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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.


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By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Mar 23 2018 01:21PM

12 Tips and tricks for sewing with knits
12 Tips and tricks for sewing with knits

Read now or watch the quick video in Youtube

When working with fabrics like knit, the first thing to remember is that the fabric is knitted as in knit one, pearl one like a sweater instead of woven. A regular needle isn’t shaped correctly for the looping threads of a knit it can cause skipped stitches, wavy seams, and even holes in your fabric. So here are some tips for working with knits.

1. Use ballpoint pins to avoid damaging knit fabric while cutting and sewing.

2. Use a ballpoint needle its rounded instead of sharp and it is designed to push the thread around the knitting of the fabric, instead of piercing it and passes through the looped structure of the material without laddering it.

3. Use a stretch needle if the knit has a significant amount of Spandex or Lycra, the eye of the needle is designed to help when sewing elastic and avoid the skipped stitches commonly associated with sewing stretch fabrics.

4. Use the correct stitch a stretch stitch or a zig zag will allow the seam to stretch a little. I like to use 2 x 2 zigzag for joining seams.

5. Use stretchable thread for swimming costumes, dancewear or active wear anywhere you need significant stretch and recovery. Use it in the top thread as well as underneath in the spool.

6.Let the feed dogs pull the fabric through on the top and the bottom and support the weight of your project while you sew to avoid unnecessary stretching. You can add tissue paper on top of your fabric, under the presser foot or use a walking foot it helps feed the top layer through evenly with the bottom.

7. Stabilize your hem, either use a fusible knit interfacing/webbing to turn up and stabilize the hem before sewing. Or cut a long strip of your fabric the width of your hem and overlock it to the bottom edge then turn up the hem, this gives it more stability and is more effective than turning the hem over twice.

8. Use a twin needle for top stitching to mimic the finish of a Coverstitch with your traditional machine. You can buy a twin ballpoint needle. When using a twin needle, I pop the second spool of thread into a coffee mug behind my machine and thread as usual

9. Add clear elastic in a shoulder seam, waistline or under bust seam to stabilize it, you will have seen this on bought garments.

10. Loosening the tension can help if your seam is looking wavy but I would call this a last resort and make a note of what your ideal tension is normally before you start adjusting it. Practice on scraps folded in half to give two layers like a seam.

11. If some stretch occurs during the sewing process, hover your iron approximately 1" above the stretched seam and apply steam. The heat and moisture of the steam will help to shrink the seam back to its intended size and shape.

12. Invest in a four thread overlocker/serger to construct your garment and a coverstitch machine to finish your garment off.

If you've found some of these useful please check out our top tips for a professional finish post.

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Feb 17 2018 03:08PM

Sometimes we want to make something just for the pleasure of making it whether it be for ourselves or as a gift. Quite often this is when we will splurge and spend a little more money and take great pleasure in choosing the fabric and other components needed for the project.

Rose Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Rose Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

1. Fabric Choice

Helen Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Helen Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

Most of our projects are best made from firm fabrics with an even weave and we mostly make our prototypes from 100% cotton fabrics. Cotton fabrics come in a myriad of colours and designs and there are some very talented fabric designers around doing some fantastic designs. If you want a designer fabric you will have to pay a little more for it but most of our designs have a feature fabric that is not used for the whole project so you only need buy a small amount.

2. Alternative Fabrics

Jane Tote Trio PDF Sewing Pattern
Jane Tote Trio PDF Sewing Pattern

These days you don’t' have to just use fabric to create your perfect bag. There is a wonderful variety of new materials on the market, and with bag making becoming more and more popular, these materials are becoming more accessible.

Fake leather

Fake PU Leather
Fake PU Leather

(sometimes called PU Leather or leatherette) can add durability and a luxury look to your latest project. We have bought affordable offcuts from our local fabric mill, remnants from our local crafting recycling yard and shopped online. It is important to choose your pattern wisely if you are going to include fake leather, as it can build up into thick seams quite quickly.

Vinyl Fabrics

Glitter Vinyl
Glitter Vinyl

These have started appearing on the scene, they can give you a gorgeous glossy finish to parts of your bag. This is something we want to try soon.



This is another new alternative. We haven't had the opportunity to try this yet as it is quite expensive.

3. Wadding

We often use wadding sometimes called batting in our projects because it gives a softer but more substantial feel to the finished product. If you are a quilter you will know that there are different types and weights of wadding available. Polyester wadding tends to be white and springy and whilst it will do the job it is harder to handle than the slightly more expensive cotton wadding. Regardless of the type you choose if you choose to use wadding only a light weight one is required. If you plan to do several projects I would invest in a can of basting spray, it lasts ages and fuses the two fabrics together so that they can be treated as one.

4. Bag Furniture

Jill Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Jill Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

Our bags have a professional finish because we invest in 'bag furniture' these are the metal loops, buckles and fasteners used to attach straps and close bags. Straps can be attached using a simple d-ring or a D-ring and clip, a gold or silver ring, or a square buckle loop. They come in many styles and finishes, a quick search on E-bay for 'bag buckles' will bring up thousands of results for all manner of fasteners, fixings and trims.

5. Zips

Diamante and Rainbow Teeth Zips
Diamante and Rainbow Teeth Zips

There are many ways to close bags most commonly a zip or popper. Zips come in many different weights and styles, and some have fancy zip pulls, but these can also be bought separately if desired. We have also in some cases used magnetic poppers they are a little more complicated to use because you must incorporate them in the construction process they cannot be added afterwards like the sewn-on ones, but they do make the project look more 'store bought'. Splashing out on some Emmaline Bling D Rings and swivel hooks can also elevate your bag to another level.

6. Buttons

Chloe Bag PDF Sewing Pattern
Chloe Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

Buttons are very much in fashion at the moment and it would seem the bigger the better, they can be functional but for us they are mostly decorative used to high light a feature or pick out a colour. some are as elaborate as jewellery whilst others are quite understated.

7. Embellishments

Snap On Pin Cushion PDF Sewing Pattern
Snap On Pin Cushion PDF Sewing Pattern

We talk a lot about making your project unique and expressing yourself because it's an opportunity to make something that no one else has. There are different ways of achieving this from choosing the fabric to adding to the basic pattern. Things you could add depending on the project would be braid, ribbon, lace, beading, embroidery, appliquéd designs there are infinite variations to explore and enjoy.

We would be really interested in how you make your products unique, send photos of your completed projects to us at and when we have enough we will create a gallery page to display them on.

Visit our Pattern Shop if any have taken your eye

Check out our infographic for the top ten tips for a professional finish

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Jan 14 2018 03:08PM

Top 10 Sewing Tips for a Professional Finish

Follow these sewing tips to make your finished product shine. If you have the time and the resources in your stash then get them used for the perfect finish.

Pin me on Pinterest and share with your followers. Follow our boards for future freebies and guides.

Do you have any tips for other seamstresses who want to take their sewing up a notch? Pop them in our comments.

Check out our sewing guides for piping and binding

Don’t hold back with our 'be a have a go hero' Blog post

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