Hello and welcome to Sewgirl website and blog, my name is Fiona Hesford and am passionate about teaching everyone on the planet to sew!

I’m based in sunny Worthing on the South coast of England, with my gorgeous husband Marko and cute Little cat called Madame Mabelline (Mabel for short).

My children are all grown up now and fled the nest, so I devote my time to teaching sewing, writing projects for magazines, appearing on TV craft channels and producing patterns and kits under the Sewgirl brand.

I like to design clothing that I wear myself everyday, in fact I rarely buy clothes from shops anymore. Wearing something that you have made yourself is very satisfying. Obviously, it takes a bit of practise, and you get better the more that you do, but choosing the fabric and the pattern style, means you have something totally unique to you. Its a way of discovering yourself.

This blog and website, is a place dedicated to show you, with clear photos and text, how to make Sewgirl patterns, along with pattern hacks, tutorial films and fabric suggestions. Think of it as a helping hand to assist you along your sewing path. By the way, if you subscribe to this blog, you will be notified whenever I post something like a new pattern, technique tutorial or info.

Whether you have been to one of my workshops or have bought a pattern, this blog  aims to help you through sewing process to make your experience hassle free.

If you would like to purchase one of my patterns, please click the link below which will take you to the Etsy shop. Happy sewing ! X Fiona



All contents of this blog are protected by copyright. Please ask permission if you wish to use or copy any of the images and text. Thank you x

20 thoughts on “About

  1. You need to bring it up with the magazine. My contract agreement stipulates that they are available for 6 months, actually most of them were available for much longer than that. I don’t work for Love Sewing. You need to contact them.
    Thankyou and sorry I can’t be of more help


  2. Hi. I love your pattern ‘The Fiona Set’ given away free with ‘Simply Sewing’ Can’t wiat to make it up but I’m puzzled by the fabric requirements:
    “Fabric, 140 cm (55in) wide: Long sleeve version 2mx140cm.
    ” ” Short sleeve version 2.5mx140cm Is the long sleeve version therefore the dress with 2 tiers – if so, why do you need more fabric than the short sleeve version – the top with 1 tier?.
    Fabric requirements for 112 cm wide shows Long sleeve version 3.4 mtrs
    ” ” Short sleeve version 2.9 mtrs. That’s why I’m guessing the short sleeve version is the top.

    Help! Thanks! Jenny


    1. Hi Jenny
      yes Ive just had someone else email me about this. I have to say- its an error by the magazine (not me!) , but Im happy to help.
      So it should read:

      LONG SLEEVE (DRESS) VERSION: 2.5m (140cm wide) or 3.4m (112cm wide) fabric.
      SHORT SLEEVE (TOP) VERSION: 2m (140cm wide) or 2.9m (112cm wide) fabric.

      Thanks for your comments- I am in the process of making myself one, I think its going to get a lot of wear this summer.
      All the best and sorry about the mistake – this happens extremely rarely – Im expecting to be contacted by lots of people !!
      Fiona at Sewgirl x


  3. Hi Fiona i’ve just purchased the Brompton Military hat pattern. Can i just ask if I need to cut the material on the pattern piece lines and add 1cm seam when stitching, or do I add 1cm seams to the outer edge of the pattern lines ? I assume this is obvious but I am a newbie sewer so it has thrown me slightly


    1. Hi there
      After cutting out your pattern following the outer lines. You place and pin the pattern on the fabric according to the layplan. You then cut around the outer edge close to the outer line of the pattern. You don’t add anything on. Then when you sew, your stitch lines should be 1cm away from the edge of the piece you have cut, unless the pattern tells you otherwise. This is what we call seam allowance. I hope that makes sense. Sewing the correct
      Seam allowance is particularly important when sewing a hat because fit is crucial, so try to be as accurate as possible.
      I wouldn’t say this pattern is a beginners level particularly, it’s for sewers with some previous experience. You might need a bit of previous experience practising with simple cushions or an easy tote bag to get the hang of things first.


  4. Hello Fiona

    Your patterns are really great you must work so hard to produce them.

    I am trying to find an older pattern of yours called the Dolores Tunic Dress – It was featured in Love Sewing issue 79.

    I have the magazine and instructions and having an older child move out during Covid I have finally dug out the Fridah fabric! I contacted Love Sewing for a patten and they advised that I contact you directly – I’d be happy to buy a pdf from your online store if necessary.

    Many thanks & safe happy sewing


    1. Hi there. Oh yes I do have that Dolores pattern, I’m happy to post a copy, but Im afraid it will cost £12.00 (and Im not making a penny from it).
      If you are happy to go ahead please send payment to my paypal account address shown below, forward me your delivery address and I will get it off to you direct from the printers in the next few days. Hope that helps Fiona x
      ps thank you for your nice comment!
      Paypal address: fionahesford@yahoo.co.uk


  5. Hi Fiona
    Are you selling the pattern for the Dolores dress that was in Love Sewing no 79?
    I love it – just found it on Google.
    Many thanks,


    1. Hello Maggie
      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m not selling it yet I’m afraid. I do get quite a few enquiries about this one , so I think I’m going to include it in the Sewgirl collection but it won’t be til the Autumn.
      All the best
      Fiona at Sewgirl


  6. Hi Fiona, I have the Fiona set pattern and really want to try it but I was wondering if you were able to tell me what the finished size measurements are please, I havent been able to find them on the pattern or instructions only the finished length measurements.i am plus size with mum tum and dont want it to be too tight.

    Many thanks
    Rosina x


    1. Hi Rosina
      so the approx. finished bust is 134cm for size 22. Where the tier joins the top it measures approx 138cm. Then the first tier measures 172cm all around, but you can easily add some extra on the width and make it a bit more gathered if you feel like it would improve the look for you. The second tier is much fuller so you really don’t need to worry about this one, but again you can add on the width if you want. Hope that helps.
      I cant think why we didnt put finished bust on this pattern, must have got overlooked. I always recommend making up a toile (top bit only would be ok) in advance if you really want to be sure.
      Hope that helps


  7. Hi Fiona. I am just about to make the Brompton Shoulder bag, but I think it is a little too large for me. I was thinking of taking 10cm of both width and length – is there anything I should be aware of before I start cutting material. Many thanks. Janet


    1. Hi Janet
      You will have to scale down the flap to be in proportion with the bag. Maybe if you scale down by percentage on all bag outer and lining pieces. You could still keep the pocket and straps the same size. So for example if the bag outer measures 35cm wide and 40cm long make it less 28% less on both would make it 25.2cm by 28.8cm, then you can scale down the flap in the same way. These measurements are roughly speaking as I don’t have the pattern to hand at the moment. But I hope this makes sense. Hi
      All the best with it x Fiona


  8. Hi, I’m just about to sew a Fiona set bodice toile and I’m a bit confused about the darts. Sorry, I’m a beginner so it probably is just me not knowing! So, I’ve cut the front bodice around the darts so I have a cut out as per the diagram on the cutting layout. Do I use a 1cm seam allowance so there will be a point 1cm from the point of the v shaped that I’ve cut out? Or do I grade towards the point of the cut out v? Thanks in advance.


    1. It’s a good idea to mark with a ruler, the 1cm stitch line which runs parallel to the dart cut edge, so your dart point will extend further into the body front. Take a look at the Peggy top blogpost. There are clear photos of the same dart construction there.
      Hope that helps


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