Hi, my name is Claire and I own Prints to Polka Dots, share your thoughts with likeminded souls visiting our blog, and while your at it let us know what products you would like to see stocked in future.
Day two of our tour and today we are focusing on Dashwood Studio’s Club Tropicana collection. This collection of prints has a distinctly tropical and even junglely (is that even a word?) feel when viewed as a whole, with some prints looking completely different when looked at in isolation!
These fabrics are 100% cotton, 110cm (44″) wide and are medium weight, making them perfect for quilting, home decor projects, dressmaking, bags and more!
Aren’t those parrots the cutest!
These fabrics co-ordinate with a wide range of fabrics, we have picked out 5 Dashwood Studio Twists and 5 Kona solids…
Buy all 15 fabrics together in the bundle on our website and you will save over 10% compared to buying these prints separately!
Or opt for just the Twists…
Or the solids for a completely different feel!
We have made a short video to help you with this collection…
These quilting squares were made by Sarah @quiltcandy (Instagram)
If you fancy making a funky pencil case click on the link below for our free tutorial….
What would you make with this fab collection? If you have already been busy with Club Tropicana we would love to see your makes, share on Facebook, use #printstopolkadots on Instagram, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we love to see your makes and they are so inspiring to others!
The next few weeks are all about Dashwood Studio fabrics here at Prints to Polka Dots, we will be showcasing their most recent collections across the week and we are kicking our Dashwood tour off with the fresh and funky Confetti fabric collection.
Rachel Cave has designed a fun, bright & bold collection, focusing on every aspect of a flower, from the petals to the flower heads, including the leaves and even the seeds! Many of the prints have a distinct 1950s feel and there is even one with a very 1970s feel!
We have a great range of mixers that work well with this collection too!
We have made a short video to showcase these fab fabrics which we hope you find useful….
We are still perfecting filming and the quality of the film is best when not expanded to fill the whole screen when viewing on a laptop, PC or TV!
There are so many things you could make with this medium weight cotton collection, here are a few examples from around the web…
To kick us off, what about a lampshade! These were made at a recent workshop here at Prints to Polka Dots, you can buy a kit instore and add a fabric of your choice, or book a place on a workshop and come and make one with us 🙂
This collection also looks gorgeous when made into children’s clothes….
These beautiful dresses and tops were made using Two Stitches patterns – available in store today at printstopolkadots.co.uk
Here are some skirts from Fairies, Bubbles & Co…
and what about a quilt? We found this kit on Etsy!
This girl has it all! A great bag, skirt, quilt and doll carrier all in Confetti!
And of course a round up of makes wouldn’t be complete without bunting! This set was made by stores.ebay.co.uk/franklylinenUK and don’t forget, you can buy all our fabrics pre-cut into bunting triangles in store – saving you time and stress!
Next up here at Prints to Polka Dots we will be making an aline skirt for a yummy mummy with the funky 1970’s large floral print…
What would you make with this fab collection? If you have already been busy with Confetti we would love to see your makes, share on Facebook, use #printstopolkadots on Instagram, or email us at email@example.com, we love to see your makes and they are so inspiring to others!
If you love dressmaking but wish you had the confidence to ‘go off pattern’ to:
make alterations for a better fit
add or remove pockets, zips etc.. or change features such as waistband style
merge two or more of your favourite patterns
upcycle much-loved garments
make your own designs
then learning how to make your own pattern slopers will really empower you.
All designers, high street or boutique, start their garments with industry standard slopers or pattern blocks. There are blocks/slopers for each element of dressmaking, skirts, dresses, tops, sleeves, trousers, even underwear!
Slopers or blocks look just like regular pattern pieces, but instead of popping out of an envelope ready to use, they are created by taking a person’s measurements and applying a set of rules to create the pattern pieces.
A pattern maker will take, say a skirt block, and will then start to play, adding or taking away length and width, adding pocket details, waistbands, lining, fasteners etc… The finished garment will often look nothing like the original sloper but without the sloper much of the design process would be guess work/trial and error – a more stressful and costly process than need be if a sloper was used.
If you plan on making your finished pattern in a range of sizes this really is impossible without a sloper as changes in sloper size tell you how much your pattern needs to grow or shrink by for each size and in each direction.
If you are a home sewer with no aspirations to create your own patterns you may feel this is a step too far and that you would prefer to buy ready-made patterns and let someone else do this work for you. But we would urge you to reconsider.
Making your own pattern sloper or block is a really empowering thing to do for two main reasons:
Once you have made a sloper or block you can use this to create a large range of ‘standard’ garments that really do fit you properly – in the case of a skirt, once you have the sloper finished, you simply follow a set of detailed instructions to turn that sloper into a pencil, a line, circle or panelled skirt etc…
When you make a garment using a sloper you learn a lot about what different elements of a garment do – what is ease, where darts should be and whether you can risk moving them, how easy it is to change a waistband and what making a change will mean for the other pattern pieces.
Some people never go back to using commercial patterns after making a sloper, others use the knowledge they have gained from the process to amend commercial patterns to suit their shape or style, either way, learning how to make a garment using a sloper can only be a positive and empowering thing!
If you are not local and can’t find a class near you, consider using Youtube, take up a Craftsy course to help you get started, or go it alone with a text book – we recommend using Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting books – she has ones for women’s clothing, men’s and children.
They aren’t cheap, but if you look around you can often pick up a copy second hand, and if you consider how many patterns you can create from the one book they are incredibly good value!
Join us this summer and learn a new skill or two at our Witney based Sewing School!
If you would have loved to complete one of our main sewing courses but the dates never worked or you just can’t wait until September to get going then our Summer Sewing School offer may be just what you need!
We are offering big discounts on one to one rates for all our regular courses over the summer, you just need to complete your course by midnight on 3rd September, and if our existing courses don’t quite work for you, you can even opt to book a one to one at the reduced rate of just £15 per hour!
Click here to view the full range of courses or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss dates/your needs further.
On our Pattern Making Basics course we will draft slopers (pattern blocks) for a skirt and then use those slopers to create made to measure patterns for one of a range of skirt patterns.
It is hard to convey how empowering pattern drafting can be. Once you have created one block you will be raring to go…
creating trouser, bodice and dress blocks.
looking at sewing patterns with a fresh eye, unafraid to make changes before sewing.
recreating your much loved fav. garments by deconstructing them in your mind and drafting your own patterns – even making improvements along the way!
upcycling old clothes and finds in charity shops.
Altering new clothes for a better fit.
“The process of creating a sloper teaches you so much about your own shape, the function of the various parts of the pattern and the impact changes will have – you will never look at a sewing pattern in the same way again, and will never have looked so good in your clothes!”
SEWCIAL DEFINITION: (pronounced social) A group of friendly folk coming together to start or complete sewing projects, which have often, but not always, been hidden at the bottom of a drawer!
If you have a project you have started but can’t move on with, or if you are looking to start something but need some support to get going, why not join us at one of our Summer Sewcial Sessions.
We will be on hand to help you out and point you in the right direction with your sewing projects and dilemmas, bring a pattern or project, or some scraps from your stash and perfect a technique or two that have been troubling you, zips, button holes or bias tape etc…
Sessions run from 7pm to 9.30pm, drop in at a time to suit 🙂
Booking is essential – Every Thursday from 29th June to 20th July – Book as many sessions as you need!
With Chelsea Flower show in full swing, the sun out and a lazy bank holiday on the way we couldn’t resist these gorgeous fabric lanterns from Melly and Me….
String them up along fairy lights for a truly magical effect – those ones with the battery pack at the end (they sell them in our local Poundstretchers quite cheaply) and they are perfect for the garden.
Who knows, they might become the new bunting!
Buy in store (click here) and you can pick up all the interfacing you need with one extra click 🙂