Monthly Archives: October 2019

  • Wardrobe Staples: Boiler Suits, Jumpsuits and Dungarees


    Dungarees and jumpsuits have been 'on trend' for some time, and now the closely-related boilersuit has stepped into the limelight too. Although we are wary of the fickle world of fast fashion and make sure we think about our handmade garments as much as we would an off-the-peg purchase, a jumpsuit is a wonderful wardrobe staple and can be worn in so many ways, we are sure it would be a well-worn addition.

    An all-in-one is the epitome of an easy outfit, and utility-wear is by its very nature, hardworking and practical (once you learn to navigate the full-strip required to spend a penny!) But the choice of fabric can change the garment entirely - denim and chambray are good choices for an everyday neutral outfit, but washed linen will make a comfy and relaxed garment that could still be dressed up on occasions, fine wool or corduroy would make a lovely autumn/winter style, while a bold print or colour will transform it into a statement piece. And we haven't even got onto the onesies yet! Perhaps a controversial item in terms of popularity and usually available in faux fur, but a onesie made from organic cotton sweatshirt fabric or even brushed cotton flannel could make it very chic as well as cosy.

    If you are wanting to add a boiler suit to your wardrobe, then we highly recommend these three patterns: Simplicity 8907 (pictured middle left, made in green Sevenberry Twill) has large patch pockets and an elasticated waist, Merchant & Mills 'Thelma' (pictured middle right in Hunslet stretch denim) is a more traditional utilitarian overall fitted specifically for women. Alice & Co. 'The Intrepid Boiler Suit' (pictured left and right) can be made with many hacks and variations to suit your preference. Alice is a familiar face in our sewing school and she ran a weekend class this summer at Ray Stitch, teaching students how to make their own versions.


    The Simplicity 8970 Boiler Suit takes on a totally different feel when made up in patterned fabric - shown above in one of our new 'Fantasy' prints by Sally Kelly.

    We stock a wide range of patterns for dungarees, jumpsuits, rompers as well as boiler suits (and a onesie too!)

    from L-R top row: Closet Case 'Jenny Overalls', Sew House Seven 'Burnside Bibs', True Bias 'Yari Jumpsuit', Vogue V1645 'Misses Jumpsuit'

    L-R bottom row: Papercut Patterns 'Sierra Jumpsuit', Sew House Seven 'Burnside Bibs', Tilly & the Buttons 'Mila Dungarees', I Am Patterns 'Colibri Dungarees'

    * * *

    If you want to make a boiler suit under the supervision of our expert tutor and in a sociable friendly group, then this class on 8 February 2020 is for you. In one day session, you can make a new outfit which could be the perfect addition to your homemade wardrobe and our class will teach you a few more techniques to help with your future projects.

    As always, we are here to help advise on anything you need to get started, so if you'd like some help with choosing a pattern or the best fabric for your project then please get in touch or pop in. And if you have made an all-in-one recently then show us by tagging us in your Instagram or Facebook posts.

  • Ray Stitch Focus: Ruby Star Society

    It will come as no surprise to you that we love fabric and get very excited when new ranges come out. Some collections are understated, subtle and restrained... and others are not! When we saw the new collections from the Ruby Star Society we couldn't wait to share them with our customers - they are bright, bold and extremely brilliant. We are carrying Social & Spark, and Crescent & Brushed. Feast your eyes on these!

    All collections are printed on Ruby Star cotton, a lighter weight quilting (but still 100%) cotton with a beautifully soft feel and drape, which makes it perfectly suited for both quilting and garment sewing. We made the 'All Day Shirt' by Leisl & Co. using 'Good Morning Red' for a modern shirt with fabulous 60/70s vibe (and of course, we used the selvedges too!) This pairing just goes to show how a pattern can be totally transformed by using a particular fabric. We can imagine some wonderful dresses and skirts too, but admittedly, these aren't for the faint-hearted so if you want a more subtle way to use this collection, how about as a stunning winter coat lining?

    The story behind the Society is just as inspiring as the collections themselves. Ruby Star Society was formed when 5 textile designers came together to work collaboratively: Melody Miller, Alexia Abegg, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Kimberly Kight and Sarah Watts had all forged successful careers individually but found that together, they could use their talents to create something much bigger as a whole, than on their own. This philosophy is extended to us, the people who go on to use their fabrics to create things of our own, and therefore, the Society is for everyone to join and be part of a collective group. Founded in 2013 the five women wanted to build and hold a space for themselves, and each other, to feel free to experiment and dream as well as drive and get projects through to completion. They are very honest in describing the creative process and running a business as a flow, with ups and downs, but as a collective, they (and we) are stronger together. This community aspect is one of the greatest things about the sewing world.

    "The history of quilting is rich and beautiful: generations of women stitching together fabrics woven with memories, dreams, and secrets. But it’s also a story of companionship, connection between artists, and the powerful things that happen when you work hard to keep a skill alive and celebrate both all that it meant in the past and what it creates for the future."

    We love this analogy; it is something we strive for and can see happening too, both in the shop and the sewing school. (But happily, it's not just women getting involved.)

    If you want to know more about the Ruby Star Society, there is a short film on their website, as well as lots of information on each of the designers. Or if you want to increase the amount of colour on your daily Instagram feed then you can find them here. As always, we are thrilled when you show us what you have made so please tag us on your social media posts using #raystitch so we can share them and can keep the inspiration flowing.