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Category: Sewing Tips

  1. Remaking Old Favourites

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    With a wiff of spring in the air I have started to turn away from the joggers and tracksuits of lockdown, but am left wondering: what exactly do you wear when you go out into the world?

    Time for a refresh an old favourite -  The Cleo Pinafore Dress by Tilly and The Buttons.


    One of the best things about making your own clothes is re-making them!

    A different fabric can completely change the look; embelishments, adjustments and different finishings are also all ways of giving a remake a different feel.

    The Cleo Pinafore Dress is a tried and tested favourite that we have made many a time with our teenage sewing clubs. I already have two in my wardrobe but with some great new fabrics in the shop perfect for the job, I was tempted by just one more in some new super soft leopard needle cord.

    To be honest this time I did the least variations from the original pattern, instead I focused on the detail of the finish by using flat fell seams through out.

    Flat fell are really strong seams that you always see on jeans. Think of those double rows of stitching, these rows are both part of the seam making it super strong.

    Having just made my very first pair of jeans(!!) I thought I'd apply my new love of flat fell seams to my latest leopard version of the Cleo.

    So here's my step by step flat fell seam guide!

    • First you pin and sew the fabric together wrong sides together with the standard 1.5cm seam allowance.


    • Then press the seam open.


    • Trim one of the seams to 0.5cm


    • Then press the short seam back up into the seam and fold the longer seam edge over so the raw edges meet - press.


    • Then flip allowances over to hide the raw edges, press, pin and top stich into place.

    flat fell

    To be honest the look of the flat fell seam is totally lost in the print, but I love that this seam means you get a perfect finish on the inside, with no raw edges and no need for an overlocker. 


    So once again the Cleo comes up trumps and I am really happy with my latest version and feel ready to wave goodbye to lockdown and step back out into the world...

    See you there!



  2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle your scraps into a sewing project!

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    Sabina here with a blogpost for all you Flo-Jo sewers!
    I was inspired by this weeks Great British Sewing Bee theme which was 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' and I jumped on the challenge to transform my scraps into a bomber jacket, much like the one in this weeks episode.
    I am sure that I’m not alone in keeping my offcuts from previous projects without having a plan for them so I hope I can inspire you to take a second look at your scraps. 
    To start with, I decided to go through all of my denim scraps, there is a mix of everything from my dad's old denim shirt to leftovers from skirts I’ve made. Make sure that all of your bits and pieces are of a similar properties of denim as this will make it easier to stitch them together. 
    The pattern I used for this project is the 'Bomber Jacket' from this years Sewing Bee Book 'Sustainable Style'. I altered the sewing pattern to make it slightly shorter than the regular fit but not so cropped that I had to remove the pockets.
    I cut out all of my pieces from 6 different scraps of denim, the zip was leftover from a previous project and I used the navy tubular ribbing from Flo-Jo Fabrics Online shop.
    We've had lots of brilliant jackets and hoodies made in our after school sewing classes pre-lockdown. When the workshop is open I cover how to sew with stretch ribbing in our 'Intro To Sewing with Jersey Class.' Until we re-open I thought I’d share some useful tips with you here! 
    top tips zip
    Sewing the cuffs
    Stretch ribbing is a great way to finish off a sleeve hem, neckband or waistband. There are lots of different colours and patterns available in the shop at the moment here. There are so many ways you can change a simple hoodie by just adding a contrasting cuff or a sporty ribbing with stripes.
     Sewing Cuffing Step By Step
    1/ Make sure the stretch of the cuff is going sideways before cutting out your pieces.  Fold the cuff to match up the short sides right sides together, then pin and sew.
    2/ Press the seam open and fold the cuff in half so that the seam is on the inside.
    3/ Divide the cuff into two by putting a pin where the seam is and then another one on the opposite side.
    4/ Line up the pins together and put another two in to divide the cuff into four. 
    5/ Divide the sleeve edge into four in the same way.
    6/ Put the cuff over the sleeve and match the seams together with the raw edges aligned. You should be able to see three layers of fabric if you’ve got it right.
    7/ Stretch the ribbing to pin it in place and once you’ve got all four matched up you can add some more pins in the gaps in between to ensure an even gathering of the sleeve fabric. It might look like it’s rippled but it’ll be stretched out when it’s sewn.
    8/ If you can fit the sleeve over the machine arm you can stretch the ribbing towards
    yourself as you sew.
    9/ Press the seams into the sleeve and zigzag or overlock the raw edges together.
    10/ This is optional but if you want to make the sleeve look less gathered you can topstitch the seam allowance of the cuff to the sleeve. As you can see in the photo the two sleeves look quite different.
    I hope you've found these tips useful and I would love to know if you have made something from your fabric scraps?