw some pretty unpleasant things my way. My husband was diagnosed with cancer, my mother passed away, and the death of my best friend followed soon after. My husband, who has now had the all clear, suggested I start a project to surround myself with what I love the most; the joy of creativity! Sew Creative was born to bring light back to my life, and in return, aims to give customers the joy of making something that is creative and individual.

We pride ourselves on being very much part of the community in Petersfield and offer not just a great range of fabrics, haberdashery, workshops and sewing machines, but lots of advice and friendship too! Our high levels of service have been recognised as we have been shortlisted for Retailer of the Year in the Petersfield Awards every year si…

Black Lace Watson Bra by Fiona Parker

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Black Lace Watson Bra
The garment I've got to share with you today has been a long time coming! Bra sewing has been on every one of my project lists for years now as well as goal-setting challenges like #makenine on Instagram.
Sadly, other garments seemed to continually jump ahead in the queue, pushing back any plans to make Lingerie. I think my delay was partly due to the fact that this is a project out of my comfort zone, and when sewing time is limited and I'm tired, it always seems easier to sew something that feels familiar and that I can complete satisfactorily without too much thought.
As well as this, I was initially really put off by the thought of gathering all the different supplies I needed for this project. The list seemed mammoth in size, and with numerous elastics, fabric, lining, hooks, eyes, straps and sliders on the list, I never felt like I had quite all the right matching bits and pieces for a bra. However, in the end I decided my first bra was never going t…

Snaffle the Snuggle monster by Little Button Diaries

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This not-so-scary monster is perfect for kids to cuddle up with during this time of year, and with Halloween just around the corner, it is a very easy, spooky sewing project that your children will love getting involved with!

Kids will really enjoy being part of the process, helping to pick out the fabric colours, sit on your knee and help guide the fabric as you sew, and what we find especially is that they love to help stuff their new toy. For younger children, it’s a nice idea to make the monster rattle by popping a rice-filled container into the stomach of the monster. And for babies and small children, you can easily replace the button eyes with felt circles to make it completely safe to play with.

For this project we used the Innov-is 20 machine by Brother. Just like the many other Brother machines we’ve tried, tested and loved, the Innov-is 20 is a pleasure to use and we couldn’t recommend it more.

For this fang-tastic project you will need:

25cm sq of purple fleeceApproxima…

I'm forever sewing ruffles! - Jen Walker

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Hello again Brother fans! Jen here, from sewing blog The Gingerthread Girl. I just wanted to stop by to spill the beans on my latest adventures with my Brother sewing machine. I have been having a blast up in the sewing room, getting to grips with gathering. 

I love how this simple sewing technique takes a straightforward seam, and gives it an oomph of girly ‘flounciness’ - perfect for floating through the summertime in! 

The pattern I chose was the Deer & Doe Myosotis dress (version A). I was immediately drawn to the tiered ruffles of the skirt, and those gorgeous sleeves! 
I had this lovely linen/viscose blend lilac fabric from Sew Me Sunshine in my stash, and I decided this would make the perfect summer dress. The perfect pairing for this pattern! 

When it came to the gathers themselves, I decided to opt for the classic method of sewing 2 rows of long stitches in order to pull and create the gathered-up bunches of fabric along the seams. Another method I have used in the past …