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e-Gift Cards

We have the perfect solution to finding a gift for your favourite Maker!

Our new gift vouchers!

A Maven e-gift card makes a delightful gift for your sewing friends. They can choose from our range of printed sewing patterns*, kits, fabric, sewing tools and haberdashery, and you can be sure that they will have a gift they love!

The gift vouchers are digital so nothing is posted (an excellent idea, due to all the current postal days). A unique voucher code will be generated and you can have the voucher emailed to yourself and you could print it and pop it inside their Christmas card or forward the email to your sewing buddy yourself. There is also the option to add a message and select the email to be sent directly to your sewing friend. You can even send it on a specified date for a special occasion. Sewing isn’t just for Christmas, you know!

They are available from as little as £10, balances can be carried forward so there is no need to spend it all in one go and are valid for a year from the date of purchase, giving plenty of time to find that something special!

(*Please note our digital PDF patterns are not included as they are sold through our Etsy shop)& you can find a lovely selection of gift ideas here…

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A Somerset Dress Hack

PAID POST | This article was originally written by Susan Young as part of the Lamazi blogger team and the fabric was given to Sue by Lamazi fabrics in return for a review for them. After seeing the article I approached Sue and asked if I could share it here and she kindly agreed! I have paid Sue for her time, skills and effort.

As you all know I do enjoy a good pattern hack!

And with a very different looking Christmas around the corner this year I was delighted when this beauty by Susan Young popped up on Instagram recently.

Sue has made a glorious dress hack of The Somerset t-shirt pattern, complete with extra volume on those bishop sleeves. Sue made her dress in this stretch jersey cord velvet from Lamazi fabrics , which is lovely and soft, and perfect for a spot of smart-looking lounging, but will still be relevant to your wardrobe for lots of post-Christmas wear.

“Whilst I love a complex make to really get my teeth into I felt this wasn’t a garment which warranted lots of time. Making a special Christmas once-worn garment wasn’t appropriate any longer so I wanted something quite simple but adaptable and for that reason I’ve picked the Somerset T-shirt by Maven Patterns.

Sue Young

“I have to say that I’m really happy with this dress because it ticks all the boxes I wanted it to. It’s comfortable but it looks Christmassy, it looks great with opaque tights, heels and jewellery, but also with boots, a chunky belt, a roll neck top underneath for extra warmth or a cosy scarf…and did I mention it’s comfortable! #secretpyjamas It also has the advantage of rolling up and going in the corner of a bag or suitcase and coming back out again not needing a press. Bonus!! ” – Sue

“I’ve dressed it down with an ancient knitted gilet plus a wide belt, long boots and my much loved Alexander McQueen scarf ” – Sue

And it’s always good to consider the future wear of any of our makes #notjustforchristmas!

A quick little re-style and Sue is ready to go for the New Year and beyond.

You can find all the details of exactly how Sue created her Somerset dress HERE.

It’s a very comprehensive post – Sue covers

  • how to add more volume to the bishop sleeve

  • how she adjusted the t-shirt pattern to a dress

  • how she fitted the dress on herself

  • cutting and sewing tips for the stretch corded fabric

A huge thank you to Sue for sharing her pattern hack with us, & for letting me share here with you, I hope it inspires you with your makes!

 

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Free Christmas Gift Wrapping Service

Are you looking for the perfect gift for a Maker this Christmas?

So it’s probably a bit early, but in an effort to make Christmas a little easier this year – and to get ahead of the inevitable Christmas postal rush…

We are offering a free gift-wrapping service!

Share some sewing joy this Christmas!

Find the perfect gift for your lovely Maker, a sewing tool, a pattern, maybe a little bit of haberdashery or a few buttons, perhaps some fabric to add to the stash….and we’ll wrap your carefully chosen gift in spotty Kraft wrapping paper and paper raffia ribbon (so it can easily be recycled!) for FREE! You can even include a short personal message, which I’ll hand write on a gift tag for you. 

To add gift wrapping to your order |

  • Once you’re at the checkout page simply add a note of GIFT WRAPPING PLEASE! in the ORDER NOTES box (you’ll find it at the bottom of the page after the Billing and Shipping address sections).
  • Don’t forget to include your message (short messages of around 10 words please!) if you’d like me to write something for you or write BLANK CARD PLEASE! if you prefer. 
  • *You don’t have to use shouty capitals, just make it clear!

Send the gift straight to the recipient |

  • You can even have the gift posted straight to the lucky Maker.
  • During checkout just enter their name and address in the ‘delivery’ section. 

The small print! |

  • One gift tag and message per order.
  • We will usually wrap products individually, however if you buy many small items we may wrap these together as one item.
  • This is a free service and occasionally we may not be possible to wrap products.
  • Offer lasts until 25th December, or until I run out of paper!

MOST IMPORTANTLY |

Please order early if you want delivery in time for Christmas.

I will post all orders promptly but I cannot guarantee delivery dates. As you can imagine this year has put the postal system under extreme stresses and there have, at times, been severe delays due to the pandemic so, what I’m trying to say is…this isn’t the year to leave it until the last minute! 

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The Wendy Smock | the frilled dress hack

WENDY SMOCK HACK | I did a little hacking of our Wendy Smock pattern and, if I do say so myself, made a rather splendid dress! 

This was actually a salvage job from a previously failed hack and that poor thing has lain, neglected, in the pile of doom all lockdown. But then the sun came out and the UK got hot. And nothing fits anymore (I’m talking body and mood, here! hello menopause, lockdown and well…cake and beer) so I needed a new plan. And voila…she’s now a cool frilled hem dress that’s perfect for the heat!

There’s no actual tutorial just these ramblings…it really is just a case of making our Wendy pattern longer and attaching a frill, but check out our French Dart Frill Sleeve Hack tutorial if you are looking for a little more in the way of detail – it’s exactly the same process just on a different scale.

You’ll need to make a few decisions |

  • how long you’d like your dress
  • how deep you’d like your frill
  • how full you’ll like your frill
  • I’ve included my measurements as a guide but I’m only 5’2″ so bear that in mind. This dress finishes about 5″ above my ankles so adjust to your height/needs/desires! 

PATTERN |

First up: lengthen the bodice pattern.

  • overall length – frill depth = amount to add + seam allowances

I added about 5cm extra to the length of the bodice patterns and added 1cm SA to attach the frill. Please remember I am short! And keep in mind we are still going to add more length with the frill. Don’t over-complicate this bit, I literally just extended the side seams and added on the extra length. Do take the time to check your side seams are the same length and that they will create a smooth hemline when you join them.

FRILL | I didn’t actually make a pattern I just chalked it straight on my fabric as the frill is just made up of 2 rectangles, one for the front one for the back.

DEPTH | You’ll need to decide how deep and how full you would like your frill to be.

I made my frill to finish 33cm deep and added 1cm SA to attach to the body and 2cm hem allowance so I could turn it twice and have a cleanly finished hem, so I cut the rectangle 36cm deep.

WIDTH | The width of your pattern will dictate how gathered your frill is. I decided on a gathering ratio of 2:1. That just means whatever the hem width of the front or back panel is, I doubled it for the frill width. My front had a hem width of 65cm; 65cm x 2 = 130cm + 1cm each end for the seam allowance = my rectangle was cut 132cm wide.

You can change the ratio to suit you and your fabric, a bit more or a bit less gathering to work with the amount of fabric you have will be fine! If you are short of fabric you can join several rectangles together to make your frill.  I just made the same size for the front and back panels as they weren’t very different in size and I was very short of fabric!

GRAINLINE | I cut the frill across the piece of fabric so it is on the same grain line as the bodice. If you have a plain fabric you can cut the frill with the longest length parallel to the selvedge, but be aware if you have a printed fabric it may look odd. 

CONSTRUCTION | remember to press everything as you sew.

It’s all very straight forward – make your Wendy as usual and when you get to the hemming stage, just stick a frill on the bottom!

  • Run gathering stitches across the top of each rectangle. I did 2 rows, but do 3 if you prefer, and I gathered each rectangle in 2 sections so I could gather half a rectangle at a time to make it more manageable. 
  • With right sides of the fabric together, join the frills at the side seam. Neaten and press seams open.
  • Hem the frill.
  • Attach frill to the body with a 1cm seam allowance. Neaten the seam together and press upwards away from the frill.
  • Waft around the house/park/shop at whatever is this week’s acceptably social distance.
  • If you need a little more frill info see our French Dart Frill Sleeve Hack tutorial as the method is the same.
  • I decided later to run my dress in a little at the sides and our High Neck Smock tutorial has instructions to help you!

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted a couple of other differences. I used a wider elastic, 2.5cm wide, at the cuff and I can confirm it’s quite comfy! And the neckline of this Wendy is different too as I have elasticated her rather than finished with the usual binding. This was actually the first method I tried out for Wendy at the toile stage many moons ago before settling on the binding method, but I think that will need to be a whole different tutorial!