The sewing god is certainly not smiling on me this week. There have been broken needles, I have run out of sewing thread (in the perfect colour, of course!) I have made crucial mistakes in cutting, Martin has been sick. I'm sure you get the general idea of the week that has been (and it's only Monday... wow!)
Why am I telling you this? This week's tutorial from me is going to be a little late. I know you're all waiting with baited breath and on the edge of your seats, but never fear, I will be back towards the end of the week.
I just realised that we haven't yet announced the winner of our giveaway
(apologies). The winner is Martha. Martha, please contact us with your email address as soon as possible and we will post your package off to you.
In the meantime we've been over at Whip Up
explaining the rationale behind our current series. Pop over and take a look. And if you really can't wait to do something with your elastic waisted skirt, here's a tutorial for a faux placket skirt
that I prepared earlier (like a year earlier!) Enjoy - and see you all soon!
Finally! We're both really excited to start our very first series - Beyond the Basics. Our aim is to show you how, with a few basic shapes, you can create a multiplicity of garments. You can make exactly what you want!
What do all of the gorgeous girls tops below have in common? The all start with a basic pattern. Look at all of the things that you can do once you have a bodice pattern!
Click on each image for its source
It's hard to believe that all of these tops are based on one shape, isn't it?
So, to start at the very beginning, what does a bodice pattern look like?
Just like this! (Apologies for the weird colouring... it's the result of a green cutting board and trying to take a pre-dawn photo...)
Where can you get one?
There are lots of tutorials to show you how you can draft your own using a pre-made garment.
Jess at Craftiness is not optional has one here
is another one from icandyhandmade. You also find that many patterns that you've purchased (you know - the stash in the back of your cupboard!) will be based on a bodice too. You just need to have a look for the pattern shapes above.
This week we're going to show you two amazing things that you can do with a bodice patterns so make sure that you've got your pattern ready to go.
Phew... this post is way longer than I intended. If you've read this far, you definitely deserve a giveaway!
If you'd like your very own copy of 'Getting the Most From Your Sewing Machine' and a yard each of Miss Mod by Chelsea Anderson and Tea Garden by Dena Designs, then leave us a comment. You've got until midnight on Sunday February 26th to enter and we're happy to send internationally.
Good luck and see you all later this week for a tutorial!
Well, I have now had a taste of what it is to be blog famous! It was fantastic to get such a wonderful response to our giveaway. It was even better to get all that amazing organisation advice
. Now, if I could only fly like the flylady, remember the milk like that app, and have married a tidier husband I would be right!The comments
on our giveaway post are an amazing resource for anyone trying to get their act together. I am planning to collate them into a useful post but you may just have to wait for me to get a bit more organised! (What I really mean is - in the New Year when I have caught up on some sleep after the pre-Christmas sewing and cooking frenzy.)I want to share a few comments that made me laugh.Kathy told us:"
I play "Super McCleaning" with my 5 year old (he made up the game)... he changes his name to Max and I'm Roberta and we have a grand time cleaning together."I can see then racing around the house in extra clean capes, whipping up a cleaning frenzy
.Meghan suggested I marry someone who is organised. Well, anyone who knows him, is aware that organisation is not one of Rob's strengths, but there is too much else I like about him to trade him in.Cate was concerned that I might think she was a little crazy with this advice
I continually talk to myself, telling myself to do it properly, put it in it's right spot, pick it up now- not later" Interestingly, this is one piece of advice I have already put into action and it seems to be working. So Cate, if you are bonkers, so am I.Reassuringly I am not alone
- it seems lots of people struggle with organisation. Check back in 2012 for that summary post.And so to the winner. I was thrilled to find that
random.org chose this comment from Kim T
"Oooh, so sorry, organization is not my forte! You'd think it would being a homeschooling mama to 5 littles, but no. In reality, it's discipline I need, not organization. Discipline being doing that which needs to be done, yet no one wants to do it. :)"As I read through all the comments as they arrived, this is the one that stood out to me. I know all the apps, websites, storage tips, calenders, lists and books that you have encouraged me to try
are going to be really helpful, but ultimately I just have to do it.
Thanks Kim T for the reality check! I am not sure when you are going to find the time to sew a dress when you home school 5 little ones, but I hope you enjoy it when you do.Well, so much for all the words! It's been ages since I have shared a picture of my 3 little ones - so here they are:
We are very excited to be participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. We love giving things away and having new visitors to our blog. But if I am really honest, I need your help...Someone needs to benefit from my total lack of organisation and you may be the lucky one!Every year I make my girls Christmas dresses
. This year I decided to pretend that I was a carefully planning, highly organised person and bought this lovely collection to make Pippa her dress in October:
- The O and S Family Reunion Dress Pattern in size 5-12
- 1.4 m ( a little over 1.5 yards) of this sweet fabric called Sevenberry
- A contrasting piece of shot cotton (sorry, I am not sure of the colour name or manufacturer)
I brought my little package home very excited and promptly lost it. I spent the next 6 weeks trying to find it - I pulled out the cupboard under the stairs several times, checked under my bed, checked in the kid's cupboards, in the toy boxes and the shoebox. I have to admit when I need to do a quick tidy up, these are all common places where I shove things. I even thought to look in my sewing room, but no matter how hard I searched, I could not find it anywhere.
I tried to convince myself that maybe I had lost it before I even got home, but deep down inside I knew - it was somewhere in the chaotic black hole I call my home.
I finally gave up, re-bought the pattern and fabric and made dresses for both Pippa and Madeleine.
I think you know the rest of the story...
Once the dresses were complete, I found the original pattern and fabric tucked into my... hat box.
So, one lucky Sew Mama Sew reader will reap the benefits of my disorganised life. The winner of our giveaway will receive the pattern and fabric. There is enough fabric to make a size 5 (or possibly a size 6 dress) or the shirt version in any size. I love O and S patterns. Every time I use one I learn a new skill. The Family Reunion pattern is no different. I will use the techniques I learned making these dresses to put on all my facings in the future - such a great way to give a lovely finish.
So to participate in this giveaway, you need to help me out.
I must get my life more organised and I have decided that 2012 will be the year to do it.
Please leave a comment with some advice about how you keep your life organised so I can benefit from your wisdom. It could be a tip about cleaning, diaries, weekly planners, storage ideas or even a link to a tutorial - anything that you think will help me get my act together.
The giveaway will be open until December 16 at 5 p.m. PST. A comment will be chosen at random and that lucky person will be the winner. We are happy to post internationally. Please make sure you leave an email address so we can contact you.
Thanks so much for all your help and good luck!
Maryanne (the disorganised one) and Caroline
This giveaway is now closed. We will be backlater today to announce the winner!
Lizzy's Halloween party at preschool gave me the chance to make some caramel popcorn. I've been craving it for ages and don't think I've had any since about 1982. It was soooo good. So good, in fact that recipes like this one shouldn't go out of fashion. It's simple too, or it would have been if I hadn't -
a) burned the first lot of popcorn
b) cooked the second lot of popcorn in peanut oil (just great for a nut free preschool!)
c)taken the lid off the third lot before it finished popping. I don't think I have ever seen Lizzy laugh so hard!
Anyway - you should try it. Hopefully, you'll have more luck than me...
Pop half a cup of corn in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Over a low heat, melt 125g butter, 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir over a low heat until it turns into a lovely golden caramel colour. This should take 6-7 minutes, but take care as it will burn really easily.
Spread the popped corn over a tray and mix in the caramel. Careful - it will be really hot! Let it cool, break it into small pieces and enjoy!
Lizzy certainly did...
PS - our giveaway winner was comment number 3!
Congratulations Margaret - let us know what you'd like us to make you and where you would like us to send your prize!
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments - we really appreciate them!
It's our first blog-a-versary and to celebrate, we'd love to give you a present.
It's a double present in fact...
Firstly, we'd love you to have a yard of each of these fabrics. There's two Sherbet Pips prints and a gorgeous red and white spot from the new Sarah Jane Studios line.
Secondly, we'd love to make you something. Choose anything that we teach in our new Sew Sweet Gifts
course and we'll make it (in your choice of colour of course!) and package it up with the fabric and send it your way. You can choose from bunting, a lunch bag, a zippered purse, an art folio, a softie or some hair clips. It's up to you!
The giveaway will be open until midnight (Australian eastern summer time) October 26th. It doesn't matter where you live, we're happy to post internationally!
Just leave us a comment and make sure that we can access your email address so that we can contact you.
Caroline and Maryanne
The generosity of people in the blogosphere constantly amazes me. Want a pattern to make a skirt or a top or want to know how to sew oilcloth? Simply Google it and nine times out of ten someone will want to share their ideas with you. I don't know Jess from Craftiness is not Optional and she certainly doesn't know me. Every month she does a sew-a -long where she shares her knowledge and experience and takes her readers step by step through constructing one of her beautiful pieces. This month, it was the gorgeous Anna dress - a little bit retro and a whole lot comfortable.I love the idea of sewing along with people around the world (hey, we're called Sew Together for a reason!) so I decided to participate.
The result? A polka-dot Anna dress
It makes me smile when I think about lots of little girls around the world running around in their custom-made Anna dresses!
Thanks Jess - I really enjoyed completing this project and I can't wait for your next sew-a-long.
PS - our Girly giveaway finished last night. Congratulations to our winner.... Peta N
Let us know where we can send your prize!
When it comes down to it, sewing is all about aesthetics. Sure, you want your creations to be functional but really you want them to be beautiful, too. There is a smorgasbord of food for the sewing soul out there in blog land (and real life, too) - beautiful books and patterns, lovely fabrics , ribbons and braids that elevate my heartbeat just a little.
In a world of Japanese pattern books, Oliver and S patterns, beautiful books by Amy Butler and Jennifer Paganelli it's sometimes easy to overlook the ugly duckling in the pattern book.
It's starting to get a little chilly around here and I searched everywhere for a pattern for a simple hooded jacket for Mart. Now there's a lot of gorgeous patterns out there, but all I wanted was a buttoned, lined jacket for a little boy who is just learning to dress himself. I have to admit that I did overlook Kwik Sew 2994 a number of times. But then, I stopped and looked and I looked again. Take away the ugly drawings and applique and it was exactly what I wanted...
Made up in a pinwale navy cord with a gorgeous Parisian print lining, the end result was one I was pretty pleased with.
I can't speak highly enough of this pattern. It sewed up like a dream - perfect sizing and clear instructions made it a quick and easy project - it's definitely going to become a staple in my sewing repertoire. And to think ... I nearly missed it!
How about you - do you have any ugly duckling patterns you've discovered and would like to share?
PS - if you would like to be the owner of the beautiful Girls' World by Jennifer Paganelli, don't forget to enter our giveaway here.
This week, I was lucky enough to lay my hands on Jennifer Paganelli's new book Girls' World. It's just beautiful - gorgeous projects, clear instructions and the colours - oh how I love her fabrics.
To celebrate our six month blog birthday (OK, so it's probably closer to seven months, but who's counting?) Maryanne and I would love to give you the chance to win your very own copy of Girls' World and a yard and a half of Queen Street fabric so that you can get stuck straight into sewing your very first project.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell us a little about yourself . How did you find our blog? We'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions that you have, too. We'll draw the winner randomly, so don't be shy!
The giveaway will end at Midnight on Sunday May 15th (Sydney time). Even though we're from the antipodes we're happy to post internationally. We'd love to Sew Together with you!