Each month the Modista newsletter brings you updates from around the sewing world, useful links and videos and exclusive discounts and offers from some fabulous indie brands. This month we have THREE brands to choose from so here I’m listing some of my favourite picks….
Dragonfly are one of my favourite UK online fabric stores for their range of fabrics, user friendly website (I love it when fabrics are really clearly organised by fabric content!) and customer service. Here’s some of my picks…
Ana from CocoWawa designs really fun, beautifully written sewing patterns that are available in Spanish and English. Here are a couple of my favourites!
Material Girl Laura
Laura stocks beautiful prints and especially nice jerseys in her online store. I’ve previously purchased her viscoses before which are gorgeous quality too. I really like these two picks from her newly added section…
All of these brands are offering exclusive discounts in this month’s Modista Newsletter – if you’ve missed out, don’t worry! You can still sign up and drop me a message on instagram to let me know, and I’ll send you this month’s codes.
Welcome to this month’s stop on the global sewing tour – Spain! One of my favourite countries, Spain in my opinion has it all. Gorgeous landscapes, delicious food, amazing culture and of course the FASHION.
Dressmaking in Spain, in my opinion, is perhaps not as mainstream as it is in the UK or France for example. Spain is a very crafty country and artisan crafts play a huge role in not only the culture but tourism as well – when I was a tour guide there, lace makers, jewellers and potteries were regular pitstops for us. There are also regular markets across most towns and cities in Spain – for example the Mercado de Motores in Madrid is a monthly craft market that features antiques as well as arts and crafts and of course El Rastro, one of the largest flea markets in Europe, is full of crafts and handmade items.
However when shopping for fabric and sewing patterns in Spain, you still tend to come across more traditional patterns and upholstery than perhaps the indie patterns and online stores we find in the UK. Crochet, on the other hand, is big business with lots of little yarn stores across the country, especially in Barcelona where yarn bombing is a regular occurence.
With that said, the sewing community in Spain is extremely active and producing some of the most gorgeous patterns and makes out there. A lot of Spanish styles feature classic silhouettes with a twist – maybe a dramatic sleeve or asymmetric hem, with bold colour blocking and the biggest sunglasses you can wear. On the other side of the style spectrum you’ll find a lot of ‘cute’ designs – ditsy florals, neon colours and fun prints.
In this blog post I’ve tried to summarise an introduction to the world of sewing in Spain with 5 pattern makers, 5 sewers, 5 fabric stores and 5 hashtags to follow. If you know other makers in Spain – particularly BIPOC
5 patterns to sew
Honeycomb dress by CocoWawa Crafts
Ana is from Spain and writes bilingual English/Spanish sewing patterns over at CocoWawa crafts, which have become extremely popular thanks to their gorgeous styles and really helpful instructions.
One of my favourites is the Honeycomb dress which features ties at the waist and a lovely neck. Ana is offering an exclusive discount code on her patterns in this month’s Modista newsletter, so sign up before the 31st to get your discounted pattern!
2. Jean Paul jumpsuit by Ready to Sew
Remember Ready to Sew from the French roundup? Their patterns are also available in Spanish! This is another of my favourite patterns of theirs, the Jean Paul Jumpsuit. This also has an optional add-on pattern you can purchase to add even more variations, one of my favourite things about Ready to Sew patterns.
3. Abrigo brunch by Nairamkitty
Marian offers sewalongs, sewing classes, packs and PDF patterns on her website. Her Youtube channel has over 200,000 followers and I really like this coat which can be made with scuba/neoprene material!
4. Lliria dress by Pauline Alice
The Lliria dress is one of my favourites at the moment and the only thing stopping me buying it is a self imposed ban on button down dresses which has gotten out of hand. Pauline is French but lives in Spain and her patterns are influenced by her life there.
5. Midi Ribbon Skirt by Making Patterns Fly
How gorgeous is this Midi ribbon skirt by Making Patterns Fly? I love the tie back detail and elasticated waist – I think it’s a really unusual skirt. Another bilingual pattern, this is available in Spanish and English.
5 sewists to follow
Sara makes beautiful garments but one make that caught my eye was this recent sanitary set – how can reusable sanitary towels be so cute? I never thought I’d plan these as gifts but these will be getting made up at Christmas…
2. Thirteen Buttons
Sara lives in Spain and is sharing her sewing journey on instagram. She is not only a great sewist but a really lovely person – case in point, she recently made Tessuti aprons for her in-laws’ florist business, how blooming nice of her!
Much like the rest of the sewing world, DIY underwear and lingerie is really popular at the moment in Spain and BiHarixto has a real talent for it. Check her page for more.
4. Lazos y apertas
I really like Ana’s style, both in sewing and on her feed. She recently tested the Megan Nielsen Opal pants and did a great job!
Lisa is Canadian sewing in Spain and her photos often feature beautiful Spanish landscapes and accessories….swoon!
5 Spanish fabric stores
Hard for me to choose just one from their grid – think unusual prints and soft cottons and a very satisfying insta feed
2. Tida Colores del Mundo
Based in El Escorial just outside Madrid, Tida Coly sells African fabrics, jewellery and more. I especially like the look of their Manjac fabrics which I haven’t seen in the UK so far…
Slow Taller means ‘slow workshop’ and intends to offer all supplies you need for slow fashion. Again you’ll find really bright and colourful prints here like this gorgeous french terry! They have also recently written a fab blog post on free kids wear patterns (a lot of them in English)
I lived in Spain on and off for 3 years, 6 months of it in Barcelona and I am kicking myself for not being into sewing when I was there so I could have visited Nunoya! This gorgeous store stocks a speciality range of Japanese fabrics including Nani Iro
Wow, just wow! When I laid out my target of £1500 during #memademay2020 for the sewing labels, I really thought I was pushing the realms of possibility a bit.
But here we are just halfway through #memademay and we’ve not only hit the target, we’ve SMASHED IT!
When I released my French labels on Friday there was a sudden rush of orders (thank you!) not just for them, but for the charity labels as well so suddenly we reached just over £1675!
When I went online to make the donation, I realised that Natwest have updated their commitment to match customer’s donations to the National Emergencies Trust. In the beginning I could only see the way donate via Natwest Rewards which I don’t use – but now they match cash donations!
I was delighted and, as with the previous donations, added Gift Aid to the donation which adds an additional 25% to your contribution.
So all in all, we have raised a whopping £2768 for the fund!!! Zut alors!!!
I want to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who has supported so far. Whether by making a purchase, sharing and promoting on your stories or by sending me a little motivational message, the momentum from the sewing community on this has been brilliant.
Hundreds of little envelopes have been sent all over the world in the last 5 weeks or so and it’s been brilliant to see how you’ve used them so please, keep sewing and don’t forget to tag @modistasewing in your makes and I’ll do a little happy dance here in Liverpool.
Did you know that ‘Modista’ means ‘tailor’ in Spanish? I chose this name to combine two of my favourite things – travel and sewing!
I’ve been really lucky to travel frequently with my job and for several years lived in between France and Spain, mostly Paris where I spent most of the time desperately wishing I could be as chic as the French women and browsing the fabric stores beside Montmartre and up in La Butte d’Or. I became (sort of) fluent in French and to this day love reading French sewing blogs, using French fabrics and listening to French podcasts.
I miss the world. A lot. Right now we can’t get out into the world too easily, but we can bring it to us by means of our fabrics, patterns, and now labels!
Introducing my latest label designs! I’ve been working on these for a while now and am SO pleased with how they turned out! I have used muted colours that to me conjure up summer in Paris and the joy of living there – colours that would match so many garments and bring a chic finishing touch to them.
Want to brush up on your French sewing phrases? Bien sûr!
Et voila …… and there you go! (usually used when something is finished)
salut chouchou……hi sweetheart/darling – but I actually chose this because chouchou also translates as scrunchie – this label is crying out to be put on one!
fait à la main ….handmade
très chic….very chic
DIY couture……DIY couture!
The labels are OEKO-TEX quality and come 5 labels to a pack. It’s important to me to be as sustainable as possible and to continue to give something back, so I do relatively small orders at a time, have used glassine bags for packaging (fully biodegradable!) and 5% of my profits from this label design will be donated to charity.
The weekend of 15-18th May I am running a giveaway for 3 winners to get a free label pack on my instagram page – if you would like to win, you just need to like the post, follow me and comment what #wip you would use the labels on!