Our Collector’s Edition

This January we launched our fifth issue, and our very first Bridal Issue, what’s more is it represents an entire year’s worth of magazine issues.

That’s right, our next issue which is coming out in April, will be our birthday issue, and we will officially be going for more than a year! How exciting is that?!

To celebrate, we have launched a book compiled of all the best parts of our first 5 issues which can be ordered as a paperback! Get your copy now, it’s over 200 pages of all things sewing and includes the instructions for the 12 FREE sewing patterns we launched last year.

And if you order the softcover version (Click on the above image), you can order the kindle version for FREE! Click on the image below to get your kindle copy NOW!

The Bridal issue

What a start to the new year! As everybody begins to waken from their December slumber, I have been tirelessly working away at adding all the finishing touches to our next issue… which is also our first Bridal issue.

I am incredibly excited about this one, it’s launch date has been set for Monday 14 January 2019! CLICK HERE to get your subscription now!

Basic Sewing Machine Maintenance

Your sewing machine is the tool you will use, and that you need in order to create something beautiful… just as an artist needs his brushes to paint and bring his vision to life, your sewing machine will help you to bring your work to life.

Show your machine love and respect, as any good seamstress will tell you, during the tough moments in big projects, they often talk to their machines. “Sweet talk” to them that is. Encouraging them and coaxing them to go on… just a few more stitches and this project is done. Telling your machine “we can do this together” and if need be, promising your machine a good cleaning, or a service after the project is done… and of course keeping that promise.

This may sound a bit silly at first, but there is very good reason for this. As you work with your machine more and more on all your new and exciting sewing projects, just like when you drive your car for many years, your sewing machine will eventually feel like it becomes an extension of yourself, and showing it the appreciation of the value it will give you over the years will go a very long way.

Regularly cleaning your sewing machine (preferably after each sewing project) and having your machine serviced regularly – whether it’s a small one you perform yourself, or if you take it to a professional, will ensure the longevity of your machine.

My little Finesse is well over 20 years old, and she’s still going strong (admittedly though she’s due for a professional service), though I am certain that the care I give her is one of the reasons she has lasted so long… and I have really put her to work creating numerous sewing projects, including a good few bridal gowns.

Basic Maintenance

Use your cleaning brushes

All new sewing machines come with at least one new brush to help with the cleaning and maintenance of your sewing machine. I recommend popping down to your haberdashery and getting one or two more with different thicknesses and lengths to help you to really “get into” your machine. Keep an extra one aside just for applying oil (please see point #4) – and if you can have a really soft bristled paint brush or make up brush, this is just to give your machine a “once over” once you have removed most of the lint and dust with your other brushes. The softer brush helps to pick up the finer pieces of dirt your other brushes may have missed.

Suck don’t blow

Growing up, I often saw my mother cleaning her sewing machine. Very dutifully she would take her brushes, sweep out the excess lint and thread from her machine, and blow away any of the excess.

Naturally I followed her example and cleaned my machine in the same way, until I found out the hard way that it was a big NO NO!

Chances are that when you are blowing away that excess lint and dust, you are actually blowing it deeper into your machine. Over time this will cause a build up of dust and lint around the motor as well as other necessary moving parts of your sewing machine that your brushes and regular cleaning simply don’t reach.

The result is that your machine will eventually begin to struggle to work properly, and you can quite literally blow your sewing machine’s motor or cause some serious damage.

The best thing to do is to grab your vacuum cleaner – remove any loose parts from your machine such as thread and the bobbin holder, and vacuum all the excess dirt out of your machine. This will leave your machine in a much healthier and cleaner state.

A loose screw

Your sewing machine will come with a small screwdriver (sometimes two of different sizes). These are not just handy in changing the various feet on your machine, but also in the maintenance of your machine.

The first place you should get started is in removing the needle plate. While you sew a lot of dust, lint and broken threads get trapped under there. So grab your hand screw driver and carefully remove it. Use your cleaning brushes to get as much of the dirt out as possible, and finish off with a good vacuum.

Make sure you remove the bobbin holder, as well as the section that holds in the bobbin and clean out this area with your brushes.

You will notice when you are cleaning that there is a lot of oil in this section of the machines, it’s essential to protecting the parts that are there, and making sure that they continue to run smoothly. If the oil or parts looks particularly dirty, use a rage to try and clean up as much of it as possible. When you are done, if you need to drop one or two drops of oil over these parts before putting the needle plate back into position.

Try not to apply the oil directly to your machine, rather keep a cleaning brush aside especially for the oil, drop the oil onto its bristles, and then use this to spread the oily love around your machine’s components. But before you oil, read the next step!

Don’t over oil

The general rule here is, if you’re not sure if you need to oil, will then don’t. Most sewing machines come with a small bottle of machine oil, if not it is available at local haberdasheries and fabric shops. Although it is essential for the running of your machine, it is not necessary to oil your machine every time you perform a minor maintenance. To be very honest I have NEVER oiled my machine ever. Not even once. It actually isn’t essential to oil your machine regularly, in fact most modern and digital machines should never be oiled at home, but only by a professional during a “big” service.

This is one of those cases where too much of a good thing, can actually turn out to be a bad thing.

Sew a rag

This is primarily to make sure that if you have oiled your machine, that the rag absorbs any unwanted excess oil before you start your new project. Secondly it will catch any small amounts of dirt and lint your thread will pick up that your brushing and vacuuming managed to miss.

So a good few rows until you are certain that your machine is clean and won’t transfer any unnecessary dirt to your latest sewing project is all that is necessary.

Inside and out

Don’t forget to clean the outside of your machine too, and don’t be afraid to use a little soap and water to get her looking like new (or a good anti-static polish and cloth).

Starting a new sewing project with a clean sewing machine, is like starting a long trip after have your car has been to the carwash – you feel better about your journey ahead.

Happy Sewing!

OH NO! Did you forget?

Twas the night before Christmas… and perhaps you forgot, and only just remembered to get a gift for that special someone in your life. But fear not, we have some really great ideas just for you…

Idea #1:

Of course we feel this is one of the best gifts you could possible give – an annual subscription to Sew You! Magazine. It’s digital, so you can pop online and get it now! CLICK HERE to do just that, and give the gift of sewing enjoyment that will last for an entire year!

Idea #2:

Downloadable sewing patterns! That’s right, another great gift you can purchase within minutes without leaving the comfort of your own home. CLICK HERE to view the beautiful rang of digital patterns from Boo Le Heart Sewing Patterns.

Or perhaps knitting is a more suited gift idea… why not try Vee’s Kits for her array of downloadable knitting patterns. CLICK HERE to view them now!

Idea #3:

eBooks – quick, and easy, and thoughtful gifts. Who doesn’t love receiving a brand new book? CLICK HERE to view a range of sewing themed eBooks that can be ordered and delivered… even on Christmas Day!

Idea #4:

It might seem old school… but there’s nothing like a really thoughtful I.O.U for Christmas… why not something really amazing like an I.O.U to go on a fabric shopping spree. That way it’s a gift for you and the person you will take shopping with you!

Idea #5:

All of these gifts go really great with one thing… a Christmas Card of course! Why not visit MarranArt’s store – she sells downloadable cards (with envelopes) and gift bags and boxes too. Download, and print them ready to go in just the nick of time CLICK HERE to view her range now!


Holiday Sewing Tips

The holiday season is upon us, and for most of us this means that we finally get some time to get some sewing done… whether it’s handmade with love gifts, and new seasonal party outfit for ourselves, are just a way to keep busy and relieve some stress, now is a great time to get into the sewing room to get stuff done! The team at Sew You! Magazine have compiled a list of tips to help you along.

Tip #1:

A tidy space means a tidy mind. Although it may be difficult to find space to work, especially if you’re going away or don’t have a sewing room of your own at home, it is still quite important to have a space clean and cleared just for you, before you get started on a new sewing project. A busy and messy space not only makes it frustrating and difficult while you are trying to sew away, but it can also become quite distracting and may mean that you never get to complete your project… or worse, that you might never even get started.

Tip #2:

Use up those sewing scraps! If you’re like me, chances are quite high that you have a mountain of sewing scraps waiting for you to conquer it. This time of year gives us just the opportunity to clear it away. These can be used to create an assortment of small goodies, from Christmas tree ornaments to fabric backed gift tags (glue some colourful fabric scraps onto the back of cardboard, cut into shape and add a ribbon).

Tip #3:

Visit Pinterest! Looking for some really great holiday sewing crafts ideas? Pop onto Pinterest for plenty of ideas and to see what the rest of the world is getting up to, and join in on the fun!

Tip #4:

Get the kids involved. At this time of year, children are home and quite often bored, why not find some really easy beginner projects and get them involved and busy during their time at home. And if they’re busy, there’s more time for you to work on your projects too.

Tip #5:

Handmade gifts are the best! I love making and receiving handmade gifts, you can just feel the love that goes into them. Why not make a few stocking fillers for loved ones.

Find a few small, quick and easy projects, and before you know it, you will be spreading the love around!

And of course get the latest issue of Sew You! Magazine which comes with FREE sewing patterns for Christmas hats and stockings – really great, EASY and FUN projects that can be completed in a couple of hours!

Understanding Digital Sewing Patterns

We live in a digital world, so it’s hardly surprising when every aspect of our lives is influenced by it – and sewing patterns are no different.

Like most things digital, this makes our lives so much easier. Instead of hunting from fabric store to fabric store, we can simply pop online, make a quick search, purchase our sewing patterns and download them immediately for use.

These patterns usually work out to be more affordable as there are no production and postage costs.

With modern technology, we can even purchase them with our smart phones, and print the patterns wirelessly to our favourite printer.

Click on the image to watch the video on how to do just this…

sewing patterns 1

However, like all new territory, it can be a little scary. Today we want to show you how easy it is to print and assemble your favourite digital patterns.

Digital patterns are identical to ready-printed store bought patterns in every way, except for one. Instead of having large sheets of pattern tissue to cut up, you now print your patterns onto standard A4 / letter size pages – standard everyday paper in your home printer.

With every issue of Sew You! Magazine you will be receiving at least two free digital patterns that you will download in pdf format.

Each page will have markings on it to help you to assemble it quickly and easily – you literally line up the pages and use sellotape to keep them securely in place. Once you have assembled your large sheet, it’s business as usual by cutting out the pattern and starting your new project.

The best part of digital patterns – you can store them on your PC and print them as often as you need to. Which is fantastic, no more clutter (if you don’t want to keep your already printed and assembled pattern, simply place it in the recycling bin) and if you have friends and family who love your garment so much they want you to create it in their sizes – no problem! The only rule to remember when printing, is to ALWAYS set your printer to print “as in document” – don’t make it “fit to page” or you will find yourself struggling to make your pattern work.

Check out Boo Le Heart’s range of easy, fun digital sewing patterns…

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