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Pauline Alice Quart Coat Giveaway Winner

And the lucky lady is….

Cinnaspice, from the blog taredrops.

Cinnaspice, please get in touch with me through my email address (under about me) and send me your full name and postal address please. I will give you until the end of Thursday to get in touch, otherwise I will re-draw. Thanks and thank you to everyone who entered.

If you follow me on Instagram (@sewmanju) you will have seen my latest project coming together over the last couple of weeks: my version of Butterick 6169, made in leather. I just finished this project today so look out for a forthcoming blog post about that.

See you soon!

FREE McCalls Pattern: Patchwork Teddy Bear

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Dear Readers,

I am having to do a lot of selfless sewing at the moment and I don’t like it!

Of course, how can I say no to make something special for an innocent new born baby, hmmm?

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

This pattern is FREE (yep, totally free), and I think the end result is pretty cute. Although, this is a fiddly project, made harder by the 1/4″ seam allowance. Be warned, there is also some amount of hand sewing involved (like the arms and the head to the body)!

That said, you could make this for either a girl or boy, personalised any way you wanted too, and it takes very little fabric.

I like it’s fat little bottom 🙂

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

I embroidered (by machine), the name of the recipient on the bear’s foot: Raven (a girl, just in case anyone is wondering).

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

I embroidered (by hand), the face, because I was worried that if the baby did decide to play with it (it’s not really meant to be a toy!), she might pull off the suggested sewn on buttons or glued on nose.

This is a good pattern to have in your stash to make speedy baby gifts. My top tip would be don’t overstuff the legs, and make the seam allowances on the sides and the bottom of the body (where the legs join) larger: getting those legs in is very hard otherwise (but do able if you don’t mind swearing alot).

Back soon (hopefully) with the last of my summer sewing. Until then, have a great week.

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

Free McCalls Patchwork Teddy Bear Pattern

 

Giveaway results

Hello Readers,

Wooden sewing tools

Wooden sewing tools

Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway. It was fascinating to go through everyone’s comments on what RTW garment they wished they could clone. It seems shirt dresses and beloved winter coats are high on everyone’s wish list. Yep, I can totally relate to both of those.

Anyway, the random number generator picked: Debra Lee as the winner of the giveaway! Congratulations. You will be receiving the sewing tools and the pattern. I have your email address; I will be in touch to get your postal address. Debra said she would love to find a simple shift dress pattern. Well, now you can have a go at a shirt dress as well!

In other news, we have just accepted an offer on our house, which has been on the market for the last 6 months. It’s still very much early days yet (i.e. I don’t like to count any chickens until contracts have been signed etc), but, sigh, this may have an impact on my sewing. At the minute we are toying with the idea of getting a house built, or perhaps a major renovation project. It’s all still quite uncertain, and certainly the first idea will involve months and months of disruption. Friends, I know that you will all relate to this, but…yikes…I am so used to having my little sewing room to myself and locking myself away in the evenings and sewing…it has been the thing which has kept me sane and exercised my brain since I gave up working….I am not looking forward to the upheaval of moving! Still, it might be nice, someday to have a more spacious sewing room with an inspiring view.

View of Borrowdale in the Lake District, close to where we live. Unfortunately I don't think the view we will end up with will be quite as spectacular as this...

View of Borrowdale in the Lake District, close to where we live. Unfortunately I don’t think the view we will end up with will be quite as spectacular as this…

Until next time…..

 

 

 

Happy new sewing year – christmas show and tell.

My London themed tailors ham and seam roll

My London themed tailors ham and seam roll


Happy new year everyone. Hope this year is filled with peace, happiness, health and prosperity for you all. And of course, much sewing success. Did anyone get anything exciting (in the sewing sense – although you can always share what else you got if you want too!) for christmas? I got two great books…here are my very brief thoughts on them.

The first is Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques.

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing

I haven’t yet got past the first 3 chapters, but I would say this book is probably aimed at the intermediate/ more experienced sewer. It is packed to the gills with great sewing techniques, including how to adjust/ redraft patterns, and 10 of Gertie’s patterns are included along with the book. Even though I don’t think I would go all out for Gertie’s vintage style, I would say the patterns are classic enough to be adapted to suit even the most modern of tastes. It’s more about the techniques and I think this book encourages you to be more adventurous with your sewing and push your own capabilities a little more instead of just relying on patterns straight out of an envelope. Thumbs up from me.

The second book is Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated.

Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated

Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated

Again, haven’t had a chance to really go through this mighty tome in detail, but at a glance it looks great: easy to follow, clear drawings and very comprehensive. I am sure I will refer to this one a lot in the future and learn heaps in the process. Just flicking through I can see there are tons of techniques I have yet to cover and I look forward to sinking my teeth in to some this year.

I am also going to mention that for my birthday I was presented with The Colette Sewing Handbook (aren’t my family considerate!) I would say this book is aimed at more beginner level sewers. Not only are 5 Colette patterns included (great for hourglass figures like myself), but the techniques are all photographed and explained so clearly. Now I just have to get round to making something…

Colette Sewing Handbook

Colette Sewing Handbook

So the books above were all presented to me…I may have got a little present for myself 🙂 Did anyone else buy anything from the Craftsy sale? I have had my eye on “Sew Retro Perfect Bombshell Dress” (hosted by Gertie herself) for a while, so snapped up the course when it was on offer. I have to say that, at least initially, my elation turned to deep annoyance when I discovered that the pattern which is included with the lessons (supplied in PDF format for you to print off/ tape together at home) only runs to a size 12. Size 12?! I know one of my new years resolutions may be to loose some weight, but come on! I sent Craftsy a somewhat irate email, and received a polite response back, saying I could always get a refund if I was not 100% happy.

Well, between christmas and new year I watched all 15 lessons and I have to say it was worth every penny. It was such an eye opener in terms of constructing a great fitting, supportive strapless dress. And I don’t think it would be so difficult to re-size the pattern (another new technique to learn), but even if I didn’t do that, I have Vogue V1174 in my stash to practise my newly learned (at least in theory so far!) skills. I highly recommend if you are thinking of making a strapless dress this summer. Just think of all the pretty bridesmaid dresses you could whip up….well, it has inspired me to definitely try a strapless dress for myself and see if I can make one that fits and makes me feel good in it.

Finally, Gertie used a tailor’s ham an awful lot in her Craftsy demonstrations, and, whilst I had been considering asking for one for christmas, I found a super easy pattern for one (and a seam roll) over on Tilly and the Buttons blog. The instructions are very clear too. I made mine from a thick upholstery type cotton I had in my stash which features this quirky London map print on it, and stuffed it with some pine shavings I bought in my local pet shop. Made for pennies, hopefully they will last longer than my new years resolutions may…chocolate anyone?!

My London themed tailors ham and seam roll

My London themed tailors ham and seam roll

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