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Sew Reporter – 5th June

Happy Sunday everyone! We’ve welcomed the month of June and another episode of the Great British Sewing Bee so are feeling full of inspiration for our summer sewing projects.

We’ve got some sewing project ideas for you if you would like to add a little David Bowie energy to your handmade wardrobe and have some lovely new patterns to share with you. Happy browsing!

Music week saw the lovely contestants sewing parkas which were crucial to the Mod cultures’ look, turning old denim into stage wear for a country music star, and creating made-to-measure outfits inspired by David Bowie. Such a varied week!

For episode six we have put our detective hats on to discover the sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses used in the Sewing Bee TV show. The patterns we found are all matches or inspired by the designs they used. We also have a coordinating video to chat through the sixth episode and the patterns for you to enjoy!

Images: (C) BBC/Love Productions

If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee do take a look.

The Assembly Line Hoodie Parka is packed with features that would impress the judges. The hood is high at the front which gives good protection for cold days and there are hidden front pockets with large flaps for carrying all your essentials.

Sizing: UK 8 – 24/26
Format: Paper

If you like the idea of a parka but prefer styles without a hood, the Merchant and Mills TN31 Parka is a good choice. The TN31 is a relaxed and versatile interpretation of the classic fishtail parka. You’ll be pleased to hear it has plenty of pockets – with side pockets and front welt pockets and you can sew it lined or unlined.

Sizing: UK 6 – 18
Format: Paper and PDF

The Schittchen Patterns Amy Parka is a very practical design. The parka is fully lined and features a generous hood to keep you dry. The deep statement pockets are cleverly concealed in a pleat. Something Esme and Patrick would appreciate I am sure!

Sizing: UK 6/8 – 18 or UK 18/20 – 26/28
Format: PDF

We loved that the Sewing Be challenged the contestants to create a made to measure outfit inspired by Bowie so we got thinking about which ‘Bowie’ we would have drawn our inspiration from. We landed on tailoring as that is quite a transferable look that you can use as your influence without being literal.

So we have rounded up a few tailoring patterns that we think channel Bowie energy!

We thought a great way to channel Bowie’s energy with a twist is to sew a blazer dress. It would be a contemporary piece that could also be styled open, like a duster jacket. We love the Homer and Howells Blair Jacket and the I AM Patterns Full Moon Blazer and Dress – both can be sewn as short jackets.

David Bowie really rocked a relaxed suit in the 80s and 90s and we think it’s a great set to have in your handmade wardrobe if you like suiting that’s not too structured. The Nina Lee Richmond Blazer and Portobello Trousers are a great pairing. They would look great in a solid colour for impact or worn separately to dress items up, or these suit elements down!

Bowie was known for his jazzy jackets and sharp blazers and it is a really nice item to have in your own handmade wardrobe. The Friday Pattern Company Heather Blazer is ideal for anyone trying out tailoring for the first time as the relaxed silhouette is approachable to sew. If you want a project to sink your teeth into and want an introduction to tailoring techniques, the Closet Core Patterns Jasika Blazer is a great skill builder.

If you enjoyed that, you might like to check out this article from the Vogue archives that looks at 50 iconic David Bowie looks in the style files.

A bold and bright floral is sure to put a pep in your step and Kindred Red’s McCall’s M8211 is just radiant! This project incorporates one of the hot techniques of the moment – shirring, which is a lovely detail to look at and super comfy to wear. Read Kindred Red’s review here!

We’ve added some lovely newness to the shop this week, with patterns from Lenaline Patterns, Maison Fauve, Untitled Thoughts and more!

Do you already have a specific design in mind? Or do you need some help finding the perfect pattern for your fabric? You can search all the patterns in our database using our newly updated sewing-specific search tool.



Gosh, it’s been an absolute bumper month of indie releases! You’ll definitely need a cup of tea to get through all of these new sewing patterns. As the nights get longer and the evenings get warmer it’s time to get on with your summer sewing. Sit back and enjoy, and check out our June sewing pattern update.

If you’re after something to listen to this weekend, Love to Sew has an episode with the super sewist – Tabitha Sewer that is well worth a listen! Caroline and Helen chat with her about sewing with unusual fabrics, creating designer looks for less, thrift flipping, and her amazing buttons!

We spotted this BBC News story following Tuesday Greenidge who set out to sew a quilt the size of Grenfell Tower to remember those who died in the 2017 disaster and to “symbolise justice” for survivors and those affected.

Each month we will be making a donation from our profits to a different charity. This month we have chosen to donate to Pride in London, a not-for-profit organisation that is run by volunteers who are passionate about equality and diversity.

Come and join our sewing Facebook group where we are chatting about sewing plans, new patterns and helping each other out with projects.

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