What’s Patricia wearing?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Meet Patricia (she doesn’t like it shortened to Pat!) our Sassy mannequin. Patricia doesn’t say much but she does get to wear all sorts of lovely clothes to showcase our fabrics and patterns. So what has she donned today we ask?

Patricia whole

First off is a lovely little top made from a McCalls pattern – number M6968. It may be winter outside but here at Sassy HQ the sun is always shining (OK, we’ve got the radiators running) so she’s gone for a strappy number. It’s made from 100% cotton in plain dusky pink (we have a full range of plain colours in stock) and has nice detailing with the multi-coloured buttons, which really brightens up the whole thing. Clever Christina who made the top lined it with fabric she bought from Ikea ages ago, which gives it a real retro look. She also made the longer version of the top to maintain Patricia’s dignity!

Patricia 1

Patricia 3

Her bottom half is covered up with something made by yours truly. Its a Miette skirt designed by Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons fame. It’s a very easy wrap around affair that ties at the front, is slightly flared and has two pockets (optional). This version is made from 100% cotton with tiny cars on it. We’ve sold out of this fabric already but have got lots of other printed cottons that would suit it just as well. Maybe one made with flamingo or origami patterned fabric would look fab? I’ve seen this made in all sorts of fabric with all sorts of patterns and it really is a design that suits just about anything. The pattern is glorious – all full colour with easy to follow instruction. Suitable for all levels of sewer (that’s someone who sews of course, not a drain…just thought I’d mention it) and a really classy make.

Patricia 2

Patricia miette

Friday Pattern Pick

Friday, October 24th, 2014

This week it’s the turn of an easy but sassy little number – McCall’s M6843, a pattern for shorts and trousers.

McCalls pattern


I like this pattern as it’s the sort of thing you can whip up quickly and also use just about any fabric that takes your fancy. So nice patterned cottons for summer through to plush jersey or fleece for winter (maybe for only in the house if you make them out of the latter!) I know a few people who have used the pattern to make pyjama bottoms instead of outdoor trousers/shorts and they report that they are very comfy, in and out of bed.

The trousers come in two versions – tapered and not tapered and the shorts can be made in various lengths. With an elasticated waist the pattern is ideal for beginners or those needing a bit of confidence with their machine.

If you fancy having a go at these trews, and want to have a chat/laugh/meet new people too, then join our workshop on the 16th of November. Christina, our charismatic sewing tutor will be on hand to help you every step of the way and we guarantee you’ll come away with something fit to wear. Details are on our workshop page.

Downton Abbey fabrics in stock!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

I love all the fabrics in my shop – if only I could use some of everything I’d be a very happy bunny (now there’s a challenge!) But one range I really covert is our Downton Abbey collection. We have ten bolts of this lovely, decadent stuff – all very different but it co-ordinates beautifully. They have all been designed in collaboration with the production team from the series and each is linked to either a character (Lady Edith, The Dowager etc) or, as they call it ‘Downstairs.’

They have been really popular with our customers this week – Downton is back on TV of course and so I’m going to have to snaffle some quickly to make sure I don’t miss out. Here is a little preview.



We’re open!

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

First off, apologies that I didn’t get a Friday Pattern Pick done this week – I was just slightly busy! Why I hear you ask? Well Friday was the day before our shop opening and I had what seemed like a zillion bolts of fabric to price up, 1200 patterns had just arrived and the place looked like a bomb site. One very very late night and early start later and we made it. Open. And what a fantastic day we had. Cake was eaten, fizz was drank, goody bags were handed out and competitions were won. And lots of lovely people gave such positive feedback and supportive comments that I feel like one very lucky girl today. Everyone loved the shop – the vibe, the light, the cheery assistants, oh and of course all the goodies on offer. We sold lots of fabrics – from the whole price range and also more patterns than I expected, especially those from Tilly and the Buttons which proved very popular, with quite a few Vogue patterns being ordered too. Many buttons and trims were snaffled up and quite a bit of wool was bought too. So we seemed to have something for everyone – phew, that’s just what I wanted.

Although not all our workshop dates are finalised yet we had loads of interest so please keep a watch here if you want to know what we’re up to – we’ll be advertising them soon.

So all in all one brilliant day. I  was tired but very happy when we closed the doors for the day – and I can’t wait to see Sassy Sewing grow from this point on. It goes without saying that I have a long list of people to thank, all of whom kept me on the straight and narrow throughout – you know who you are, but I’ll mention them anyway. Judi, Debs, Christina,  Jim,  Lars, Sarah, Lucy and Rosie plus the guys at The Stables and the brilliant team at Age UK next door. Thank you all, but a special thanks to Jim, without whom, we genuinely wouldn’t have made it. So thanks again everyone – from the bottom of my heart.

We were so busy that I hardly got any pictures but here is a small collection just to give you a flavour. Please call in and say hello. We’re at 8 Market Place, Horncastle, LN9 5HB.

Shop opening

Shop opening 2

shop opening 10

Shop opening 8

Shop opening 6


Friday Pattern Pick

Friday, October 10th, 2014

I think this is the first time I’ve featured a pattern from Colette – how remiss of me! This is the gorgeous skirt pattern Zinnia. Now I love all the patterns from this company buy my only tiny moan is that you really have to work hard at imagining what the garments will look like made up, as the pictures on the front of the sleeve are always black and white drawings. But fear, not they all work out beautifully. This skirt is suitable for beginners yet is stylish and on trend. There are three versions – one is gathered and falls below the knee and has pleated patch pockets, the other is pleated and sits above the knee and had in seam pockets with version three being lined so it can be made from sheer fabric if you fancy it.  All versions work best in lighter weight fabrics and the pattern is multi-sized although the sizes shown are American 0 – 18 so you’ll need to look carefully at the measurements for each size to pick out which one will be best for you. The packaging is lovely and the instructions are comprehensive and come in booklet form which is attached to the inside of the sleeve so can’t be mislaid. This makes Colette patterns feel pretty special.

This skirt looks much harder than it is – it really is a quick and easy sew. We’ll be stocking a range of Colette patterns in Sassy Sewing’s shop in Horncastle – which sounds like a shameless plug – sorry, that wasn’t the intention, but we wouldn’t be stocking it if we didn’t like it, if you see what I mean. Pop along and grab one – we open on the 18th October. And see what else we have. There’s a party in the shop on opening day; cake, fizz, competitions, goody bags and more.


Collette 2

Thanks Jim

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The shop is really starting to take shape. Here is our good friend Jim putting the finishing touches to the cutting table.  Without Jim’s help we wouldn’t be anywhere near ready to open – so a BIG thank you – you’re a star. Roll on the 18th of October.

Jim building

Save the date – we’re opening!

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

So here we are. Drum roll please………….Sassy Sewing opens it’s bricks and mortar shop on the 18th of October. Yes that soon. Yikes! We’ll be celebrating with a beaut of a party and you’re all invited. I can’t tell you how excited I am and how much I’m looking forward to seeing you all there. And of course they’ll be cake – and lot of other little surprises too. Sassy Sewing can be found at 8 Market Place, Horncastle, LN9 5HB. Just under the archway next to the Age Concern charity shop. See you there.


Friday pattern pick

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Many shaw

We have a bit of a departure for this week – a pattern for a bag. Say hiya to Two Becomes One from Mandy Shaw at Dandelion Designs. I love this pattern as it’s an easy, quick make but the results look stunning. You can use all sorts of fabric – cotton, denim, oilcloth, upholstery, linen etc. If you use a finer fabric then it’ll need some interfacing or wadding to help it keep its shape and strength. In total the pattern uses 1m of fabric – half for the main body of the bag and half for the lining. Then you need wide tape for the handles, a magnetic fastener and a button.

It’s totally reversible so really versatile and looks good for most occasions – shopping, nipping to the gym, carrying fabric or even a small dog. You can add a pocket to make it extra useful if you like. With a bit of tailwind, this bag can be made in one sitting and the only slightly tricky thing to master is the magnetic fastener, but Mandy includes detailed instructions about this so don’t let it put you off. It’s worth taking a peep at Mandy’s website as she’s got some really nice things to drool over.

Know your needles

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014


Sewing machine needles come in many shapes and sizes. Buy yourself a pack of different sizes so you’ll have something suitable for all weights of fabric. Most packs of sewing machine needles contain both metric (size 65-110) and imperial (9-20) sizes. We don’t understand it either but are guessing that a committee might have been involved. The bigger the number, the bigger the needle.

A small needle will break if used on heavy fabrics, while a large needle will damage lighter ones.

 Know your needles – the most common ones used

  • Universal needles have a slightly rounded point so can be used with knit fabrics, but are still sharp enough to pierce woven fabrics.
  • Denim/jeans needles have an extra-sharp point and stiffer shank, making them perfect for stitching heavy fabrics like denim or even imitation leather.
  • Ballpoint needles have a rounded tip that slips between fibres of things like Lycra or coarse knits and prevent running (somewhat ironic for Lycra)
  • Stretch needles are great for use on lightweight knits such as jersey
  • Twin needles have two shafts on a bridge built onto a single shank. Used for making multiple rows of stitches, you will see two numbers on the label. The first number is the distance between the two needles and the second number is the needle size. Twin needles are often used to give a decorative top stitch to hems or necklines


This is pretty simple – the finer the fabric, the smaller the needle. As a guide, for very fine synthetics and cottons go for an 8 (60), for voile, chiffon and organza an 11 (75), for cotton lawn, taffeta and silks a 12 (80), for cord, heavy suiting and denim a 16 (100) and only use the biggest needle (a 20 or 120) on very heavy cord and denim and if fancy a frolic with leather.

 To change or not to change?

Blunt needles are bad news. They damage your fabric, and give uneven stitching.

Experts suggest changing the needle for every new project. Great advice and needles are relatively inexpensive – cheaper than fabric anyway. Back in the real world though, I’d usually use mine for two or maybe three projects if using light fabrics, only going to every time on heavy ones. Unless it’s expensive fabric, of course, when it’s a new needle every time. Also remeber that nothing blunts a needle quicker than running over pins, so to prolong your needle’s lifespan, remove the pins as you sew.


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Here it's not just about 'how to' but also 'why not?' We're not experts, more like curious enthusiasts and this is the place where we can all learn to be successful at sewing together. Helpful (hopefully), inspiring (ditto) and we promise not to take ourselves too seriously. Let's put some fun into fabric.

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