Saturday, 21 April 2012

FREE patterns

When Red Kitty began sewing a few years ago, she was totally clueless to the world of patterns and corresponding COST.  In the days before austerity, she would think nothing of spending £14.99 on a single Vogue pattern - oh those were the days! Meeow!!!!

Then she wised up.

Advice: Scan your favourite catalogues and note the pattern numbers you like the look of. Wait for a sale and buy those babies at half-price for your stash.
Find out where FREE patterns live, download and print them from the internet. Even if you don't like the whole pattern or style, download it anyway, I guarantee there is a sleeve, collar or pocket which will come in handy one day. have a whole section of free patterns - hundreds in fact - drafted by fellow crafters. From dresses to coats and purses to yoga bags, you can build a whole wardrobe provided you're not fussy about having a particular style. You must register a brief profile before you can download but after that it's plain sailing!

Free patterns available via

Bernina - yes they of the sewing machines - offer a small range of free dress patterns, all of which are quite lovely! They also have random stuff like an egg warmer pattern (?).
Downloading is simply 'one-click' no registration needed.

Dress and bag pattern both free at Bernina

Lekala, a well-established Russian pattern company, offer many free patterns for download. However, they are all 'made-to-measure', i.e. a fixed size (I think UK size 8-10) so if you are larger you'll need to grade it to fit. Cutting a muslin for Lekala is essential, as you'll only get to your size this way. Some lovely designs on offer so worth a try if you are feeling thrifty and experimental.
Tutorial on grading here -

Free dress pattern available at Lekala offer a cute summer blouse for free download called 'The Sorbetto Top'. A little 1950's chic, perfect for that 1 metre of fabric you just don't know what to do with. It's a winner!

50's style Sorbetto top, free to download 

Happy sewing!

Meeow for now...

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Before we break...

Our last session (before our usual 3rd Sat siesta) brought a crop of finished projects, a new member and
the Catford sunshine. Yes, the sun does come to this part of south London!

The long-awaited prom dress, sewn by Vicky, was completed in spectacular style and is a total beauty I'm sure you'll agree! Great fabric and lovely finishing details make this dress simply wonderful for so many occasions. Flattering and feminine, it's a winning pattern.

New Look 6723 - completed by Vicky
(isn't it fabulous?)

Armhole finishing

Alternative view

New Look 6843 may well be the groups' signature pattern as it's been made no less than FIVE TIMES by members. First by Vicky and four times by Marilyn for her holiday in Jamaica. 
Vicky brought in her skirt for it's special photoshoot - lol! Everyone commented on the lovely fabric, which Vicky said was from 'Freedom Fabrics' - a UK company which specialise in 100% cotton fabrics. Check them out, the range is large and rather lovely.  

 New Look 6843 - completed by Vicky

Vicky starting a jersey dress with keyhole neckline,
stay tuned for the magic results!

New member Marianna self-drafts a pair of trousers

The group were joined by new member Marianna who promptly dazzled us with her skills in self-drafting and started on a pair of trousers. And yes, that lovely yellow blouse she's wearing she made herself. The lady's got skills....meeow! We hope to see more of her as the weeks go by.

Next time...Marilyn's denim trousers, Delphina's jersey dress and Marlene's cross-stitch marathon. We'll be back on Saturday 28th April - with a BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE!

Yes, our funding can now stretch to a sewing machine for anyone who doesn't have one or can't bring one. RK will be popping along to Deptford Sewing Machines next week where Tony will help select the best. All will be revealed in the next thrilling instalment so don't forget to tune in.

Doncha just love this little ole group? Join us! 

Catford South Sewing & Knitting Group is completely FREE of charge, thanks to Lewisham Council. Use it or lose it.

Summer beckons

Week 11: 9 weeks left. That's 2 months to make your shorts, kaftans, skirts, t-shirts....

Despite it being Easter Saturday, members duly packed up their sewing kit bags and came to the group - wahey! And a fun time we had too!  Delphina completed a maxi dress number, Red Kitty cut out some patterns, Marilyn tackled a pair of summer trousers and Liz, owner of 'Dolly Mix Dolls' made all her clothes but in miniature. smile. More on that later.

Butterick B5644 (view A) in African cotton

Maxi dress completed by Delphina

Liz, owner of 'Dolly Mix Dolls' making clothes in miniature

The wonderful thing about this group - which everyone who attends agrees - is that you meet such fabulous people. People you wouldn't ever bump into or guess what their hobby is. Like Liz, owner of 'Dolly Mix Dolls' a new business which retails mixed race dolls with interchangeable hair and clothes so they reflect the diversity of children today. Dolls are white, mixed-race and black. Liz and her mum Anne make their little doll clothes and no outfit is repeated, every doll is unique. 

A naked 'Dolly Mix' doll

A doll as Diana Ross - using donated material!

The dolls are very reasonable (£14.99) and Liz is trialing market stalls in south London, if you see her please give her your support. 

That's all for now folks, until next time.

Meeow for now

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Simplicity & McCalls on sale now

Just to mention (if you didn't know already) are having a 50% off sale on Simplicity & McCalls patterns. Not sure when it finishes so start ordering now!

Also, are doing half-price on Simplicity and have a slightly larger range plus the new season patterns are also on sale. Ends 21st April. are selling McCalls at 50%, plus there are various member benefits on patterns such as 'buy-one-get-one free' and sometimes even 'buy-one-get-TWO-free!' Worth checking out.

If you live in the SE London area, 'Rolls & Rems' haberdashery store will likely have these offers, so don't forget to pop in and have a look at the catalogue and support your local businesses.

Rolls & Rems of Lewisham
Open 7 days a week