Alice Trousers Pattern Launch


This week we’ve got another lovely treat for you – the launch of yet another Emporia pattern! Just in time for all the lovely summer weather we’ve been having and only a few weeks before the school holidays, we’re proud to announce the arrival of the Alice trousers.

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These fabulous loose fitting summer trousers are the perfect thing for keeping cool out in the sunshine, whether you are taking the kids to school, having a day out at the beach or heading off to dinner with friends – dress them up, dress them down, wear them with wedge sandals or flip flops, they are destined to become your wardrobe’s best friend.

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Choose light and floaty lawn or viscose, or go with casual cotton or poplin to make a pair of these stylish yet comfy trousers. We love the big, bright and bold prints, but they look equally good in ditsy flowers or plain fabric. This bright funky orange elephant print looks gorgeous and so summery. Or what about these lovely yellow, bold and bright floral – very sophisticated and perfect for dressing up for a night out.

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The pattern comes in sizes 8 – 20 and is super easy to make; the ideal introduction to sewing trousers if you’ve never made any before, the Alice is another simple pattern to follow, with clear, concise instructions and illustrations. Using only six pattern pieces, you can make the Alice trousers in just a couple of hours – there are no closures or zips, an elasticated waistband and ankles, and cut-away pockets, all of which are nice and easy to construct. Alternatively you can leave the ankles straight and make them without pockets if you prefer – even easier and quicker!

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The Alice trousers pattern is available in store now priced £12.00. For more information on the pattern or to see some ready-made examples of the trousers, pop in and see us for a chat, alternatively you can give us a ring on 01233 612278.



Not sure you can make the trousers yourself? We are running Alice trouser classes (£85.00) on these dates:

10.30am – 3pm Monday 22nd May
10.30am – 3pm Wednesday 21st June
10.30am – 3pm Friday 28th July
10.30am – 3pm Saturday 26th August
10.30am – 3pm Thursday 21st September
10.30am – 3pm Tuesday 21st October
10.30am – 3pm Friday 24th November
10.30am – 3pm Wednesday 6th December


Summer Sewing


Summer is finally here! We’ve all been enjoying the warm weather and sunny days of late – picnics in the park, days the beach, barbecues in the garden and days out in the sunshine with friends – but the higher than usual temperatures have left us feeling a little bereft in the wardrobe department. And because of the utterly insane way the fashion and retail industries work, if you didn’t buy your summer clothes back in April when it still felt like it might snow any second, you can either now grab something in the sale (if you can find your size) or you simply have to work with what you’ve got. Unless, that is, you can sew …

This week, we’ve pulled together a few select patterns and fabrics to help inspire you to get cracking with some super duper summer sewing. Don’t allow yourself to be dictated to by what’s in the shops – make up your own mind what you want to wear and just how you want to look! From basic shapes to free flowing garments to help you stay cool, this little lot should be enough to get you started.


Agnes T Shirt by Tilly & The Buttons
T shirts are a staple in everyone’s wardrobes throughout the year, as they go with just about everything. Try out Tilly’s super stylish and easy pattern for creating a t shirt on a standard sewing machine – no need for an overlocker! – and you’ll be churning out all kinds of different variations in no time. We love a traditional stripe, be it in bright pink or more sophisticated navy.


Simple Gathered Waist Skirt
Super easy and super fast, these instructions for making your own gathered skirt should see you through the hot weather and into the autumn; go crazy with loads of extra width to make a very full, floaty skirt, or keep your costs down with a relatively slimline version. And while you’re at it, make one for a friend or your daughter – when something is this easy to sew, you’ll want to make more. We love a big print like these big flowers making a stark contrast to the black background, or bright summery yellow florals with pretty blue and coral touches.


Doris Dress by Sew Over It
The latest release from the Sew Over It gang, the Doris is a lovely floaty number, that looks equally good as a mini or midi length. Featuring pretty decorative buttons and a tie waist, it’s lack of sleeves and wide skirt will keep you cool as the proverbial cucumber as you walk round the park or sip on a cocktail at the bar. In keeping with the SOI vintage style, we’ve gone for these amazing giant spots in vibrant green and teal to complete the look.


Loose Summer Trousers
Summer can sometimes make you feel particularly lazy, especially when it’s hot, so what better than pulling on a pair of trousers that feel just like pyjama bottoms? Loose summer trousers and pj bottoms share many of the same construction elements, so we’ve found you a good pyjama tutorial that you can simple adapt, depending on your taste. Elasticated waists, loose legs and cinched ankles – really simple to create and look very hippy chic when worn with a bright vest and gladiator sandals. Simply follow the tutorial and instead of hemming your trousers at the ankle, simply elasticate them instead to recreate that jogger look you see in the shops. Go for a big funky print like our fabulous Indian style tigers or some seriously bright geometric patterns, like this turquoise art deco pattern.


Floaty Dress by Threadcount
Featuring a flattering neckline, floaty skirt and an elasticated waist, this dress is just perfect for pulling on over a bikini at the beach or for heading out for an evening meal on a balmy summer evening. Easy to make and quick too, you can add this one to your holiday packing for sure. We’ve chosen a cool white cotton with bright coloured flowers, and a fantastic indigo ikat print for a more casual look.


Beach Bag
If you haven’t made it to the beach yet this holiday, then now is the time to make plans! But before you start cramming your flip flops and sun cream into your handbag, take an hour or two to make this fabulous beach bag so you have plenty of room to take all your beach stuff with you. Super bright flowers are a funky choice, or you could go more traditional with a cool nautical anchor themed version.

New Collections from Makower


A very exciting couple of parcels arrived at the shop this week, containing our very first proper delivery of new fabrics for 2016. Following on from our visit to a very chilly Henley back in November, we were thrilled to rip open the packing tape and get our hands on some of the brand new collections that we order a couple of months ago; some of them may seem a little summery for this wintry weather we’re having right now, but there’s nothing like looking forward to spring and warmer days to inspire you for your first makes of the year.


Including a gorgeous range of ever popular nautical designs, fresh spring colours, funky new polka dots and Scandi style florals, we’re sure there are plenty of prints here that will spark your sewing imaginations.


We simply cannot get enough of the beautiful seaside and nautical inspired collection: sea shells, star fish, beach huts, sail boats, signal flags and life belts, all come together in bright red, soft blues and greys, French navy and linen cream to create these luscious designs. Alongside the standard prints, there are also pre-printed bunting outlines and a panel of beach huts, which are just perfect for super easy and quick makes.


Clair has already created this lovely lap quilt, backed with the pretty star fish in navy and cream.


Already thinking about jetting off to foreign climes for a little hot weather break? Take a look at the vacation collection for some holiday inspiration – vintage style illustrations of mopeds, sunglasses, passports and stylish ladies are all printed in sunny greens, corals and blues, with hints of red and orange. The airmail stamps are the ideal extra to add to this quirky mix.


More spring colours and cute designs come courtesy of the rabbits and pandas in pink and green; pair them with their matching pixel square prints for a gorgeous, fresh take on baby quilts and clothing for little people.


These amazing Scandinavian style big print floral designs and their leaf counterparts are just crying out to be used in all sorts of creative ways. Little girls dresses, bags, culottes, funky quilts, cushions, bunting – the list just goes on and on. We can’t wait to see what you lot come up with for these prints.


The final new collection is a fabulous range of giant polka dots which will blend with all the other new collections is just the icing on the cake. Take a look at all these beautiful colours and we are sure you’ll instantly fall in love with at least three of them.

And if you’re on the look out for some more wintry style fabrics, fear not – our long awaited selection of brushed cottons are on the way soon! Perfect for using in our pyjama bottoms workshops on Saturday 30th January, these will be making a big impact on the shop, so keep your eyes peeled for news of more exciting deliveries!

Feeling Nautical


With only two more weeks until the school holidays hit and the weather continuing (most of the time) to be warm, sunny and properly summery, it’s only natural that we start to get more and more distracted by thoughts of the seaside. Ice creams, crashing waves, circling seagulls in the sky, and the distant sight of boats on the horizon – nothing feels more like a proper British summer than a day at the beach, whether you prefer a pebbly walk or sand between your toes. So with that in mind we thought we would share with you some brand new nautical arrivals to get you in the mood for a little seaside sewing.

Go old school with your nautical as these dinky little anchors and lifebelts come in patriotic red and blue with white accents.


Simple paper boats come in the same retro style colour scheme, perfect for making shorts for little ones, or bigger ones. Imagines striding through the sand or jumping waves wearing these seaside inspired prints!


Other nautical designs we’ve still got in stock, include these lovely little bucket and spade wielding children – gorgeous for a beach bag or some summery curtains.



How about these simple and serene sail boats? There’s only a small amount left, if you want to get your hands on this, let us know asap!



Bright multi coloured birds evoke the feel of the seaside perfectly – all you need know is some fish and chips to go with it.


Plenty more new arrivals are heading to the shop in the coming weeks, so do pop by and visit us to see what’s just been delivered.

STOP PRESS! We have a very exciting announcement due next week, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground to find out just what Emporia has been secretly getting up to … We can’t wait to let you in on the big news!

Hot Summer Prints


Goodness it’s been hot this week – not just summery hot, but properly sweltering, lying on the beach, sipping iced beverages and not moving an inch kind of hot. What can you do in this heat except dream of being on holiday somewhere and not having to do anything at all barring contemplating your next cocktail? Well, you could be inspired by our most summery fabrics to create that perfect sundress, knock up a quick beach bag or evens some fabulously floaty culottes. Take a look at what’s hot on our fabric shelves and then tell us you can’t be bothered to even get up off your sunlounger.

These brand new flamingos walking through the sea, with boats and a beautiful turquoise background have been gathering quite a few admirers in the shop recently. Making us think of sparkling seas and hot summer days, this print would make a fantastic dress, with the cloudy sky for the bodice and the elegant flamingos decorating a swishy full skirt.


More flamingos coupled with some big romantic hearts from Michael Miller make up these other new arrivals: summer romances and fresh white cottons would be perfect for circle skirts and fifties style numbers.


Seriously bright floral prints are always bang on trend over the hottest months of the year, so if you’re thinking about going retro with your fabrics, bag a couple of metres of these seventies style prints for a cute sleeveless top or an A line skirt.


More abstract brights make for fantastic maxi dresses – really let your colours show (and your tan) with these geometric prints.


Another gorgeous panel print fabric, these Michael Miller origami animals set against a cool white background would look simply lovely on a knee length dress, with the bright pink, blue and orange birds drifting down over the waist to meet the other creatures around the hem. Sheer summery bliss in fabric form.

If you are in search of some hot weather sewing inspiration, pop into the shop and have a browse – we’re located on the cooler side of the street – we’ve more new arrivals coming soon!