Flo-Jo Boutique

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Shift Dress- Beginners Dressmaking Class

On Tuesday the 7th of June, at 6.30-8.30pm we start another Beginners Dressmaking Class at Flo-Jo Boutique, making Colette Patterns Laurel dress as it has proved to be a favourite amongst our makers!
With the Laurel dress pattern you will learn how to follow a sewing pattern, sew sleeves, bias binding, a facing around a neckline as well as inserting a concealed zip. Below are some pictures from the latest class finished dresses!
Ollie made a dress for his girlfriend in this lovely blue cherries cotton print from our shop with shortened sleeves and a neckline with facing.
This is Kate's first ever garment and she finished it beautifully with a red and white polkadot binding and matching pocket!
Kelly's retro inspired shift dress was also finished off with binding as well as done with two pockets and an altered neckline.

If you want to learn how to make your own shift dress you can sign on to the next class online here! Or pop in to the shop or give us a ring 0117 9041498!

Monday, 23 May 2016


Well it's been a long time coming but at last I put time aside to make my very own cowboy shirt, adapted into a very wearable dress, made out of some gorgeously soft light weight denim.
I bought this pattern over two years ago on Ebay and it has 5 great variations including one which has a button bib to protect the shirt from a 'steers horns'! I decided I didn't need this and chose Version E, though next time I think I will also add decorative plackets.

The instructions that came with the pattern were surprisingly good for a vintage pattern with fantastically clear diagrams. Having recently mastered welt pockets I thought it would be fun to challenge myself with these curved piped ones, but it was definitely worth doing a couple of practice runs before moving onto the real thing.

It was really important to follow the pattern's top tip and start with the bottom piping first, keeping the fabric as flat as possible as you sew the piping along the curved slash line to avoid gathering. If it is the first time you are doing a welt pocket you are very brave! I recommend watching a Youtube tutorial and practicing a conventional version first, before moving on.

I went a bit piping crazy, adding piping to the cuff and contrast stitching for extra detailing.
Pearly stud buttons were essential and I love the finished look they give.

The pattern came with a fantastic 'Cowboy Lore and Special Techniques' section, which amongst other things showed how to embroider arrowhead pocket reinforcements. I decided not to do this and give the shirt a more contemporary feel by just doing a bar tack either end. Also my embroidery skills need serious improving! I do have ideas of doing a Mexican tin art inspired embroidered design on the back of my next one but I guess we'll have to wait for another couple of years for that one...

How to sew welt pockets - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MOuOLkLqQM
Manuel's piped pockets - http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3834/video-manuels-piped-pockets

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Flo-Jo Boutique - Skirt in a Day Class

Today we had the "Sew a Skirt in a Day Class" in the Flo-Jo work shop. We had two lovely makers booked in, despite the very tempting sunshine!
Ready to make their very first garment, they both chose a cotton print each to work with. If you are looking for spring summed up in a skirt they'll look something like this!

Two very concentrated sewers. They both chose to make a pleated skirt with a 5 cm wide waistband and concealed zip down the centre back seam.


Look at the work on this concealed zip, it's perfectly sewn. For a first zip ever, that is very impressive!

Waistband in place, time for a button and buttonhole.

After a couple of fittings, adjustments and a hem; Two beautiful handmade skirts, in one day!

Friday, 13 May 2016

How to Make Knickers!

Here's a little film we made to promote our new book KNICKERS!
It was lots of fun to make and we hope you enjoy...
The perfect visual guide to making up our cotton knicker kits.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Sewing Tips - Machine needles.

Machine Needles.

Most machine needle all look much the same and all modern machines use the same type however there are differences in thickness and the tip types that work with different types of fabric.

Machine needles are numbered, in either metric/ European or imperial / American,  of course we /U.K. use a bit of each! Most packets have both numbers on but some don't!

European size   60  65  70  75  80  90  100  110  120
American size   8     9  10  11  12  14   16     18   19

The higher the number the thicker, heavier the fabric your working with.  The lower the number the finer the fabric.
Most mid weight fabrics, cottons, are best with a 80/12  or  90/14
The finer the needle the harder it is to thread as the hole seems to get very small, be warned those of you just approaching the needing glasses age!

If your needle is too fine it can cause the thread to shred, and could lead to the machine jamming. Back to the dreaded bunching up!

All machine needles have a flat edge to the round of the shaft. This has to be inserted into the machine towards the back.

Some needles are Universal which means they should go through different types of fabric, like jersey, knits and wovens. However to get best results when using different fabrics I advise to change the needle. Here is a list of some of the different types you can buy.
  • Ballpoint needles are made especially for knits
  • Sharps  are for very tightly woven fabrics
  • Denim  
  • Leather
  • Stretch   for microfibers and fabric with high spandex content/swimwear
  • Twin needle for stretch fabrics this creates a very professional look and really works well.
Always test your stitching and if the threads are not looking good and you've checked everything else it could be the needle is old and blunt. It's worth changing them every now and again to get the best results when sewing.

About Me

My photo
Bristol, United Kingdom
Flo-jo Boutique is the creative baby of Delia and Erika two seamstresses from Bristol specialising in lingerie and vintage styled garments. Designers of sewing kits and creators of sewing parties their shop in Bristol and online shop are home to a gorgeous range of quality fabrics and haberdahsery, craft kits, books and handmade gifts.