outique Unique Designs PDF Sewing Patterns

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Welcome to our blog

 

We are hoping to cover a variety of sewing topics on our new blog. Our main focus has been designing PDF Sewing Patterns. We have a varied range and will still be adding to it.

 

Thank you for stopping by, we hope it has been useful.

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Sep 6 2017 04:54PM





Be a Have a go Hero!


When it comes to sewing and crafting are you a have a go hero? Do you have an idea, get the kit together and just have a go? A lot of people are put off by the myths about sewing that there is one special unquestionable technique for everything. They feel discouraged before they start if they don't know 'the right way' to do something. A lot of people are put off even starting to sew because they think you have to buy so many specialised items. The cost of setting up before they even look at fabric or a pattern put's them off even having a go.






I belong to many sewing related forums partly because I can often give help and advice based on half a century of sewing both for myself and commercially as a bridal wear designer. I've tackled just about everything and currently am half of Boutique Unique Designs designing bags. The other reason is I just love to see what people are making, basically I'm a bit nosy. But amongst the many forums there are two noticeable threads, There is a sense of friendship and support among contributors and someone will always have an answer to your questions. I applaud all the people who take the time to give guidance to 'newbies' and encourage them, but whilst well intentioned some advice can make things seem too complicated and more difficult than they need to be.




I first started sewing with a needle, thread, an old pillowcase and my mum's kitchen scissors - oh and my Barbie, she was the model. Today if I wanted to start sewing and asked for advice I would have a list as long as my arm and possibly adding up to several hundred pounds. Yes there are some fantastic and clever things you can buy but you don't need them to start off, you may decide in time you don't need them at all.




1. What do I need?




An entry level machine can be bought for between £70 and £80 something like the Brother LS14 (other machines are available in this price range) A basic machine like this will enable you to do all the things you need to do to construct clothing or craft items. You could also get a reconditioned bargain at your local sewing machine shop. The only other items of equipment you need are a good pair of scissors an iron and an ironing board, some pins and needles. You don't need to buy specialist scissors straight away but you may want to in time. Your sewing scissors are for sewing an should not be used for any other purpose so that they stay sharp.

2. Do I need a pattern?




No not always. Sewing patterns can cost anything up to £10 but they are regularly on sale for half price if you are patient. You can also get indie patterns on Craftsy and some of them are free. When you are buying your first pattern look for one that says 'easy sew' or 'beginner' and to get value for money more than one item in it. OR Have a go at making your own from an old favourite that's had its day. Just cut along the seams and use it as a pattern remembering to add 1/2" seam allowance and hems where necessary.

3. Do I need to trace my bought pattern?



No you can but you don't have to. There is a modern myth now that you should trace your bought pattern off in the size you want and yes there is a case for this. If you are going to be making multiple sizes or multiple copies if the same garment it will preserve the original pattern. BUT if you are only making for yourself no you don't need to trace your pattern it is time consuming and unnecessary. Either cut the pattern out on the biggest size and fold the edges in to the size you want or if you are confident it will fit and your weight is not going to fluctuate too much cut out the size you need.



4. Do I need to wash my fabric?



Not necessarily. There are two reasons people wash their fabric before cutting out their garment. Firstly to get rid of any chemicals leftover from the production of the fabric. Secondly in case it shrinks. If you have spent hours making something and the first time you wash it, it shrinks and no longer fits you it will be a big letdown. It's personal choice I fall into the don't bother camp especially if you are making craft items that are unlikely to be washed, and luckily I have never had a garment shrink on its first wash.


5. Do I need special machine needles?




No not really. The manufacturer of your machine will have supplied a set of needles with your machine and they will vary in size. The general rule is the thicker the fabric the thicker the needle so a size 12 needle would be good on chiffon or fine silk anything thin, a size 16 for denim or canvas, generally thicker fabrics. I find a size 16 needle is a good one to have for most general sewing. The only other needle you might want for fabric garment making would be a ball point needle. These are designed for knit fabrics such as Jersey and the ball point pushes between the threads as you sew rather than piercing them and weakening the fabric. Some of the fabrics will benefit from using one such as Scuba, Spandex and Lycra. Having said that I have often sewn knitted fabrics with an ordinary needle and not noticed any damage so I would say get a scrap of your fabric and have a go.




6. Are stretch fabrics really hard to sew?



No, they are not and the beauty of stretch fabrics is the drape and an ease of fit because of the stretch in them. There are a lot of myths around sewing stretch fabrics e.g. you need a special needle, you need a walking foot, you need to have a stitch on your machine especially for knits. These things aren't always necessary but all will work and if it works for you, it's the right way for you. Most knits including jersey can be sewn with an ordinary needle and an ordinary foot with a small zigzag stitch of 2 length and 2 width. Get an old T-shirt and have a go. The key thing to remember is the stretch, don't pull or push the fabric through the machine pin it evenly and take the pins out as you sew. Never ever sew over pins you can break a needle and it may fly at your face.


Have a go at things. For a lot of things there are different approaches what matters is what works for you, nobody is right and nobody is wrong if there is a successful outcome. What matters is that you had a go and made something and during that process you learned something. So be a have a go hero and send us a picture of your makes to info@boutiqueuniquedesigns.com



By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 20 2017 05:29PM



Whilst not essential to any of our designs zips are included but in some can be omitted and substituted with Velcro or poppers or just left as an open top bag.


Zips can be scary for beginners but with the majority of our patterns the zips are generally put in as one of the first processes when the fabric is flat and easy to handle. Or they are attached to two pieces of fabric designed as a zip carrier and then attached to the main pieces as in the lining of The Betty Bag to the right.


One of the key points to remember when attaching a zip are that each side should be sewn an equal distance from the teeth. In most of our projects the raw ends of the Zips are caught in the subsequent seams as the project is constructed. Some of the projects such as the Betty Bag use a 'zip carrier' and we have tidied the visible end of the zip with a tab made of matching fabric this not only looks nice but has a function in that when you close the bag it gives you something to hang onto and pull against.


Download the Printable to read more on Inset Zips, Top Opening Zips, Zip Carriers and Zip Tabs.


The third addition to our glossary series. Designed as support materialsto run along with our patterns and also to assist people who want to design their own.



This article is available in a printable version download here An Introduction to Zips Printable


Pin me below for safe keeping.



By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 14 2017 06:19PM



This is a first for us. We wanted to make a PDF pattern that a complete newbie could sew but could also be used by an experienced sewer to make a more challenging version. All of them are a useful size, have feature panel and give plenty of opportunities to be unique. There are three versions of this bag.

 


Version One is aimed at somebody new to sewing. Every step is clearly described and all terminology explained. Whilst making this pattern you will learn how to sew a straight line, how to finish off threads at the beginning and end of a seam. How to understitch and why you would want to. How to insert a lining with a pocket and finish it off inside.

 


Version 1 Beginner
Version 1 Beginner

Version Two introduces the sewer to piping and wadding. The instructions include how to make piping. You will also learn how to box corners out and give your bag a more three-dimensional look. The lining on this version includes zip pocket as well as a slip pocket.

 


Version 2 Imtermediate
Version 2 Imtermediate

Version Three this bag includes all the techniques from the first two bags, with the addition of a front outer pocket with tassel, a zip closure to the top and inside a pocket with an inset zip and a security loop for keys. The key loop allows you to hook your keys on with a trigger clip and then easily retrieve them no matter how full your bag is by pulling in the strap.

 


Version 3 Advanced
Version 3 Advanced

 

SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Width 38cm    Height 30cm Depth 7cm


Buy Now for £4.75 Or Visit its pattern page to find out more.


Also available on Craftsy






By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 6 2017 06:15PM

Scavenge and Save Build up your sewing stash the thrifty way
Scavenge and Save Build up your sewing stash the thrifty way

Recycling or up-cycling is all the rage but what the trendsetters forget is that hard up mums have been doing this for years extending the lives of their children's clothes by turning up and letting down hems or making one thing out of another. 


Do a mental inventory of your home what do you have that is made of fabric but either past it's use or out of favour. Off the top of my head I have a single duvet cover with felt pen on one side, a pair of curtains from our old house that don't fit any of the windows here and a gathered full-length cotton skirt that makes me look like a circus tent! Take another look at these items and you can see I have several yards of useful fabric that I can use to make other things. 



Re use old curtains or keep any eye out for sales.
Re use old curtains or keep any eye out for sales.

We have all had times in our lives when money is tight for whatever reason and quite often this is when people start to learn to sew, but fabrics can be expensive especially if you want something really nice. If you look around we are surrounded by items made from fabric. Curtains, table linen, bedding, clothing it's all fabric. 





Duvets can be made into pillow cases and even lightweight summer dresses
Duvets can be made into pillow cases and even lightweight summer dresses

Many years ago, as a young mum I became a fabric scavenger my most memorable transformation was using my wedding dress to make a christening gown for my daughter creating a valued heirloom with huge meaning. It became a habit that before anything was thrown away, or sent to the charity shop or for recycling I asked myself these questions:


Do I like the fabric it is made of? What else could I use it for? Is there anything else on this I could use, zip, buttons, buckles, elastic?



Keep buttons from old clothes which you are going to throw away
Keep buttons from old clothes which you are going to throw away

Then I would sit and dismantle where necessary removing buttons, zips and trims and unpicking where gathered or pleated to make a flat piece of fabric that I could add to my stash. Old curtains are brilliant for making cushions and bags where it is an advantage to have a firmer fabric and an item that isn't going to be constantly in the washing machine. The duvet cover I could re-cut the unstained pieces into pillow cases, but it could also be made into a nightdress, blouse or use as lining on a project. The skirt when unpicked would provide at least three metres of fabric which could be made into a more flattering skirt, child's dress or any number of crafting and quilting projects.



So, if you want to save money become a fabric scavenger and if you haven't anything at home now charity shops sell curtains bedding and clothing that you could reuse for less than the cost of a metre of fabric.


Check out our pattern range for a variety of new projects.


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Photos used from Freepik Artists - Mrsiraphol, Kaboompics & Javi_indy



By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 2 2017 05:38PM


Sewing Decision Maker
Sewing Decision Maker

A quick bit of fun for anyone else who sometimes struggles to choose what to do next. I've had days where I just can't decide which project I'm going to do, but I know I want to make something.


So I made a decision maker. Simply print off the printable, cut it out, and stick the tabs together to make a cube.




Download the Decison Maker Printable Here


The options on it are as follows:


1. Work in Progress


These are usually lingering around. For whatever reason they have been temporarily put to one side waiting for their day to shine. If this comes up its time to stop procrastinating and get one finished.



2. Old Reliable


Favourite patterns which you know you can make and get a good result. You just want to sew something nice without too much hassle.


3. Something New


New patterns which have been waiting in the wings, saved to your pinterest board, tucked neatly in a box ready to go. Venture into new territory and give one of your new patterns a go.




Sewing Decision Maker Printable
Sewing Decision Maker Printable

4. Scraptastic


They're building up, they're beautiful and shiny, hoarded away like a dragon guarding treasure. Get them out and find one of your scrap busting projects to show them off in all their glory. Search online for scrap busting projects. See some of my favourite scrap busters on this previous post.


5. Upcycle


Be ecofriendly and thrifty and upcycle an unused fabric item into something you. Whether it is a top that doesn't fit right, turn a dress into a skirt, a pillowcase into a girls summer dress, find something lying around that could be given a new lease of life.


6. Random Gift


Special Holidays and Birthdays are scattered throughout the year. Get a head start and make some nice gifts to stash away for special occasions. Or give a friend or relative a nice surprise with a random hand made gift.




Download the Decison Maker Printable Here



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