Exciting bra related news…

As some of you may be aware, I have a little side business called Elise Patterns. I make and sell pdf downloadable lingerie sewing patterns. The exciting thing is that I am now branching out and starting to sell lingerie sewing supplies (Big apologies to anyone reading this that has seen me announce this elsewhere on social media or the EP blog, I don’t want to bore you!)

Truth be told, I’m pretty darn excited…. I’ve been working on another pattern for ages and it’s all pattern tested, ready to go. Yet, I’ve stalled a bit on it as i’ve been getting somebody to help me with the graphic design of the pattern before I launch it. And the reason I’ve not had time to finish that yet is the inordinate amount of time I’ve spent researching where to get the best lingerie supplies. Literally for the last three months when i’ve not been in my other day job, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time chatting to different suppliers, tracking down things with completely different names to what I would call them and waiting for samples, so that I could get hold of the best supplies available.

Elise Patterns, Make your own bra kit, brasewing, howtomakebras

Finally, it’s all come together and I’m really happy to announce i’m launching ‘Make your own bra kits’ – to make your own bra with! If you want to know a bit more about them, I’ve written about them on the Elise Patterns blog. Alternatively you could just go and buy them on my website!

(Random trivia fact: If you have a really, really, really good memory you might find that the lace in the bra kit is very similar to one that was on GBSB recently…. It has a different composition but basically it’s the same design.)

Elise Patterns, Make Your Own bra kit,  Blue Lace Bra Kit

And if you’re wondering why I continue to have two blogs… I ask myself this question on a regular basis too! But I guess I have to find somewhere to write about how much I loathe making quilts and general boring home decor stuff like curtains. Because, yep you guessed it, whilst there hasn’t been that much selfish sewing going on, I still had to find the time to be a good friend and make a baby quilt and finish a pair of curtains….

Vintage look black and peach tricot bra, Kwik Sew 3594 Bra sewing pattern, bramaking, bra sewing

Ok, so there may have been some selfish sewing going on…. I tried out the Kwik Sew 3594. The lumpiness is caused by the pair of socks filling out the cups! The armless mannequin doesn’t have such an ample bust…


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Tailoring and bespoke sewing services in the UK

These days, we’re a bit spoiled for choice by the tonnes of lovely online fabric and haberdashery shops that it’s almost a bit hard to know where to look for things. And whilst I know exactly where to go for my everyday dressmaking supplies, if you’re wanting something a little bit more specialist like tailoring or corsetry supplies – it gets a lot harder…

But on the subject of tailoring, here are a few excellent sites I’ve come across recently that are great for sourcing more unusual dressmaking and tailoring supplies.

Bernstein & Banley’s aka The Lining Company

Apart from a bit of an annoying YouTube video that starts playing as soon as you hit their products page (seriously, when will companies learn!!) – this site sells pretty much everything you need to make a suit – a range of linings (good place to source bemberg linings in the UK) and a broad range of interlinings. *Update – and very friendly customer service according to Anne from Compulsive Seamstress *.

Bernstein & Banley, Haberdashery, Tailoring supplies, London

Kenton Trimmings – They have shop near Notting Hill and Queen’s Park but are online too.

This shop stocks everything you need to make a suit with lots of interesting different haberdashery like Melton under collars. I’m assuming that’s like a contrasting piece of fabric under a collar? I love a colour pop! Perhaps it’s time I planned a coat with a hot pink under collar…

Where to buy tailoring supplies, undercollar wool

Gill Arnold – Again, thank you to Anne for letting me know about this one! You can get a range of interfacings and interlinings here. And she also offers starter tailoring kits!

Gill Arnold, Tailoring supplies, UK

Looking for buttons, belts and button covering services?

D M Buttons, Central London – You don’t have to be a big fashion company to get buttonholes and buttons covered for you. If you pop in, this little place will do buttonholes while you wait and you can send your buttons in via  post to be covered.

DM Buttons, Tailoring Haberdashery supplies London

Harlequins – Mail order button and belt covering service. Send in your fabric (and no broken needles on my sewing machine later) and you get perfect belts back in the post. They also make up rouleau loops – definitely something I’d get someone else to do!


Harlequin, Tailoring Haberdashery supplies London

I tried harlequin a few years ago after trying to make my own belts and not liking the results. So I sent in my fabric and my buckle and below is what I got back – beautiful!

McCall's M5525


Taylor’s Buttons, Central London – Buttons, Button Covering Service, bespoke belt and buckle covering service

Taylors buttons, Tailoring and Haberdashery supplies LondonAnother little find, this shop is based in central London but also have a mail order service for button covering! 

The Button Queen, Central London – Another shop catering in buttons and who also do a button covering service – which you can do via mail order!

Button queen, tailoring and haberdashery supplies london

Lastly (and not leastly) – Ciment Pleating

Yep, you can send in fabric to be pleated :-) Did you know it takes 3m of fabric to make 1m of pleated fabric?!

Ciment Pleating, Haberdashery and Tailoring supplies London


Know any other companies that should be on this list? Let me know!

n.b. I am in no way affiliated to any of these shops, nor have I received any kickbacks from the companies mentioned.

 * This post was last updated on 26.02.2015 *





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Flash Instagram Sale on Saturday!

Instagram Flash Sale,  Elise Patterns

Date: Saturday 14th Feb
Time: 12 noon GMT
Hashtag: #Freyasflashsale

A little announcement just to let you all know I’m going to be having a flash sale of patterns and fabric on Saturday! (I’ve never done this, so this could end up being a complete disaster!)

I’m putting up a range of things from my stash – mostly vintage sewing patterns and fabric as I’m hoping to raise funds for my business (Elise Patterns) to enable me to get the next stage of my business under way. (Oh, and you’ll be freeing up space in my flat!)

It’s pretty simple really – just follow me on instagram (/elisepatterns) and when you see something you like – message me or comment and let me know if you want to buy something!

Pattern Sale, Instagram Sale, vintage sewing patterns

Here’s a little preview of the vintage sewing patterns available – mostly 60s, 70s and 80s

All the pictures will have the same hashtag, so it will be easy to see what’s coming up.

Please share this post or tweet details of the flash sale to as many people as you know
:-) thanking you kindly in advance.

Instagram Flash sale, #Freyasflashsale, vintage fabric

Here’s a little preview of the vintage fabric on offer – there’s quite a bit of high quality silk, in good lengths and if the colours don’t immediately grab you, don’t forget silk takes dye beautifully!

Please note: the person buying will need to cover the cost of shipping. Pricing of items are open to best offers/or nearest offer (ono).

Instagram sale, #Freyasflashsale, vintage bias binding

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La Françoise….

Françoise reminds me of school. Not school uniforms but of French classes. Our French textbook at school was called “Arc en Ciel” and all I remember from that text book was the name François and Françoise. I always found it odd how in French you could have interchangeable masculine and feminine names when in English we don’t. Anyway, boring history trip of my life aside… Tilly (& the Buttons) has used the name for something infinitely cooler than my old French language textbook….


I’m not going to lie to you, this is a fabulously easy dress to make! Even more so with Tilly’s brilliant instructions. I spent precisely one afternoon doing this, so I can tell you, it’s quick too!

Françoise, Francoise dress, Tilly and the Buttons Sewing Pattern

And for an added bonus, I used up fabric from my fabric hoard, that I had dug out of the remnant bin for £4 – a lovely weight stretch cotton sateen. And in a completely shock move I chose a fabric that was not predominantly black or white!

Due to the stretch, I didn’t even bother with a zip…. The only downside is that with such a bold print, it detracts from the French darts on the dress which are an interesting feature in themselves.  For a wearable toile, this dress has turned out quite well, I added 2 cm length in 2 places but next time I will be needing to lower the bust dart a little bit.

Françoise, Francoise dress, Tilly and the Buttons Sewing Pattern



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The Style Arc Maggie…


Style Arc, Maggie Shirt

This is the Style Arc Maggie shirt and it’s the first Style Arc pattern that I’ve tried. This is the kind of shirt that I normally love – loose and baggy, perfect over a pair of skinny jeans.

Judging by my face, you can tell I’m not 100% Enamoured…

Style Arc, Maggie Shirt

Ok – it’s not that bad and I’m not that grumpy…. Well, not normally unless I haven’t had a cup of tea and you’re talking to me less than an hour after I’ve woken up.

Whilst the pattern is printed on nice thick paper, the instructions are scant. So if putting in a shirt placket puts the fear into you, I’d probably avoid this pattern until you’ve tried a pattern with more comprehensive instructions. I’m not a beginner sewist, I’ve put in plackets before and when I followed the instructions even I was scratching my head. I’m not sure about their method to do the front pleat/placket but hey, it’s wearable and I don’t care that much. I’ll probably make it again and vary it slightly.

I made up the shirt in a white spun viscose and added a random 4 inches to the shirt but actually could have got away with adding less.

And hey look, it’s another item of clothing in white!! Looks like I’m on a roll here… Anyone want to bet the colour of the next item I make? Funnily enough, I can tell you that it’s not that hard…


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A little Trip to Paris…

Last week sort of blew my mind. Going back to work this morning is going to be a crushing blow to reality… I just wish I had some more pictures to show you.


Last week I met some awesome people who love sewing just as much as I do, if not more and spent time doing what we’re good at – Shopping! So, I probably thought I’d been restrained, but hey, who am I kidding?

I shared a bijoux Paris apartment with crazy disco lighting and chandeliers in every room with the fabulous EmmieTillyLauren and Kelly.

I got to meet so many amazing sewcialists/spoolettes/awesome people in general: CarmenNicoleJoostRhiannonJulie JoLisaClare and Tania.

I always get really nervous meeting people who I don’t know and feel really awkward but people were so welcoming and lovely. Just another reason why I love sewing so much!


This trip would not have been possible if it were not for the extraordinary efforts of Carmen who organised personalised goody bags for us all and a discount at the Coupon Shop St Pierre. Plus Julie from Jolie Bobines who took us on a walking trip of Paris. And to Tilly, for if she hadn’t mentioned it to me, I wouldn’t have gatecrashed this trip in the first place!

Thank you to: Maison Sajou, Ma Petite Mercerie, Peace and Wool, La manufacture Bohin, maconettesquoy.com, Atelier Brunette and Coupon Shop St Pierre.

Then to top it all off, more sewing fun on Sunday at Tilly Towers with Tilly, Lauren, Emmie, Roisin, Jane and Karen.

Sunday Sew-in

A photo posted by Tilly Walnes (@tillybuttons) on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:41am PST

Wow, what an awesome week and I feel blessed that I met so many awesome people!

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