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Calico Laine News

  • Berisford Ribbons - making your own wedding accessories.

    So your getting married and you're absolutely overjoyed and filled with excitement. Everyone loves a good wedding and there's nothing more satisfying than planning and personalising your big day. Lets be honest though, wedding are not cheap and the list of expenditures can be endless. Personally I'm a big fan of doing a lot of the preparation myself, in doing so you'll save a fortune and you'll also have a unique wedding unlike others which your guests will remember. There's one key ingredient that I believe is essential to creating your big day, that is Berisfords Ribbons. This company does a fantastic range, they are very reasonably priced and incredibly versatile.

    Once you've set a date and chosen your location the next thing to do is let everyone know! Having personalised invites made can cut a huge chunk out of your budget. Invitations are actually incredibly easy to make with the help of some fabulous Berisfords ribbons. A strip of coloured satin or an organza bow will bring the most basic designs to life. If you're a beginner to card making or paper crafts then don't be deterred, a lot of the best designs are the simplest and easiest to make. Less is more. Pinterest and Google is full of inspiring ideas. Not only will making your own invites save you money but you can also personalised them and by adding a glimpse of colour with some Berisford ribbon you're also giving your guests a sneak preview of what's in store on the big day.

    Berisfords ribbons are so versatile, they are ideal for decorating table settings, adding colour and texture to bouquets, they make stunning sashes to name just a few. Berisford Ribbons are also perfect for creating the theme you're trying to achieve. There's a few themes which are particularly popular at the moment, the vintage look for instance is timeless and classy. There's a gorgeous range of velvet Berisford ribbons which are ideal here combined with some pretty antique coloured satin ribbon and pearls. The rustic look is also very popular. Berisfords ribbons do a range of coloured strings  which looks lovely wrapped around jam jars filled with sweets or flowers. They also do a wonderful rustic grosgrain ribbon which is ideal for home made bunting.

    Whether you're making invitations, a seat plan, table decorations or thank you cards there's a Berisford ribbon to help make your project look booth professional and personal. There's a lot to be said for making your own wedding accessories, not only will they save you an absolute fortune but they will also be totally unique.

  • Berisfords Ribbons for School Uniforms

    This week, parents across Wirral have been allocated schools for their little ones in September. This means that it won't be long before they have to go and get their very first school uniform; something that we see a lot of on facebook in September when the kids are going to school for their first day. Many customers in our Liscard store like to accessorise their children's school uniforms with Berisfords Ribbons. We have a number of customers who like to use these ribbons to add detail to girls summer socks and we are often inundated during the school holiday with parents buying Ribbons to make hair bows ready for the first day of school.

    In the past few months, JoJo bows have become particularly popular with little girls. They are a range of large decorative bows created by American teen sensation JoJo Siwa and come in a range of colours and patterns which can be used to decorate a high ponytail hairstyle. The price range of these bows are around £8 -£12 with some of the more elaborate styles on eBay selling for £20. This can become quite costly if you have a few girls in the family or if you are simply wanting a few different bows for different days of the week. By making your own JoJo bows, instead of buying the branded version, you can save yourself a lot of money. One ribbon that works well for making these type of bows is the grosgrain Berisfords Ribbons. JoJo bows are usually made from a wide ribbon and the 40mm grosgrain Ribbon is ideal for this. Grosgrain ribbon is also particularly useful for this type of accessory as it has a little more body to it than a lighter weight satin ribbon and therefore can be used to construct a bow that will stand up a little more. To make the bows hold their shape, you can also use a lightweight wire to them.

    If you do not want to make something as big as a JoJo bow to go in your child's hair, we have plenty of Berisfords Ribbons to choose from to make small bows to tie pigtails or a ponytail. In the spring and summer term, lots of girls change into their summer dresses for school and we have gingham ribbon that would match perfectly for most school colour schemes. As well as using this ribbon for hair accessories, it can be used to make bows to go onto school socks.

  • Bridal Fabrics for the Beach

    It is becoming more and more popular to get away and have your big day on an exotic beach somewhere with all your family and friends there to watch. When choosing a location to have your wedding you have to think about all aspects as the change in climate can affect the theme you want. Its difficult to shop for a bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses in this country when you are having your day overseas as a lot of bridal shops within the UK tend to cater for the english weather which means the dresses are very layered which may not be the most suitable design for hot temperatures.

    This is why when having your wedding abroad its a great idea to create your own style of dresses by choosing the fabrics you want which are also suitable for the weather conditions. Here at calico laine we have a wide range of Bridal Fabrics that are the perfect choice for beach weddings and will keep you cool throughout the day. Some of our lighter Bridal Fabrics include satin, chiffon and lace which are very lightweight and flowing fabrics that also work well as an overlay so you can still have layers within your dress just less bulky perfect for the warm weather.

    Lilac Satin Back Crepe Fabric Lilac Satin Back Crepe Fabric

    Our chiffon and lace Bridal Fabrics are best to be placed over other light fabrics like satin to create a stunning feminine look with a beautiful flow and drape. These materials are available in a wide variety of colours including traditional white and ivory bridal colours as well as pretty summery shades such as pink, lilac and turquoise that are the perfect tones for a beach wedding. Our lighter satin Bridal Fabrics are also available in a wide variety of colours as well as different designs such as satin back crepe, satin back dupion and silky satin fabrics which are the best for creating that summery wedding look on your big day. Putting a lighter weight satin with a chiffon or lace over the top to create a more gathered look gives that perfect bridesmaid style for your summer wedding. If you are thinking about a beach wedding I would definitely recommend creating your own style of dresses for your big day to make sure your comfortable, not too hot and still look beautiful with the perfect colour scheme you have always wanted.

  • Using Bridal Fabrics to reduce the cost of your wedding

    According to statistics in September 2016, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £20,000. This is a great deal of money and one that a lot of people can't afford to spend but most people do not want to compromise on their dream wedding and therefore have to come up with ideas to reduce costs. One way to save a little bit of money on your big day would be to have your bridesmaids and wedding dress made instead of bought off the rack. Using Bridal Fabrics from our selection at Calico Laine, you can either make the dresses yourself or have them professionally made. Although it sounds like having a dress made especially for you by a dressmaker would be costly, it can actually work out much cheaper than paying for a designer wedding dress.

    On average, brides spend around £375 on bridesmaid dresses and a whopping £2,000 on a wedding gown. This can seem a little excessive for one day, even if it is something you may have been dreaming of since you were a little girl! By finding a good dressmaker and a pattern you like, bridesmaid dresses and your own wedding dress can be made at a fraction of the cost. There are a number of Bridal Fabrics to choose from including the traditional duchess satin, satin back crepe, satin back dupion, chiffon, georgette and lace. No matter what style is suited to you, there will be a Bridal Fabric available at Calico Laine.

    One of our most popular Bridal Fabrics for bridesmaid dresses is cationic chiffon. With a large range of colours to choose from, there is likely to be a colour to match or tone in with the colour theme you have chosen for your wedding. Three years ago, my sister and brother-in-law got married in Cyprus and myself and two other bridesmaids wore turquoise cationic chiffon dresses. These were pleated across the waist and had a polyester/spandex lining. They were perfect for a beach wedding and as they were made especially for us, they were unique as well as being cost effective compared to dresses that were in bridal or department stores. The cost of the fabric for each dress was around £30 which even when you add the cost of the dressmakers fees on top, was much cheaper than anything that we could have bought in a dress shop.

    Since the royal wedding in 2011, lace has been a particularly sought after Bridal Fabric. Lace dresses in the bridal boutiques can be expensive however if you buy lace and use this as an overlay to a plainer dress, you can achieve a stunning effect without the cost. At Calico Laine, we offer a large selection of corded lace Bridal Fabrics which would be perfect for creating this look. By adding some beads on top of the lace, you can add a bit of sparkle to your dress to make it stand out and most people would never know that you didn't have a designer dress on!

  • Concealed Dress Zips Online for Dressmaking

    A dressmaking technique that is quite difficult to master is inserting a zip into a garment for an opening. It may be easy to avoid putting a zip in if you are not confident in the technique by using press fasteners, hook and bars and even hook and loop tape however with a little practice you should be able to conquer the task. Dress zips give your garments a neat finish and if you are feeling even more adventurous you may even want to tackle putting in a concealed zip, also known as an invisible zip. At Calico Laine, we sell a huge range of Zips Online so there is no excuse not to give it a go.

    There are around 40 different colours to choose from in our range of concealed Zips Online which are available in sizes 8", 9", 16" and 22". These are made by Opti and are made to the same British standards as YKK zips so you can be assured that after all the effort of putting the zip in, it is going to last. Concealed zips are preferable to many due to the overall aesthetic it creates as it gives a more professional finish to your garment. It is also preferable for many when you cannot find an exact colour match to your fabric as when correctly inserted, you should only see the top of the zip pull.

    After buying your Zips Online, it will come to the time to be brave and attempt to put in your concealed zip. It is important to concentrate while you are doing this otherwise you could be unpicking it if it all goes a bit wrong! To begin with, you would ideally need to iron the zip so that the underside of the zip lies flat enabling you to get close to the teeth of the zip when you are sewing it on the machine.

    The next step is to mark your seam allowance by sewing a line where your zip will be seam. The best thing at this point is to sew this before you have sewn your seams up. This will give you a guide to where your zipper teeth will sit. To sew the zip in, you will require a zipper foot for your machine.

    Ordinary dress zips are sewn in a closed position however concealed zips are sewn in an open position. Line up the right side of your zip to the right side of your fabric and ensure that the teeth are sat a little bit over the seam line that you marked earlier. After this, pin the zip and tack it into place to make sure that It does not move when you begin to sew.

    Using a long machine stitch to position the zip first, sew the zip to the fabric as close to the edge of the teeth as possible. Once you are happy with the positioning of the zip, you can then sew into place using a regular running stitch to make sure that it is secure. After this, sew the seam of your garment from the bottom hem upwards. When you reach the bottom of the zip, pull it inside and continue sewing up until you reach where you stopped sewing the zip which will close the seam fully. To give the garment a neater finish, you can sew the along the seam allowance on the other side of the zip and in theory, you should now have a neat invisible zip in your garment!

    If you are having trouble buying Zips Online, cannot find what you need or simply need some advice, we are always happy to help. Get in touch with us online or over the phone and we will do our best to assist you.

  • Rose and Hubble Dressmaking Fabrics

    We have a huge selection of Dressmaking Fabrics at Calico Laine, from satin to voile, gingham to corduroy but one of our biggest ranges is our cotton prints which includes many gorgeous prints from the renowned Rose and Hubble. Rose and Hubble manufacture printed cotton fabric, usually in a width of 112cm, which vary in patterns from floral designs to children's prints with animals on. There is always a bit of a buzz in the warehouse when we are expecting a new delivery of these Dressmaking Fabrics as we get excited to see what new prints have arrived and this week we have had a new delivery which has now been added to our selection online.

    Rose and Hubble Dressmaking Fabrics are high quality 100% cotton fabrics and are great for creating a number of things. They are ideal for making children's clothes, ladies skirts, shirts and dresses as well as making ties for gentlemen and even little shirts for boys. These Fabrics are easy to work with as they are a good weight and not too slippery on the machine and with a good pair of scissors they are easy to cut too. The colours on the prints are colour fast and as they are cotton, they wash well in the washing machine which is especially important if you are using them to make children's garments.

    As well as using them for creating clothing, they can also be used for soft furnishing such as cushions and decorative tablecloths. As well as many floral prints in the Rose and Hubble Dressmaking Fabrics range, there are a number of polka dot prints which are always very popular and many of our customers like to use these for their soft furnishings around the home. Even though, these fabrics are not traditionally a curtain material, when they are backed with a black out lining or curtain lining, you can use them to make lightweight curtains for the kitchen or a child's bedroom. Last week, one of our sales staff did this for her own little girl's bedroom!

    Alternatively, you can use these Dressmaking Fabrics for quilting and many of our customers are already using them for this craft. Quilters prefer to use 100% cotton fabric for quilting as they are usually a better quality than polycotton and will last longer if they are being passed down through the family as an heirloom. With so many prints to choose from and many different colours you could create numerous different quilt patterns; one for each member of the family if you are feeling particularly creative!

  • Haberdashery: Fabric Repairs

    Our range of fabric repairs is one of the main sections with our Haberdashery range at calico laine. We have recently had a range of new fabric repairs come in store and online which are big sellers so we decided to spruce up this section in our neston store with a wall dedicated to all our different fabric repairs that includes a variety of different material patches that are all perfect for repairing existing garments or creating brand new looks on new clothing items or accessories. Some of the fabric patches include denim patches, leather patches, faux suede patches and many more that can be matched to your diffrent projects.

    Beige Nylon Repair Tape Beige Nylon Repair Tape

    All the patches we have available are either iron on or sew on depending what you prefer or what is easier for the purpose you are using it for. All the repairs come with full instructions available so you have an easy step by step on how to apply these without damaging any of your existing items. Fabric repairs are found underneath our Haberdashery section online with images, descriptions and prices given so you can be sure you choose the one you need for your project. Some of the new products recently added to this section includes the nylon repair tape that is available in 6 different colours and are £2.99 each. The nylon flick and fertig repair tape is simple and easy to use with a self adhesive backing that is often used to repair waterproof items such as clothing, tents and umbrellas. This tape covers over any tears or holes within a fabric and gives full instructions on how to use it. Another new repair is the nylon self adhesive patches which come in 5 brighter shades and are also £2.99 each. These patches are 10cm x 20cm and are ideal for using on nylon fabrics for repairing garments such as jackets, trousers and leisure wear clothing.

    Within our Haberdashery fabric repairs section we also have a variety of other items such as leather attaching pads, trouser pockets and textile repair powder which is used for repairs without the need to sew or attach anything to your items. The fabric patches within this section however seem to be the most popular choice with our customer as they are all easy to use and come in a range of different compositions, materials and colours to make it easier for them to choose what they need. All our fabric repairs are sold in both stores and online if you want to take a look at the range we have to offer.

  • Zips Online

    Zips were developed in 1893 in Chicago by a man called  Whitcomb Judson, the idea was initially just a more advanced version of a continuous shoe hook and eye which was named a 'clasp locker'. This new prototype received little interest from the commercial world at the Chicago World Fair. Judson was not deterred and over the following years he carried on developing his idea. With in 20 years Judson and his Swedish colleague Gideon Sundback had secured deals with a large American based boot making company. This was soon followed by a tobacco company using zips on their pouches. By 1923 clasp lockers had been rebranded and renamed Zipper pulls, with this came the development of the first children's clothing lines containing zips fastenings. Today you can easily buy zips online or in any basic haberdashery shop. Zips are widely used and many everyday items and are readily available.

    We see zips everywhere these days, they are in clothing garments, hand bags, tents and boots to name a few. They are a cheap and effective option which are readily available. Here at Calico Laine we offer a fantastic range, you can buy our zips online or in either of our 2 shops. Zips are a great option when creating your own clothes or revamping an old garments. Although zips are great option when creating a fastening, there are several different types so be sure to buy the right zip online or in store.

    One of the most common kinds of zips are the ordinary dress zips, they are ideal for pockets, trousers and skirts as well as dresses. They are sealed at the bottom so they do not separate. If you're looking for a less obvious zip then you can also buy a concealed one.  These almost look like they're back to front and are completely invisible once in. Here at Calico Laine we have a fantastic colour range in both the ordinary dress zips and the concealed ones. You can view all our zips online.

    The other common zip we sell is the open ended ones, these are used on coats and jackets. They separate at the bottom so you are able to get your garment on and off. Open ended zips come in several styles. You can get plastic zips which are chunky and ideal in large heavy coats, we also do a nylon range which are a lighter weight. We also do reversible zips and two way zips. All of which are available in a fabulous range of colours. If you're not 100% of what you need then have a look at our zips online to familiarise yourself with what's out there.

  • Dressmaking Fabric - Beginners Guide

    If you're new to the world of Dressmaking it can be a bit of a daunting task choosing the right dressmaking fabric for your project. Here are a few tips to guide you through the maze to your perfect dress.

    Beginners guide to Dressmaking Fabric

    The Dressmaking Fabrics you'll be looking at will either be woven or knitted, and range from fabrics made from animal fibres like wool/silk, plant fibres such as cotton/linen or man-made fibres like nylon. You'll find that knitted fabrics are far more stretchy than woven ones.

    Here is a brief list to help you decide what fabric you may need:

    • Cotton – This is the most adaptable fabric. Cotton comes in many different weights from light-weight to heavy canvas. It can be used for a wide variety of things such as often shirts, skirts, trousers, jeans and bags. Fabrics such as denim, moleskin and corduroy are generally made from cotton. Prices can vary but most cottons are very affordable especially for dressmaking.
    • Cotton jersey/knit – Knitted by machine from fine cotton thread this is what most t-shirts are made of. It’s stretchy and comfortable to wear, but a bit more difficult to work with.
      • Linen – Woven linen is pleasantly easy to sew with and comes in a wide range of of weights. It can tend to crease and is generally blended with cotton. Its main use is in making summer clothes. Linen does tend to be quite expensive.
      • Polyester and polycotton – This is a synthetic woven fabric. Polyester is generally light-weight and crease resistant. Polycottons are a blend of polyester and cotton. These fabrics are very affordable and fantastic for beginners to dressmaking.
    • Silk – A dressmaking fabric with a beautiful sheen to it. Very slippery, this woven fabric is often used for luxurious blouses and dresses. Silk can be quite expensive and is also very difficult to sew with.
    • Wool – Comes knitted or woven. Woollen fabrics are often made into suits, coats as well as posh skirts and trousers. Its fairly expensive and tends to need dry cleaning.

    The best Dressmaking Fabrics for beginners

    When you are a beginner it’s always a good idea to buy dressmaking fabric that is easy to sew and not too expensive. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, everyone ends up ruining some fabric at some point! To make the job as easy as possible look for:

    • Woven fabrics that will not slip or stretch too much when you sew it. This really means choosing cotton, linen or a cotton-linen blend. Avoid silk, rayon, shiny polyester and  jersey and other knitted fabrics.
    • Plain colours or small prints will allow you to piece your dress together without having to worry about an exact pattern match. Avoid stripes, checks and big patterns for the moment as they are more difficult to lay out.
    • Light- to medium-weight Dressmaking Fabrics. It's best to wait until you have more experience to tackle heavy-weight fabrics like denim as they are harder to manipulate. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of bumpy or ridged fabrics like corduroy for your first attempt at sewing.
  • Berisfords Ribbons

    Our Berisfords Ribbons are a constant top seller here at calico laine due to their excellent quality, variety of colours and pretty designs that catch everyones eyes. Berisfords Ribbons are a well known brand of ribbons that customers always ask for when shopping here, so us as a team make sure we stock all ranges including satin ribbon, grosgrain ribbon and chiffon ribbon as well as the popular printed ribbons that all customers love.

    Berisfords Ribbons are also great for different occasions whether its craft projects you are creating or presents you are gift wrapping, our ribbons are perfect for doing just that. We stock birthday, christmas, christening and many more different occasional ribbons that are available in a large range of designs, colours and sizes that can be sold by the metre or full rolls if you are needing a larger amount for certain projects. With easter on its way its the perfect time for creating pretty craft pieces with the children and our Berisfords Ribbons will be the perfect additional to your projects.

    Pink Satin Berisfords Ribbon Pink Satin Berisfords Ribbon

    The most popular and best seller out of our range of Berisfords Ribbons has to be the plain satin ribbons which are constantly sold both online and in store. These ribbons are available in a large selection of colours with over 60 shades available to choose from which can all be purchased by the metre or full rolls of around 20-30 metres. These satin ribbons are the ideal choice for creating stunning eye-catching decorative pieces for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings as they make up into beautiful accessories for your chair and table decorations and can also add a unique touch of glamour to your party invitations. As well as decorative purposes these plain satin ribbons are perfect for hair accessories especially for children were you can create pretty hair bows in a variety of colours. Satin Ribbons by Berisfords can also be bought in a bulk roll of 50-100 metres ideal for larger craft projects or a large quantity of table and chair decor you are needing for a party.

    If you are wanting a plain ribbon with a unique touch our Bersifords Ribbons are also available with glitter edges that add a touch of glamour or in different materials to create a whole new look for your project. Why not take a look at our variety of Berisfords Ribbons and start a new project using these great quality ribbons especially for over the children's holidays when you are looking for projects to start with them. All our ribbons are available to purchase both in store and online.

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