Mrs Bowden’s top tip – using tailor’s chalk

Following last week's top tip about keeping your chalk in tip top order I thought it would be beneficial to look at different ways of using chalk when dressmaking.Use chalk to mark the wrong side of a piece of fabric.  This is particularly useful when the 'right' side and 'wrong' side are very similar.  Even more critical if you tend to work in poor light as it can be difficult establishing the right and wrong side of the … [Continue reading...]

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – keeping your tailor’s chalk in tip top condition

Tailor's chalk is a hard chalk used to make temporary markings on cloth or a garment.  It's traditionally made in a triangular shape so you have 3 sides of equal length and it fits into the hand nicely.After much use the sharp edges wear down meaning that less accurate marks can be made and the chalk can drag across the surface of the fabric causing a jaggered line to be formed.You can often buy sets that have a number of different colours but BEWARE as the lines created by coloured … [Continue reading...]

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – safe removals

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – safe removals! This marvellous van lives in Felixstowe and belongs to a local firm that occasionally give it a drive out for shows.  I am including it in this week’s top tip as this week it is a quick one about safe removals……. I have been working on this dress […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – so many button types

Here is the lovely Mr Button

So  many buttons types of buttons! Thank you so much to one and all for supporting the Festival of Fabric on Saturday.  It was very busy day with a heaving trading hall, particularly in the morning, piles of fabric, threads, patterns and yarns not to mention the buttons – my oh my, the buttons. It’s […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tips – fitting systems

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – fitting advice One of the reasons you may make your own clothes is because you want your garments to fit you.  Very few of us are a standard size which means that we can become a wee bit frustrated shopping for ready to wear (RTW) particularly if clothes are mean […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – variations on a theme

Variations on a theme…. There are just some ‘go to’ patterns that I have in my stock and this is one of them.  I have made it 4 times with slight variations and just about to embark on my 5th version.  This time in chestnut brown pure wool crepe.  I thought it might be interesting […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – contrasting thread

It’s a simple one but effective! Here are a couple of garments that I am presently making which inspired this week’s top tip. On the left is a modern ‘retro’ Butterick pattern for a charming tea dress. You can see I have created quite ornate hand embroidered motifs on the front yolks; based on a […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – to wash or not to wash?

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – to wash or not to wash?   That really is the question. Felixstowe Sewing School To prewash or not to prewash……that is the question! An extremely frequent question I get asked in my Dressmaking classes is ‘should I wash this fabric before I use it?’. This is a ‘how […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – blouses the 50’s way

If you know me,  you will know that I am forever pursuing either vintage clothes in a size to fit (tricky as I do have a full figure) or I make my own.  I also have a bit of a  ‘thing’ for vintage or vintage style patterns.  I can easily justify my frequent purchases of […]

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – NDS part 2

Felixstowe Sewing School Mrs Bowden’s top tip – Needlework Development Series part 2 This is the second part of a little series about the Needlework Development Scheme which was started in collaboration with J P Coats Threads and 4 Art Schools in Scotland in 1934.  The NDS was temporarily suspended due to the outbreak […]

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