I've been sorting through my patterns to root out the ones which are near duplicates or the wrong size for me. I was going to do a normal giveaway BUT THEN thought that I'd try something a bit different. I've been lucky enough to have people offer me some patterns for free recently, so I thought that this might be a nice way to keep the good sewing pattern karma going. Here's how it works:
I have a total of 8 patterns to give away - 4 patterns with a 34" bust and 4 patterns with a 38" bust. I will give away 2 patterns each to 4 people. Comment below and say which bust size you would like and I will select 2 patterns for you. If you include in your comment what type of pattern you would be most interested in-
dress, top or skirt, I will try and match this if I can.The patterns are mostly 1960s and 1970s, with one from the late 50s. I promise that none of them are total stinkers, honest!
If I have more than 2 people for each size I will select names at random. Please make sure you have an email address attached to your Blogger account or in your reply so that I can contact you.
I'll keep this open until 5pm GMT on Wednesday 2nd May. I am happy to send patterns anywhere so international 'dippers' are welcome.
With PJ Party Buddy Dot (who looks grumpy, maybe because she's not invited)
Well. It's safe to say that I never thought I would be appearing on the internet in pyjamas. But look! Here I am. It might be a little 19th century of me to say that I am a bit freaked out that a portion of my naked leg can be seen, but I'm pretty sure there are more shocking things you can see online, so I'm going to get over it.
Until Karen launched her Pyjama Party, I hadn't thought much about sewing my own pyjamas. But now, now! - a whole new area of my wardrobe has opened up since I've discovered how easy it is. A pair of PJ bottoms would be the perfect confidence-building project for a beginner too.
Here's a quick review of the pattern I used:
Simplicity 9505, a modern pattern with options for several types of tops and bottoms.
I made the short sleeved top with shorts, the same as the demonic cover lady in pink is wearing. I was planning to make a long pair of PJ
bottoms but didn’t have quite enough fabric – I only just had
enough to squeeze these two pieces out, but was determined to use the fabric I had rather than buy anything new.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the
number of different options available in the pattern and that it said it was
Fabric & Notions
coloured cotton with a small brown floral-type design. Purchased at
Goldhawk Road in
November last year for about £3.50 per metre. I also used elastic and a small
amount of brown ribbon to make the bow on the top.
you use any new techniques?
sleeves were new to me. They are SO easy too.
Would you sew
it again? Would you recommend it to others? I’m planning to
make the PJ bottoms and might make something else from it in the future too.
It’s a simple pattern to follow and quick to make. Instructions are
straightforward and could be tackled by a beginner. I loved how easy the
shorts were and I’m going to make some pyjama bottoms for my husband too, now
I’ve seen how easy it can be.
Cost About £13 including the pattern
delighted that these were so easy to make and I think they will be pretty
useful. Glad to be able to use some of the stash as well so hooray for that.
Looking forward to seeing what my fellow PJ Party participants are wearing!
Earlier in the month I posted about my sewing plans for the next couple of months. This is the first item from my plan...
Simplicity 3983, a skirt pattern from 1952. I made view 1, which
has shaped pocket edges.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I was initially attracted by the pocket detail but what is
brilliant about this pattern is that it has ONLY ONE SEAM, at the back, and
doesn’t use much fabric. I made this out of a metre (though it is shorter
than the original length). I love that it is quick to make and doesn’t
require much finishing inside too. I made this from start to finish over the
course of a day, including a trip into town to buy a zip.
Fabric & Notions
Seagreen needlecord and two stash buttons. There was
supposed to be Petersham ribbon inside the waistband but the waistband piece wasn't wide
enough and I couldn’t be bother to cut another one.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I made it shorter, which was a novelty since I normally have
to lengthen everything. I took 4 inches off the length when cutting out the
pieces then removed an additional 3 inches and still had a generous hem
allowance. I wanted this to be knee length as I mostly wear flat shoes so this
is much more flattering.
I also used a lighter fabric for the inside of the pockets
as I was concerned that using too much cord would be a bit bulky – this
was a helpful suggestion of a commenter, Mumasu – thank you! I used a flat felled
seam for the back seam and did a bias tape hem, so it looks neat inside. The
pattern was also a 30” waist and I’m 28” but it was easy to cut
a little smaller by hanging the main pattern piece over the edge of the fold by 1/4” and cutting in by 1/4” at the other side – I love when
grading is easy.
Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
I am definitely going to make a few of these –
it’s going to be my new ‘go to’ skirt pattern, and I’ve
already been thinking about possible changes I would make, such as using piping
to emphasise the pocket edges and using different fabric for the yokes of the
pockets. Two changes I will definitely be making are to make the pockets deeper
and cut the waistband wider as I found that it was not wide enough to house a
1” wide Petersham ribbon inside which, according to the instructions, it
Did you use any new techniques?
I put in a central zipper properly, for the first time ever
so am bloody chuffed with myself. I’ve been using a lot of invisible zips
recently because I’ve cracked those, but I feel that this is particular
zip is a thing of beauty.
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes without question. Lose the length though if you want a
more modern look.
About £14 including the pattern, but I will definitely be
using that again.
The only thing that makes me a little sad about this project
is the big line down the centre of the skirt. This was the central crease in
the fabric when it was on the blot that I just could not get rid of at all, no matter how I ironed it.
Any tips? It looks a bit like it’s supposed to be part of the style of
the skirt, which is ok, but I’m not overjoyed with the stupid fabric.
I’m sure that an un-removable crease counts as a fabric flaw. I love the colour
though and am pleased with how the buttons look on it too.
Have I convinced you how much I love this
skirt? Well, I really do, and this definitely won't be the last you see of this pattern.
It's done! It's done! I started to knit this jumper on September 9th last year and now I have finally finished it.
It's been a rocky road. I had a few false starts with ripping out (see here) before I finally got going, even then I was not using the right gauge and going a little rogue.
It doesn't look quite like the pattern picture...
But it's good enough for me.
I didn't really enjoy the knit as much as I'd hoped. The 'four-leaf' pattern sections were really tricky, when you had to carry three colours along. I really struggled with tension on those parts. In hindsight I might have used intarsia for those bits, but that would have involved juggling with little balls of wool, and I already had enough ends to wind in.
All the cut off ends
I would tackle fairisle again but I feel a lot better equipped to know what to look for in a pattern. I know I am terrible for not reading patterns through and just diving in (I find it hard to translate from instructions to 3 dimensions) but I now know that I enjoyed the linear areas of the pattern because you could build up a rhythm but the other areas seemed to take so so long and were quite fiddly.
I also had the stress of not having enough of the lightest blue wool. It was purchased for a different project and by rights I should have had enough, but I ended up having to try and find another couple of balls online. As it was discontinued I couldn't get the same dye lot, so there are some bits with a slightly different blue.
Post blocking - you can see a slightly different blue on a section of the back neck rib
I put used the different yarn for the back and tried to disguise it by integrating it with the linear sections.
I also made the sleeves a weird shape, so there are little 'wings' on the inside.
Bit weird, but it's just between us - shush!
The fit was just right for me so I didn't want to wet block it as normal. Instead I chose to steam block (put a damp tea towel over the top and iron through) so that the fairisle sections would flatten out a bit better. Unfortunately this did still make it a bit bigger, but it didn't stretch it too much.
Pre blocking - a little wrinkled
Thank you for all your kind comments and encouragement when I posted about this here and here earlier in the month. All in all I have produced a sweater I am pretty happy with - I would do some things differently next time but hey, it's all a learning process isn't it?
To finish, some obligatory photos with the cats
Dot looking wistfully into the distance
Tilda watching Dot
And finally, a picture of my new favourite find, who you might have spied on the sideboard behind me.
I love these pairs of dogs that sit on your mantelpiece, known as wally dogs/dugs. I picked this one up for £5 in a junk shop in the Lake District. He was all on his own but maybe one day I'll find a lonesome dog that faces the other direction to be his friend.
There are rules for both blog awards, but I have decided to ignore them,
apart from the bit I found most interesting (from the Versatile Blogger
Award) which is to list 7 random facts about yourself. Here goes:
Sweet Royal Wedding tea towel
1. I seem to have somehow started to collect tea towels from charity
shops. I don't know how this happened, it must be old age, but I like
that they are practical as I really don't need any more china. I scored
an excellent Royal Wedding one (for Charles &Di) recently. It was
99p and despite being 31 years old I can report that it dries dishes
2. I really enjoy watching the programme Auction Hunters, which is about
2 guys who go to different cities in the US and buy abandoned storage
units in the hope of finding something valuable inside. Obviously you
only get to see the exciting units and not the dud ones, and there's a
lot of shouting "Holy Crap!" as they discover something good, but I
don't care, I really enjoy it. I discovered it when I was channel
hopping and got hooked - it's currently showing in the UK on the Quest
channel at 10pm on a Thursday - yes, I know that off by heart.
Check out that pencil!
3. I was recently photographed with the world's largest pencil (Guinness Book of Records approved). Jealous?
4. There is one Episode of the IT Crowd (Series 2 Episode 1 - The Work
Outing) which has me in tears of helpless laughter any time I watch it.
The three main characters, Roy Moss and Jen, go to the theatre and
hilarity ensues. If you haven't watched the IT Crowd then you should,
it's by the creator of Father Ted. If you don't know what Father Ted is, then where have you been?! (I will excuse you if you are not from the UK). You can watch the episode on 4od here, in the UK only I think.
Image from here - it was the most hilarious image I could find
5. My husband is a heavy metal fan, and when we got married 2 years ago
we had an Iron Maiden song playing as we signed the register.