A Guide To Plush (A Guide To Minky Fabric)

I wrote this article a few months ago and was originally published in the September issue of Sewing World Magazine but I’m sharing it here for those that missed the publication at the time (did you know that Sewing World Magazine have been around for over 20 years? Impressive!) Super proud that this was the first in a series of fabric guides I wrote for them, which I thoroughly enjoyed (#ExcitedMuch). I hope you find it helpful and feel free to ask any questions, I’ll surely do my best to answer them. Continue reading “A Guide To Plush (A Guide To Minky Fabric)”

A Fabric Guide To Corduroy: What’s In A Wale?

I just love cord, it reminds me of autumn when the leaves turning golden and marching through the fallen leaves. It has that lovely cosy feel, cord is perfect in that transition period  from the heady carefree days of summer dresses through to snuggly woolly jumpers. Continue reading “A Fabric Guide To Corduroy: What’s In A Wale?”

Tutorial : DIY Make Up Bag With a Pretty Lace Edge Zip

We wanted to spoil you with a little sewing wizardry in this tutorial; this handy make up bag is just the right size for the essentials and conveniently fits in a handbag. Make one for yourself or as a gift to make someone a smile.

And the magic you ask – Odicoat! This clever gel gives fabrics a waterproof coating that is machine washable!

Grab a cheeky 10% discount off your next Odicoat order with WATERPROOFME10 One time use per customer.

Then for an extra flourish we’ve gone with a lace edged zip; we’re crazy about the way they take projects to another level. Once you get to grips with them you’ll be adding them to everything too!

Continue reading “Tutorial : DIY Make Up Bag With a Pretty Lace Edge Zip”

My Guide To Waterproof Fabrics in Sewing World Magazine

A very chuffed Plushette here once again to let you know that I’m in Sewing World Magazine again this month talking about waterproof fabrics. It’s another jam-packed issue I am finding the Vilene series in particular very informative indeed and there’s also an excerpt from Lauren Guthrie’s new book too which is a tutorial on how to make a big weekend bag.

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This is my third article for Sewing World (eeek!), you can read about the two here and here. Don’t forget there’s a discounted subscription offer available for Plush Addict customers. You can get a 12 month subscription for only £39.99 (that’s a saving of £19.89) use the code PLUSH14 at check out here. Grab yourself a copy and sit down for a good read with a cuppa, I’m in the “Techniques” section. You can also get your mitts on this magazine at WH Smiths.

Next month is the last in the series and I’ll be writing about natural alternative sustainable fabrics. I’ve really enjoyed writing this series and I’m looking forward to doing a bit more writing in the New Year once the Christmas mayhem has subsided at Plush Towers a little. I hope you enjoy it!

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My Guide To Fleece Fabrics In Sewing World Magazine

I can’t help but glow with pride each time I think about this. I’ve always fancied being a travel writer but I’ll settle for writing for my favourite sewing magazines instead! This month’s Sewing World magazine has a handy guide to fleece fabrics penned by moi. It’s available in WH Smith or you can purchase a copy on line from Traplet’s online shop. Continue reading “My Guide To Fleece Fabrics In Sewing World Magazine”

Some Thoughts About Textile Waste & Sewing Your Own

Well it’s been a while since I penned anything for the blog, these past few months have been a whirlwind of activity here at Plush Towers. I can assure you I’ve been as busy as a busy thing and I’ve just not had time to sit down to write anything, but I’ve not been resting on my laurels. There are lots of things going on that I’m not quite ready to share with you yet but I hope today’s post will show you I’ve been beavering away in the background and not slacking off, oh no sirree. Continue reading “Some Thoughts About Textile Waste & Sewing Your Own”

I’m in this month’s Sewing World magazine and you can get a discounted subscription!

I was more than a little excited to open the post  and discover a copy of this month’s Sewing World magazine, I *may* have let out a squeal of excitement and jumped around from foot to foot doing an enthusiastic a happy dance. It’s been a long time coming but I’m thrilled the day has finally arrived and my words are right there in black and white printed on something I can actually touch and flick through, accompanied by photos of some of my favourite plush makes.  Continue reading “I’m in this month’s Sewing World magazine and you can get a discounted subscription!”

What is Ponte Di Roma? A Fabric Guide

 

It seems that the knit fabric ponte di roma (also known as punto-di-roma, but I’m going to call it ponte roma for short) is all the rage at the moment and much credit must lie with Tilly Walnes and her wonderful Coco Pattern. And what’s not to love? It’s an easy knit to sew, it doesn’t crease, it doesn’t cling to your lumps and bumps like some knit fabrics, it’s an all round good egg. The fabric was developed in Italy (the clue is in the name) and I’m very glad they did (to think they gave us this AND pizza – praise be for Italy!) Continue reading “What is Ponte Di Roma? A Fabric Guide”

Denim Jean Fabric: A Guide And Sewing Tips

There’s nothing quite like a good pair of denim jeans, is there? It’s such a versatile fabric which only improves with age and wear. We have the French to thank for denim, originally woven in the town of Nîmes for overalls and sailcloth it was known as “serge de Nîmes” which got shortened to  “de Nîmes” and the name was born.

Denim is a strong and durable twill woven fabric made from 100% cotton. Traditionally the warp yarns are dyed an indigo colour and the weft yarn is left undyed which is why true denim fabric is different colours on either side (for real fabric geeks, if your denim is the same colour on both sides it’s actually jean fabric, not denim!)

We have recently started stocking denim, you can see our collection here and we carry a wide range of weights (including fat quarters) and colours. We also have stretch denim which is particularly great for clothing makes.

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Uses for Denim Jean Fabric

Denim is super versatile. As it’s 100% cotton it’s great for casual wear clothing such as jeans, skirts, jackets, shorts, children’s clothes, workwear overalls and protective clothing. As denim is very hardwearing it would also be great for home wear items such as oven gloves, cushions, decorative upholstery and bags.

A Guide to Denim Weights

Denim comes in a vast array of weights and one of our most frequently asked questions is whether a denim classes as light, medium or heavy weight.

  1. Lightweight – or under 12 Oz.
  2. Mid-weight – or from 12 Oz. – 16 Oz.
  3. Heavyweight – anything above 16 Oz.

The rule is the heavier the denim, the better it will age and fade *but* heavier weight denim will be very stiff to start off with and take time to wear in and soften. The most common denims used, and the easiest to handle, are the light and medium weight.

Sewing With Denim

Denim is a rough and tough fabric and the main problem is poses for sewing is the thickness of the fabric,  as such you need to right kit for the job to ensure success.

1) Use a denim needle which are stronger than “normal” needles and have a sharper point both of which will help you sew through a heavier fabric.

2) Use denim thread, it’s stronger and especially important on stress seams.

3) Go slowly! Those layers of denim might leave your machine struggling, if that’s the case then slow down and use your hand wheel.

4) Reduce bulk. Some machines will glide through layers of denim with no issues, others might not have the wellie needed to cope. If this is the case then reduce bulk where you can by pressing seams out flat or by using thinner fabrics as facings of linings which is not only practical, but will also add some pretty design features to your work. You can also trim seams right back to your stitching line (being careful not to cut your stitches of course)

5) Use a longer stitch length, about 3-3.5 should do it.

Have you made anything lately with denim? I’d love to see photos if you have!

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How To Restore Plush (Minky) Remnants

Plush, minky, cuddle fabric… whatever you like to call it! (For an update on why we don’t call the fabric “minky” in the UK like the rest of the world does see this post) There’s no mistaking the lusciousness that started me on the road to our online shop. The trouble is (for us) the last 50cm-75cm of every bolt we have can only be sold as a fabric remnant. The pile near to the centre of the bolt gets brushed up the wrong way and crushed when the weight of the rest of the fabric piles on top of it. Then it’s stored by the manufacturer for a while and in that time unfortunately the pile goes a bit wayward and no amount of stroking it puts it back to it’s former glory. The fabric isn’t permanently like this as the pile isn’t damaged per se, it’s just got a bit of bed hair so needs a little coaxing to restore it. Continue reading “How To Restore Plush (Minky) Remnants”