• Sewing,  Vintage

    I Made a … 1940s Vintage Dress Butterick B6485

    This 1940s vintage dress is actually a modern reprint of a vintage sewing pattern. I have been collecting these types of pattern for years and I decided that it was finally time to actually make one and I chose this Butterick pattern from 1944 for my first Youtube project video.

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  • Bound Buttonhole Tutorial - How to sew a bound buttonhole

    Bound Buttonhole Tutorial – How to sew a bound buttonhole

    Bound buttonholes are a great alternative to machine worked buttonholes. They are commonly found on coats but if made narrower can also be used on lighter garments.

    In this tutorial I am using boiled wool so imagine that this buttonhole would be at the centre front of a coat. 

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  • Sewing

    How to Sew a Rolled Hem by Hand – Rolled Hem Tutorial

    Rolled hems are so delicate and neat and I adore the way they look. However, I don’t think I have ever been 100% happy with how they turn out on a sewing machine. Sewing a rolled hem by hand is surprisingly simple and gives such a chic finish. It is perfect for finishing those special, slippery fabrics like silk and chiffon. This tutorial will show you how to master this couture sewing technique.

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  • Slant Hemming Stitch Tutorial - Retro Claude

    Slant Hemming Stitch – Overcast Hem Tutorial

    An overcast hem uses a slant hemming stitch. The words used to describe this type of stitch are all kinds of confusing. But whatever you choose to call it this is a really quick, easy and secure way to hem a garment.

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  • Herringbone Stitch Tutorial - how to hem trousers

    Herringbone Stitch Tutorial – How to Hem Trousers

    Herringbone stitch hems are mostly used for heavy weight fabrics like wool. It is also the most common type of stitch used to hem trousers. In this tutorial I will walk you through how to master a herringbone stitch and how to hem wool fabrics.

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  • Hand Sew a Hem - Slip Stitch

    How to Hand Sew a Hem – Slip Stitch Tutorial

    A slip stitch is a really useful stitch to know. I can be used to hand sew hems quickly and easily, but can also be used to hand finish collars, cuffs and waistbands. This slip stitch tutorial will help you to master this versatile stitch. Level up your sewing with some beautiful hand stitching.

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  • Sewing

    I Made a … Colette Patterns Moneta Dress

    The Moneta Dress from Colette Patterns was brought to my attention by one of my wonderful students Erika, who has an incredibly stylish me made wardrobe that I am VERY jealous of. Seeing how great the Moneta Dress looked on her I knew I had to have one for myself. And what’s more she kindly lent me the pattern! Thanks Erika!

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  • Dressmakers Mannequin with pins in it and a tape measure

    5 Things to do When you Lose Your Sewjo

    When you lose your Sewjo (or your motivation to sew) it can be really upsetting. This wonderful hobby that once brought you so much joy suddenly leaves you feeling meh. On top of that, you also have to deal with feeling guilty for not wanting to sew, as if you were betraying the sewing gods.

    If you’ve been left disconnected from your sewing projects, or can’t find the motivation to start a project you were once so excited about, don’t worry. We have ALL been there.

    So here are my top tips to make it though this tough time and find your sewjo once again.

    How to Find Your Sewjo

    Pins and needles in a pink pin cushion
    Photo by Lisa Woakes on Unsplash

    1. Stop being so hard on yourself

    First of all we need to tackle all those negative thoughts that come to mind when you think about sewing. Loosing your sewjo can be a vicious cycle where you feel bad for not wanting to do something that once made you happy.

    But if at this moment in time you don’t feel like sewing, give yourself permission NOT to sew. Consciously take a break and don’t beat yourself up for it. Our hobbies shouldn’t be a chore. Take some time away to recharge.

    2. Try and identify the cause

    It is so often the case that the reason we feel so down about our hobbies is due to other circumstances in our life. If you’re really stressed at work or are going through a break up, just getting through the days can be tough. Is it any wonder you don’t feel like doing anything other than sleeping and watching Netflix?

    Again go easy on yourself. Know that this tough time will pass and when you start to feel better in other aspects of your life, creativity will return.

    3.  Get organised

    Use your time off from sewing to organise what you already have. This way you might discover patterns you had forgotten you had bought, or fabric that is perfect for that top you wanted to make.

    They say tidy home, tidy mind. Bringing some clarity to your work space or craft room might make you realise just what you love about your hobby. If you find yourself surrounded by fabric you don’t like, give it away, sell it on eBay, get it out of your life. You don’t want it dragging you down. Rediscover special pieces that mean something to you. If you want to go all KonMari keep only the things that spark joy and treat them with the love they deserve.

    Then when your sewjo returns, and it will return, you have a choice of projects that excite you ready to get stuck into.

    4. Find artist that inspire you

    Whenever my sewjo leaves me, I find it really helpful to look at other people’s work. Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube are full of amazing people sharing their work with the world and often I find their enthusiasm infectious.

    I love to follow people with different style to me, and even from different crafts. A few of my favourites are Brittany J Jones on Youtube and Gather What Spills on Instagram. Brittany makes really cool, contemporary clothes and is so passionate about sewing. She really inspires me because she is always so fun to watch.

    Gather What Spills is an account dedicated to visible mending. I love the hand stitched repairs and patches they share as well as the naturally dyed threads. In fact they inspired me to try visible mending for myself. Check out this post where I rescued my bra.

    Branch out a bit and see what other people out there are making.

    5. Try something new

    This is possibly my best tip for you. If you feel like you’ve taken some time out, want to get back into sewing but don’t know where to start, try something completely different.

    Do you always make baby clothes? Why not try making a bag instead? Never made a quilt? Give it a go. Fed up of sewing? Why not learn how to knit?

    Being a beginner at something is really refreshing as there are no expectations and no pressure. If it doesn’t work out, or you didn’t enjoy it, oh well! You were trying something new. Experiment with new techniques and skills and give yourself permission to just play around. You might discover your sewing takes on a whole different direction.

    And that’s it! I hope this post helps you find your sewjo once again. If you’re looking for inspiration why not follow me on Pinterest? I pin a wide range of things so hopefully you will find something that inspires you.

    All the best,

    Claude x

    Dressmaking dummy
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