Tales of a Manchester based Sewing Shop

Author: Kate Dicey

Kate Dicey – Dressmaker, Costume Maker, Tailoress

Kate Dicey – Dressmaker, Costume Maker, Tailoress

I’ve been sewing now for 48 years. It doesn’t feel like that long, and yes, I started young! I started making dolls clothes, put my first zip in a skirt for myself when I was seven, using my mothers Singer 66K, and for many years I was a hobby sewist, fitting projects in round teaching, […]

vintage sewing

Taking Measurements

There is a proper way to take measurements to give the best fit when making a garment. You should keep an accurate record of all your measurements, and check them each time you start to prepare a new pattern. The following notes should help you to take an accurate set of measurements. There are no […]

vintage dress sizes

Vintage Size Charts

Vintage Pattern Sizes Size: Measurement 1940’s 1970’s 1990’s 12 bust 30″/76.5cm 34″/86.5cm 34″/86.5cm 12 waist 25″/63.5cm 25 1/2″/ 65cm 26 1/2″/67.5cm 12 hip 33″/84cm 36″/91.5cm 36″/91.5cm 14 bust 32″/81.5cm 36″/91.5cm 36″/91.5cm 14 waist 26″/66cm 27″/68.5cm 28″/71cm 14 hip 35″/89cm 38″/96.5cm 38″/96.5cm 16 bust 34″/86.5cm 38″/96.5cm 38″/96.5cm 16 waist 28″/71cm 29″/74cm 30″/76.5cm 16 hip 37″/94cm 40″/101.5cm […]

Basic Seam Types

Basic Seam Types

There are a number of different types of seams that have been developed over the years to do different jobs. While many have largely been superseded by the development of machine stitches that finish as you sew them, and by the development of the overlocker (or ‘serger’ in some parts of the world), it is […]

Dressmaking Equipment List

Dressmaking Equipment List

The following is a list of sewing equipment divided into two sections. The first will be difficult to do without, and the second part is stuff that is useful, but not essential. Essential Dressmaking Equipment Sewing machine: This does not have to be full of the latest electronic gadgets! The ability to do zigzag stitching […]

Glossary of Sewing Terms

Glossary of Sewing Terms

Arm Scye: The arm hole of a garment, where the sleeve is attached Basting: Temporary stitches to keep the garment together for fitting. These are usually hand sewn lines of stitching, made with a running stitch about ½” or 1.5 cm in length. Binding: This is a narrow strip of fabric or tape used to […]

Blind Hemming Explained

Blind Hemming Explained

At various points I have been asked to explain how the blind hem stitch on a machine works, what this particular symbol meant, and what you need to do to get a good blind hem out of an ordinary sewing machine. Well, here’s the final explanation in words and pictures! On your sewing machine you […]

Facings & Understitching Lesson

Facings & Understitching Lesson

Facings and understitching are quite easy when you get the hang of them. They just take a little care, as they are usually on curved openings like neck and arm holes. Please note that copyright of all photographs, pictures and text are the property of CJ Dicey MA and may not be copied or used […]

How to Put a Lining in a Childs Frock

How to Put a Lining in a Childs Frock

This page was written in response to a call for help from a member of The Sewing Forum, and some of this information will also be there. The sample garment is a lined child’s frock with lined sleeves. The fabric is the pink print poly-cotton, and the lining is the plain polyester habotai. We start […]

Making seams in sheer fabrics

Making seams in sheer fabrics

I’ve been making seams in sheer fabrics for a long time, but everywhere I look, the methods touted for doing this seem to be old fashioned and rather clumsy, as well as having little strength in use. Here are some ideas to make a success of durable seams in sheer fabrics. These seams are worked […]