Friday, 27 May 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Wow - how much fun was the Giveaway event at Sew Mama Sew?! I was blown away by how many people popped by and entered the giveaway - and I didn't even have that many people compared to some of the other blogs involved.

So what did I learn from this experience:

  • That it's not coming into Summer for everyone out there, doh! Sorry to all the folks in the Southern Hemisphere who kindly told me what they were planning on making in Winter!!
  • That I should get myself to the local library more often. Turns out a lot of you have been checking the "Bend the Rules" book out of the library....why have I never thought about checking out the crafting books there....rooky mistake I think!
  • That there are going to be a lot of very busy crafters over the next few months.
  • That there are a lot of really lovely blogs out there. Thanks to everyone who pointed me in the direction of their blog...I have a lot of reading to do now!!
  • That my ipod can't cope very well with so many e-mails coming into my Hotmail account! Ha.

Anyway, shall we get on with the big reveal?! I think so.....

The Random Number Generator has spoken:

The lucky number is 112...who was:

Congratulations Millie - I've sent you an e-mail asking for your address and I'll get the goods in the post to you as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who entered - if I could give you all a prize, I would!

And it's Bank Holiday weekend this weekend - woohoo! I'm working on a Pendrell which I hope to finish this weekend as well as hemming the lace dress that I eluded to recently. Hopefully I can share my makes with you all soon - this blog has definitely been a little lacking in finished items recently!!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

50+ Follower Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the 50+ Follower Giveaway that I held last week - I'm so glad that the patterns and fabric bundles got you all so excited!

I wish you all could have won, but unfortunately there could only be two winners, and after the help of the Random Number Generator I can announce that:

The winner of Bundle 1 is Stevie from BeeBees Vintage Dress!!

The winner of Bundle 2 is Alexandra from Alexandra Mason

Please could you lovely ladies send me an e-mail with your postal address and I'll get these goodies sent out to you as soon as possible!

Thanks again to everyone for joining in. And don't forget to enter my other giveaway which is still going on!!!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - CLOSED

Hello folks - and welcome to any people who have popped over here from Sew Mama Sew for the Giveaway Day extravaganza!!!

My little blog is where I share my adventures into learning to sew - both clothes and accessories. Feel free to browse around and see what I've been up to over the last year or so. I have a couple of fun tutorials as well - so do check them out, and if you try them I'd love to share the results on here too.

But, let's get down to the goods shall we?! Without further ado, here are the goodies up for grabs in the giveaway today:

Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol
1 length of baby blue gathered lace
1 length of Scandinavian style ribbon
1 bag of multi-colour beads
1 bag of baby blue beads

So the main event is the wonderful book by Amy Karol: Bend the Rules Sewing. Here is the blurb about the book from Amazon:

Author Amy Karol brings stitchers everywhere a down-to-earth introduction to sewing, including thirty projects so adorable and cool they'll inspire anyone to pick up a needle and thread. Written with Amy's characteristic warmth and flair, you'll find information on basic equipment and supplies, advice on choosing and using fabrics and a fantastic section on techniques. In addition, Amy walks readers through easy, inspiring patterns designed for the fashion-savvy crafter. Playful, modern projects, which include pillows, aprons and purses, help novices master sewing skills while providing immediate sewing gratification and confidence. Best of all, Amy explains whats easy, whats hard and when not to sweat the small stuff. With its best-friend tone, solid reference section and super cute projects, this is the introduction to sewing that you wont want to be without. 

There really are so many brilliant, fun, quick and easy projects in the book.Why don't you check out the Flickr page to see some of the things people have made from the book.

If you would like to be in for a chance to get your hands on these goodies then leave me a comment below telling me what crafty things you plan to do this Summer and/or tell me about you own blog if you have one, as I'd love to discover new blogs. I will ship Internationally, so everyone is welcome to enter - the more the merrier! The giveaway is open until the end of the day on Wednesday 25th May. After that I will pick a winner using the Random Number Generator and will announce it on Friday 27th May.

Good Luck!

***Thanks everyone - this giveaway is now CLOSED***

Friday, 20 May 2011

Giveaway Reminders

Oh my goodness - what a crazy week this has been for me. I haven't even been able to go up into my sewing attic, let alone get near my nearly finished lace dress! And I really wanted to finish it this week. Ah well, that's life I guess. All I have left to do is hem it....and I hate hemming - does anyone else have an aversion to hemming? I think if I had a dress form I would find it a lot easier, but that's just not going to happen any time soon!

Anyway - back to the important stuff! Today is the deadline for my first giveaway! Get your name in the pot soon if you fancy a chance at winning - leave a comment on the original post here.

And just to remind you of what's up for grabs:

 Bundle 1

Bundle 2

I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, because on Monday....

I'm joining in with Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway day and I can't wait - it's going to be amazing!!! So remember to stop by on Monday to join in the fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Burda Style June

Summer is coming and I can't wait! be honest, I recon we (in Northern Ireland) had our 'Summer' last month as it was gorgeous, but there are rumours that this year we are going to have a good July/August (normally dismal here unfortunately!) - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

And what do you need for Summer? Lots of lovely light floaty dresses and skirts and cute shorts and comfy light drawstring trousers (of course!) and I am so excited to see what is in store for the Burda Style June issue, especially since I was so uninspired by May's offerings. Check these goodies out:

Lovely floaty dress with a nice v-neck. I actually have a linen in my stash in this exact colour...hmmmm

This shape has so much potential - casual like this, or make it up in a satin or silk for a lovely formal dress

OK, these look like under ware - but make them up in funky fabric and I recon they would be great. Altho I think it's a no-no to the bottoms, especially on my bum - this would not be a flattering look!

These trousers look so comfy. Yes, a bit like pjs - but that's just coz they are made up in checks. Actually, I have a really nice check fabric in my stash, so I might just make these into pjs! Ha.

Simple, class t-shirt and very nice looking shorts. The question is will they have a good fit? Or perhaps the question is - are my legs ready for shorts?!!

Bikini top again, less bra-like this time. I like these shorts, they are more forgiving than the ones above!

T-shirt taken from the same basic pattern as the bright pink dress and a classic shaped skirt - this is a really nice look

I love this look, mainly because I'm obsessed with bright blue at the moment, but if I'm honest, I won't make either the top or the skirt.

Love both of these dresses - but especially the maxi dress, it's such a great shape.

Really gorgeous wrap dress. I just need to pluck up the courage to try sewing knits!

Classic boat-neck T and cropped trousers

And normally I can find a fantastic dud in the mix, but this time nothing was too offensive - amazing! But I guess I haven't seen them all yet. There was a kimono type wrap top, which they made up in it looked like the model was off to her Judo class. Wasn't too fussed on that one!

What do you guys think? Anything in this line-up that you fancy making?

And don't forget you have until this Friday to enter my giveaway to win fabric, lace and vintage patterns!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mode Mondays - Lace

So you may have notices from my Sneak Peak, that I'm currently working on a lace dress. So to keep with that theme I thought that I would to a Mode Mondays focusing on the lace trend that seems to be very much in at the moment.

Lets look at lace skirts first:

I love that the lining is shorter than the lace overlay - you can really appreciate the intricate border.

 Pencil skirt + lace = love!

 This is very subtle, and essentially would be quite simple to do. A nice way of adding lace to your office look, without it being too formal.

 The lace in this skirt is exquisite! The style is simple and you could easily draft this from an existing pattern - but it's the lace that makes it so special.

 I just love this. Enough said.

And now onto the dresses:

 I picked this one because it's the only lace dress I was able to find in a similar style to the one I've made - ooo a wee clue to what my dress will look like!

 Daisy Lowe modelling her mothers line at Peacocks (UK only I think?). I love the sleeves in this.

And this dress is included because the colouring is similar to my dress - I like the nude/beige lining, I think it's very chic.

Christine Bleakley (from good ol' Norn Iron) in a dress with lace cut-outs (sorry, not sure of the correct terminology for this!). I think this is a lovely idea, but I do feel this dress is a little too 'wedding' being lace and white.

And I couldn't talk about lace without including a picture of Cathrine's stunning gown. I just love. (Sorry if you are sick of seeing pics of her dress!)

There are sooo many more gorgeous lace dresses out there I could have gone on for ever. I've just included the main one's that are in my inspiration folder. I really do love the lace look - hopefully the sun will come out soon and I'll be able to get some shots of my own lace creation to share with you!!!

Don't forget that my giveaway is still open! If you fancy two chances of winning some lovely fabric, lace and vintage patterns head on over!

Friday, 13 May 2011


As promised earlier in the week, it's time for my 50+ Follower GIVEAWAY! Thanks so much to everyone for sticking around a listening to my ramblings - it's nice to know that I'm not just talking to myself (I do enough of that off the web anyway!)!

So I have two bundles of goodies to give away today:

Bundle 1:
Vintage Simplicity 6671 (size 14 / bust 34)
Vintage Simplicity 6698 (size 12 / bust 32)
1m floral cotton fabric (with a tiny corner cut out of it!)
2m white lace

Bundle 2:
Vintage McCall's 3153 (size 8 / bust 31.5)
Vintage Simplicity 9263 (size 14 / bust 36)
2m apple green linen
2m orange and red lace

Two very different bundles up for grabs. If you fancy putting your name in the hat for either of them drop me a comment and let me know which one you would like (or if you want to go in for either of them). Don't forget to include your e-mail address in some shape or form too. No complicated rules involved in this giveaway - no need to tweet, blog for 'follow' for extra points, I'm just happy you stopped by!

The giveaway is open to everyone no matter where in the world you are and closes at 5pm (BST) Friday 20th May. I will pick two winners from random (with the helpful aid of the Random Number Generator!).

And if you like a good giveaway - come back on Monday 23rd May, because I'm planning to get involved with the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It's all gone a bit giveaway crazy over here!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Sneak Peak

I haven't posted much recently about any of my own sewing - to be honest, I haven't had an awful lot of time to dedicate to sewing, and with the gorgeous weather we have been having recently I have been spending more time outside than inside! But, believe it or not, I am actually working on something at the moment! It's a little refashion and I'm very excited about how it's turning out. The pic above is a little sneak peak (the red is a cushion and not related to the project btw!)...I just have to insert the zip and then hem and I will be done - can't wait to share the final result!

Oh - and I was so excited to see that this week I managed to break through the '50 Follower' barrier (hello, and welcome new followers, so glad you have joined us for the ride!) - so, as I promised, I'm going to host a little giveaway to celebrate! Check back on Friday for the goodies!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Vintage "Layouts and Cutting Out" Guide

I was sifting through my vintage dressmaking patterns the other day (for something very fun and exciting which I will share with you all later in the week - so keep watching this space!) and I came across this interesting document folded up in with one of the patterns:

You'll probably need to double click on the image to be able to read it properly, but it's a simple guide to layouts and cutting out patterns. I'm not an expert in vintage patterns at all, so perhaps this used to be something that came with patterns - but since it's printed very differently than the instructions I was wondering if maybe a previous owner popped it into the pattern envelope for reference! Has anyone seen this before and might be able to shed some light on this guide?

Either way, I thought it was fun, and could be a useful guide for a beginner seamstress to refer to - so feel free to copy the image and print it out if you like!
Do let me know if it is easy enough to read - if not, I can type it out in a blog post if anyone asks.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Jen's Bag - TUTORIAL

Long time no post - whoops! Sorry about that folks, life has been pretty hectic these last few weeks.

But I'm delighted to be back and to finally give you the tutorial to Jen's Bag. You may remember I showed you the finished bag back in March for my friends birthday present and promised to give you the tutorial. I can't believe I'm only getting the tutorial on my blog now, but those annotated photos took a lot longer than I thought they would!!! Anyway - enough excuses, let's get on with the tut:

1 large man's shirt
30" x 34" piece of lining fabric
10" x 12" piece of lining fabric
9.5" x 4" piece of medium weight iron-on interfacing (approx)
Thread, sewing machine, pins, ruler!

Cut 2 rectangles 15" x 17" (38cm x 43cm) out of shirt. I chose to have the shirt buttons running horizontally across the top of the bag. You can position the buttons as you like. The size of the rectangles was dictated by the size of the shirt - so choose your size as you see fit.

Cut 2 more rectangles the same size from the lining fabric (I used brown linen)

3. Pocket
A. Cut off one shirt cuff. Cut a rectangle 1.5" (4cm) larger than cuff length. My cuff was 9.5" (24cm) so my pocket piece was 11" (28cm) long. The depth of the pocket is up to you. I cut mine 9.5" (24cm) which will make the finished pocket about 4.75" (12cm) deep.

B. Pocket Interfacing: Cut a piece of medium weight iron-on interfacing 9.5" x 4"

C. Fold the pocket piece in half and open again. With pocket piece wrong side up, place interfacing on fold line, so that it is about 2cm from top and positioned centrally, about 2cm away from both sides of pocket piece. Ensure fusible side of interfacing is facing down and then iron in place.

D. Turn pocket piece over so that right side faces up. place cut edge of cuff along top edge of pocket piece (ignore cut corners in the photo - we will do this later!)

E. Fold pocket piece in half so that cuff is enclosed in pocket and interfacing faces up. Pin in place. Now cut corners!

F. Sew along one open short edge and along top. Leave other short edge open.

G. Turn pocket right side through open side.

H. With fingers, turn raw edges into pocket piece and position pocket in the centre of right side of one lining piece. Pin in place - make sure pins keep turned-in edge secure.

I. Top stitch pocket onto lining along short edges and bottom. Ensure the sewing secures the turned-in edge.

Take shirt bag pieces and place right sides together. Pin in place. With 5/8" seam allowance, sew along sides and bottom.
Pinch 1 corner of bag and fold onto itself (see photo). Measure 1.5" (4cm) from corner point down seam and pin in place. Sew across. Repeat for other corner.

Repeat step 4 for lining bag pieces.

6. Straps
A. Cut 4 strips of shirt fabric (I used the sleeves of the shirt) 2.5" x 12".

B. Repeat with lining material

C. Place two shirt strap pieces right sides together and sew along one edge (I use the width of my machine foot as the seam allowance). Do the same with the other two shirt strap pieces.

D. Repeat 6c for lining straps

E. Place one shirt strap with one lining strap, right sides together. Pin in place. Sew along both long edges (again, use machine foot width as seam allowance). Turn right sides out.

F. Repeat 6e for other strap pieces.

G. Top stitch 4 evenly spaced lines along length of each strap. Use longest stitch length. See photo for guide.

7. Constructing Bag
A. With shirt bag wrong side out, put lining bag inside so that right sides are facing.

B. Place one strap piece between shirt and lining. Position strap ends to line up with bag top and 2" away from edge on either side of bag. Pin in place. Make sure strap isn't twisted inside!

C. Repeat for other strap on other side of bag.

D. Pin shirt and lining together, ensuring seams line up.

E. Sew around edge (5/8" seam allowance) - leave a 2-3" gap open.

F. Turn back through gap.

G. Push lining down into bag.

H. Pin top of bag flat, pushing fabric at gap down. Top stitch along top edge of bag - ensuring to enclose the gap.

And you are done! Hope that made sense to you all - if you have any questions put them in the comments section and I'll try and answer them for you.
Don't forget - if you can't see any of the photos very well, click on them to see in more detail.

And the best bit - it's reversible:

I'm linking:

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