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Sewing, knitting, embroidery, easy and fashion blog

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5 websites to learn sewing

Feb 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM

You start sewing and looking for help to learn to sew online? We offer today a small blogs and websites overview  for beginners and more savvy dressmakers to help you answer all your sewing questions:

Thread and needles logo

Thread&Needles Thread & Needles is the reference community website for sewing and knitting. The site was created in 2010 by passionate about sewing, now the site has been widely enriched. Very interactive, volunteers regularly publish articles on the blog:

♦ Keeping you informed of the latest patterns and sewing books releases,

♦ Introducing a seamstress or a tailor with interview,

Giving desire with projects that inspire,

♦ Showing a technique, sewing or knitting tools,

Presenting an artist, an exhibition related to sewing or knitting.

As a community site, the big advantage of T&N is to offer an account where you can post your sewing & knitting projects. You add a title, an image, a link to your blog and other people in the community can interact with you via comments and private messages.

Your project is then referenced in the gallery. Each member may vote and may become the "popular of the week" project.

The website also contains very active sewing and knitting groups. Notably by region, allowing you to organize or to meet other real dressmakers or knitters in your corner.

These groups can also allow you to answer your questions about sewing or knitting technical problems.

The + : Thread&Needles is a very complete website as you will understand. It allows to virtually or actually meet bloggers through project presentations.

Artesane is a new website created by the talented blogger Annie Coton . The principle is to offer sewing and knitting online classes and it will increase with arts and crafts.

Several recognized teachers therefore propose a course related to their field of choice.

The platform Artesane is beautiful and well done. Most courses are paid (and that's normal considering the work) but you will also find free lessons. Many videos workshops will emerge during 2016 have to watch closely!

The +: Artesane also contains a nice "newspaper" including clear tips on cloth or special sewing techniques, in particular. The illustrations are very well done and the approach discusses in depth techniques.


Couture Débutant logo

This blog was created in 2015 by a young sewing instructor Margaux.

Couture Débutant, is first to overcome the issues and redundant problems of its sewing beginners students. It notes that the problems of sewing beginners are always the same and there are very few site dedicated to the first steps.

Since then, the blog growed and Margaux offers:

♦ Super simple sewing DIY to not be afraid to begin it,

♦ Its patterns and magazine testing,

Its best addresses both on the web than real,

A Youtube channel offering basis support for amateur fashion designers.

The +: The universe of its blog is cool and pleasant. It makes you want to put it right away now even if you were born with two left hands, with these step by step tutorials, you are sure to get there!


This vintage and quirky look blog is full of good sewing ideas with supporting tutorials.

There are as well many basic sewing lessons as customization DIY.

There you will find a wealth of information to choose your sewing machine, sewing a particular fabric, but also make everything simple accessories like a headband, a collar, etc.

The +: the blogger's humor. The articles, both for sewing in mood editorial or general web articles are really funny!



Petit Citron is a small community sewing site. It was created by Perrine Colignon in 2007. She wanted to set up as a virtual sewing club.

The site offers in image sewing techniques, but also free simple patterns.

To participate, send your projects, technical ideas, etc. Just create an account on the site.

The +: the Petit Citron blog is full of tips and inspirations for sewing. It is a mine of information interesting when you start!

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The baby knitting kit of the pretty striped sailor sweater Augustin is out!

This small model has to be knit simply from the bottom up, starting with a few rows of ribs 1/1 then some jersey. The body is knitted in one piece, alternating stripes is easy! The sleeves require some reductions, but this model remains accessible to beginners.

Knitting pattern for baby breton striped sailor sweater Augustin

The Breton sweater has to be knitted in this beautiful Ambiance de Fonty wool, an ultra-soft wool (it's normal, it's Merino) and that can be washed without problem by machine.

baby breton striped sailor sweater Augustin knitting kit

The sailor strip sweater model sizes go from 3 months to 2 years. You only need 2 balls to the bottom and 1 ball for scratches to the 1 year size.

child breton sweater knitting kit

The kit comes in a cute recycled bag with:

  • - 1 pair of knitting needles bamboo # 4
  • - 1 explanations and color diagrams record
  • - 4 small wooden buttons
  • - 1 yarn needle
  • - 3, 4 or 5 balls of Ambiance Fonty wool depending on the selected size

    Plus: you choose yourself your colors! If you want an ecru background with yellow mustard or blue background with gray stripes, it's time!

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    Learning to knit: the basis

    Feb 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM

    Winter begins to be felt timidly in this early 2016 ... the perfect time to get back to knitting!

    Since I give knitting lessons (it's been 6 years!), I had a lot of people completely beginners, ie which start from zero. This allows me to make you a basic tips small summary if you feel the urge to begin knitting.

    wool knitting learning

    1/ The basis

    What do you need to start knitting?

    - A pair of knitting needles

    - A ball

    - A very easy pattern

    Knitting learning diagram

    2/ The pattern choice for beginners

    Very important ! It's the first thing you need to find. It is important to start knitting small as this can be very frustrating to quickly begin a long scarf and realize in the middle we lost the motivation to finish it.

    I suggest you start with adult accessories or ultra-easy baby clothing. The easiest beginners stitch is the garter stitch. You can also test the jersey stitch but for the ribs, you'll see it later!

    knitting jersey and garter stitches

    The snood (or neckband) and mittens are ideal to start. See eg  Sorlin Snood with needles 15 and Triad mittens with needles 6. It's straight on and all in garter stitch. No reduction or increase but a quick super nice finish!

    Beginners Snood and Mittens knitting kits

    For a baby clothing, I recommend the Paul vest, slightly more complicated than the accessories (you will have to increase by several stitches) and needles are a little finer but clear explanations will guide you easily to the final sewing and you will be proud to offer this little jacket to a baby. It is also available in kit.

    Paul vest an easy baby knitting kit

    3/ Select the ball

    Choose what is commonly called  the "wool" is not so obvious. You will find balls in many haberdasheries with very pretty colors but unfortunately not containing 1 gram of wool!

    - The material:

    I made the choice to offer you on the website, only knitting threads with a majority of natural material.

    The material may be: from the sheep wool  (mostly merinos, very soft), recycled yarn from different materials, alpaca (slightly hairy and warmer), mohair (cloudier), cotton (lighter for summer) or even cashmere and silk.

    For beginners I suggest you buy a ball of 100% wool, 100% recycled or 100% cotton (if it is for the summer or for a baby). Other wools are more expensive and sometimes it is less clear to observe our meshes or unravel without nodes (alpaca and mohair particular).

    Our special beginners knitting balls:

    beginners knitting wool

    - The thread size:

    It is very important to well choose the thread thickness to begin knitting! It is even essential.

    The wool ideal thickness that I recommend to begin knitting is for needles 5 mm up to 15 mm.

    The needle number is always shown on the ball label (see below):

    wool ball label

    4/ Choose the pair of knitting needles

    The pair of knitting needles number depends on the yarn you've chosen (and if you were paying attention, so printed on the ball label). The knitting needles numbers match their diameter in millimeters. They range from 2 mm to 25 mm or even 30!

    There are also  différent needles shapes: straight, circular, double-pointed ...

    The circular and double-pointed needles have been developed for seamless circular knitting: hats, gloves, mittens, socks, etc. But interchangeable circular knitting needles new lines (Knitpro line for example) can be very practical to knit straight works (in two-way) and circular, no need to buy both straight needles and circular needles! They need a small starting supplementary budget but they be used all your life.

    For beginners, if you do not yet know if you and knitting that's for life, I suggest you opt for straight knitting needles 25 to 35 cm long. 25 cm is a minimum and for small works for babies and children.

    You will also have the choice in the knitting needles material! Increasingly type of needles exist and that's good.

    There are metal needles, used since time immemorial, they have the advantage not to break but can be heavy (in addition to knit), too slippery to begin, noisy and cause allergies.

    You can choose also in wooden needles: bamboo or birch.

    knitting needles wood, bamboo or birch

    Wooden needles are much lighter than metal and do not let slip the stitches. Bamboo remains fragile for small sizes needles (2 to 3.5mm) but the birch is one of the toughest! See our range of 100% birch Basix Birch Knitpro needles. In addition, the wooden needles are very pretty!

    It remains plastic needles that I prefer not to propose, they cling too much wool, stitches do not slide well and the feel always appeared to me unpleasant. By cons they do not break and are also very slight.

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    Comments Posted in Tutorials & tips By Amandine

    New shoulder pads and sleeve head strips

    Jan 22, 2016 12:00:00 AM

    Further to our article on "laying a sleeve head strip and a felt shoulder pad" on a jacket or coat (and its video tutorial), we are expanding our range of sleeve head strips and we present new shoulder pads we did manufacture to meet our flair requirements.

    Here is a picture of the difference between the shoulder pad that we offered you in 2015, the classic one and the one we have created for you in 2016 (which replaces the previous one), the felt shoulder pad A&A:

    Couture shoulder pad diagram

    The cotton wadding does not subside in time unlike the polyurethane foam which also tends to disintegrate.

    The tailor's canvas layer ensures good support and is better suited to the rounded shoulder. You will also notice that the shoulder pad naturally takes a rounded manner. This shoulder pad therefore stands much better than the last.

    In addition, we now offer 3 different sleeve head strips:

    by the meter white sleeve head strip

    - The most common and universal, sold by the meter, you have to slightly deform it for the assembly so that it follows the sleeve head. It is made with a layer of wadding + a very thin layer of foam for the flair.

    white shaped sleeve head strip

    - The shaped sleeve head strip for jackets and coats in heavy fabrics. It is composed of a white wadding layer. This sleeve head strip is already in shape and ready to be installed.

    gray shaped sleeve head strip

    - The shaped sleeve head strip for lighter fabrics that require less support. Warning, if the fabric is a bit transparent, gray can be seen.

    All our finishing items: shoulder pads and sleeve head strips are visible in the section "Technical products" of the haberdashery.

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    Comments Posted in News By Nadine

    A&A patrons Sales

    Jan 21, 2016 12:00:00 AM

    Go for A&A patrons madness sales.

    We have selected many fabrics, wool, knitting magazines, charms, lace, ribbons and braids for these 2016 winter sales.

    Find more than 100 items on sale up to 50%!

    A et A patrons sales

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    Comments Posted in General information By Amandine

    New 2016 shipping rates

    Jan 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM

    The year 2016 begins with good news: First the decline in new shipping rates for "Lettre Suivie" (tracked letter)! The tracked letter is the type of delivery you most often choose  because the most convenient and the most economical.

    It lets you receive, after about 2 days (for France), your small haberdashery, knitting, fabrics, patterns and custom labels. All this by following your package track via the link you receive by mail after processing your order.

    Here is a shipping rates summary table for "Lettre Suivie" before / after January 2016:

     New 2016 shipping rates

    Other shipping methods are available and always visible on this page. (Mondial Relay, Colissimo, Chronopost and free removal at shop in Nantes).

    To estimate your shipping costs, you only have to take a ride in your cart and complete the fields in the table "estimate shiping and tax". Your shipping costs are still estimated as accurately depending on the weight and not fixed.

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    Babies sewing kits

    Jan 4, 2016 12:00:00 AM

    Happy new year 2016 !

    The end of 2015 was very active for A&A because we wanted to introduce you our last sewing kits for babies !

    Nadine has developed, after the summer, Sirli romper, Colin shepherd vest and Marouette bathrobe patterns, the plates and finally the explanations but still had to tweak the presentation as a kit.

    Baby romper sewing kit

    It is time now to tell you about these three new patterns for baby and child made in A&A patrons

    The Sirli romper pattern is available as envelope sewing pattern and as  kit. The romper is slightly puffed on the upper thighs, as a bloomer and has a rounded bib on the front, decorated with 6 buttons. The suspenders are crossed in the back.

    An intermediate sewing level is required to sew the romper, the available sizes are: 3-6-9-12 & 18 months.

    It is stitched in Corduroy and lined with organic cotton veil (for ecru). You can sew around a nice Lurex (or in the color of your choice) piping.

    Romper opens from the bottom thanks to its little snaps band easy to put (and easy for changing baby)!

    Sirli romper sewing pattern

    The Colin shepherd vest is sewn made of Organic cotton fur, Corduroy lined.

    The pattern of the vest is available as sewing envelope pattern, downloadable pattern or as sewing kit. The vest is easy to sew and accessible to beginners. Available sizes are: 3-6-9-12-18 months et 2-3-4-6-8 years. So you're spoiled for choice!

    You can add a frog or leave open. The vest will be fully reversible.

    Baby vest sewing pattern

    The Marouette bathrobe is also simple to sew and make a perfect birth gift.

    The bathrobe is available in sewing envelope pattern and as kit. It is available in: 6-12 months, 18-24 months and 3-4 years sizes.

    It has to be sewn in organic (or not) cotton sponge with a  finish in the bias tape of your choice. You also have a choice in the finishing of the seam angles: round or square and in adding a tassel on the hood and a hook at the neck.

    Baby bathrobe sewing patten

    The sewing kits of these three patterns are available on this page. We have decided to offer them in a nice carrying for decorating a child's room, make a sewing storage according to your imagination!

    They are achievable by beginners as by the most experienced. The explanations are made with precise step by step diagrams with a clear cutting plan to guide you in achieving. Patterns are designed with sizes complying to the new IFTH French standards.

    Feel free to send us your achievements with our new sewing patterns! We will post them on social networks and our blog.

    You can sew around a

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    Child & baby frogs

    Nov 25, 2015 12:00:00 AM

    We have something new to show you as frog for children!

    Frogs are these small fasteners in leather or fabric to close coats, jackets. They can provide an attractive finish in the twinkling of an eye.

    We therefore sought it everywhere in order to offer you various types of frogs: flowers, hearts, and different materials: imitation suede, velvet. and a pretty panel of colors.

    Child & baby frogs

    So you now have the choice!

    To choose the suitable frog for your garment, take into account the total length of the flat frog. Flowers and hearts frogs are indeed more suited to a child's clothing (from 18 months) than velvet frogs.

    shepherd velvet vest baby frogs


    We sewed the velvet frog on a small shepherd jacket and rendering is really nice. You will find organic coton fur here and, in the background, we can see the needlecord velvet which is here.

    baby and child coat frog

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    The pattern maker job

    Oct 22, 2015 12:00:00 AM

    Pattern making is an integral part of our job. This job is relatively unknown from the public, but nevertheless exciting and at the base of any ready-to-wear collection production.

    Following presentations on the A&A Patrons history and our work today, we wanted to offer you further on pattern making job and take the opportunity to understand the realization process of a ready-to-wear collection.

    Modélisme chez A&A patrons

    We are a small independent structure, so we can practice a very different working way than large companies. The pattern making we carry is very complete because we can develop each of the models from A to Z.

    To better illustrate our work, we propose this scheme representing the cooperation with the customer, the dressmaker and clothing factory:

    schéma métier de styliste, modéliste

    So you can observe that the pattern maker is involved in every step of the collection production! Even when it's time for the dressmaker or clothing factory to intervene, everything is prepared and supervised by the pattern maker.

    After the collection production, the pattern maker can also intervene to perform quality control of each of the garments. To verify that each garnment complies with the technical specifications (dimensional and assembly control).

    The A&A Patrons technical department can handle any type of collection, whether in women's fashion as well as men's and children's fashion.

    The pattern maker work in independent consulting firm such as ours, requires a lot of special skills: strong experience, accuracy (help by design software such as Vetigraph and Grafis), good fabrics and haberdashery knowledge, mounting techniques and finally a good amount of strength to handle stress facing collections deadlines imperatives.

    Did you already know the pattern maker profession? Did this article inspire you?
    To go further you can also visit our presentation "Fashion design, pattern making, grading".

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    New size labels to sew

    Sep 18, 2015 12:00:00 AM

    Size labels to mark hand-knitted or hand sewn clothes having great success, we have expanded the range.
    These labels to sew are always sold by the meter, from 1 meter.
    They are also handy for designers to beautifully mark their clothes.

    étiquette de taille XS, S, M, L, XL

    Here are our new size labels woven in gray or black.
    We created the label in adult sizes XS, S, M, L and XL

    étiquette de taille à coudre blanche et grises

    and size labels for babies 3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months, 6-9 months and 9 months. These labels are precisely designed with childlike font exclusively for A&A Patrons. You had asked us, we now offer marking double size for babies .

    étiquette de taille bébé à coudre grises

    Gradually, you will see our range expand... a bit of patience for 12, 18 months, etc...

    étiquette à coudre double taille

    The size labels numbered  34, 36, 38, 40 etc. will soon be also renewed with a choice of gray or black.

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