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The Beginners Sewing summit 2021

We are teaching at the 2021 Beginner Sewing Summit, which is our first ever online sewing class! Come and sew an easy midi skirt with myself and Eve, it’s a great beginner project or take a look at one of the other classes – there are over 40 to choose from! Best of all the classes are FREE to watch May 3rd- 7th, you could learn the basics and new skills while completing fun projects like fashion, home decor, and cute accessories.

CLASS DESCRIPTION | In this class you will learn to make a simple jersey midi-skirt with an elasticated waistband.

You will learn how to take your measurements, cut your fabric and create an easy to wear skirt to fit you and that you’ll love wearing. As sewing with knits can sometimes be a bit daunting, we’ll talk you through the whole process!

All of this information is in the class video but we thought it would be nice to have somewhere to refer to!


Any knit fabric! We recommend using a cotton or modal knit fabric with at least a 5% elastane content. The elastane will help your skirt retain its shape.


The skirt doesn’t need a pattern! It’s just a rectangle that we can mark directly on the fabric and cut. The amount of fabric to buy will be based on your overall length of the skirt.

  • For simplicity we’ve used inches in the video but have added metric conversions below (we’ve rounded them up to make sensible measurements rather than exact conversions!)
  • SIDE SEAM ALLOWANCES | INCHES: we have allowed ½” seam allowance to join the side seams (so add 1″ seam allowances extra to width). METRIC: if you are team metric allow 1.5cm to join the side seams (so add 3cm seam allowances extra to width).

To work out your fabric requirement follow the guides below.

The amount of fabric to buy will be based on your overall length of the skirt plus some allowances.

When purchasing your fabric it’s a good idea to purchase extra fabric to allow room for cutting out and any shrinkage as you will need to prewash your fabric before before you begin.

LENGTH: Take your ideal skirt length and add 5″ (13cm)  to calculate the length of your fabric required. Not sure how long you want your skirt? Measure something you already own or allow a little extra and it can always be cut to length later.

WIDTH: Take your hip measurement, at your widest part, and add 1″ (3cm) for seam allowances to calculate the width of your rectangle.

  • For example – if you have a 40″ hip – you will need 1 rectangle measuring 41″ wide (40″ + 1″ seam allowance).
  • And in metric – 105cm wide rectangle (102cm wide + 3cm seam allowances)


Not covered in the video but…should your hip measurement be more than the width of your fabric you will need to cut 2 rectangles so buy twice the skirt length. Your skirt will have 2 side seams, just use the same method we describe in the video to join your seams. As you have 2 seams that’ll give you the option to have a split in each seam or on just one seam, whichever you prefer! The formula to calculate the width of each of  your rectangles will be – half your full hip measurement and add 1″ (3cm) extra as seam allowances.

  • For example – if you have a 66″ hip – you will need 2 rectangles measuring 34″ wide (33″ + 1″ seam allowance).
  • And in metric – if you have a 168cm hip – 87cm wide rectangle (84cm wide + 3cm seam allowances)

You will also need |

  • Polyester sewing thread.
  • Ballpoint, stretch or jersey machine needle.
  • 1″ (2.5cm) wide elastic – enough to wrap around your waist with an overlap (any width between ¾″ – 1½” (2-4 cm) will be fine if you have it in your stash!)
  • Safety pin
  • Marking tool – chalk or fabric pen
  • Ruler
  • Plus, the usual sewing equipment – sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, pins, iron

Looking for some tips on sewing with knit fabrics? Check out our tutorial here!

Best of all the classes are all FREE to watch May 3rd- 7th. The free pass will allow you access during the live event and each day’s classes will be live for 24 hours and with an option for a VIP All Access Pass ($59) that includes all the classes for one year. Click the link below to register for free!

AD/AFFILIATE LINK: If you decide to purchase the All-access pass (a year’s access to the classes) through our link, we receive a commission. Thank you!

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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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#MAVENMAKERS | from Canada to Australia

I was lucky enough to be tagged into an Instagram post that featured our Maria Apron pattern recently.

And I’m grateful to be able to share these beautiful photos with you.

Amanda of My Fabric Heart made this apron for her dear friend Raechelle.  Amanda lives in Canada and Raechelle lives in Australia.

This is the power of fabric and thread quietly crossing continents to bring joy and friendship.

Thank you to Amanda and Raechelle for sharing your apron with me.