GIVEAWAY TIME – Pattern Pyramid is in Yorkshire!!

It started with the lovely Karen of Did You Make That? and 30 plus patterns (OMG) and it has travelled around the world, spreading sewing joy to the blogisphere.

And thanks to a fluke of fate I won the pattern pyramid hosted by the delightful Rachel of House of Pinheiro.

I have to confess I was a little scared when I heard I’d won. I didn’t think I’d have anything to repopulate the pyramid with.

I know that isn’t a rule of hosting a Pattern Pyramid (PP*) but I really want this thing to keep going as long as possible.

Soon I realised I did have some patterns to contribute so I can see this pyramid standing a lot longer yet!

Here’s what my parcel contained:

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The coat Rachel added, a blouse that has been in there since the start (woooah), a pattern for a doll’s wardrobe and a draped shawl jacket/coat.

Only four items left!

I really wanted to like the blouse pattern. The girls look so sassy on the pattern envelope right?

I decided to take the coat pattern instead though as it will suit me more and give me a new challenge.

And here is what I added! A selection of prima patterns.**

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To Enter The Giveaway: 
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post expressing interest.
  2. The winner must agree to choose 1 pattern for herself and be ok with sending the rest off to any corner of the world.
  3. You must have a blog of your own to host the giveaway of the extra patterns.
  4. When you make your item, be sure to share with us . You will even have a lovely label to put on it.
  5. You must claim your win by sending me an email (see “contact me” in the right-hand pane) with your postal address. If you don’t get in touch within a reasonable time I’ll have to redraw.

With Christmas right on our doorsteps and the post office shutting down for a few days I’m going to let this run until midnight December 25th (GMT).

Consider it a belated Christmas present if you win!

* Have you ever realised what a weird word “Pyramid” is?! I tell you typing it for what feels like the twentieth time will make it hit home.

** I don’t think Prima patterns get fair credit. They do plenty of nice simple garments in well varied sizes and all for a very cheap price! So I hope someone will appreciate these.

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I BLOODY LOVE POLKA DOTS

Small ones, medium ones, giant ones.

So it’s not surprising I bought 5 types of polka dot fabric at the Birmingham meet up!

This is what I did with my three metres of black and white large polka dot satin fabric.

First up I wanted to make a Colette Truffle dress. I made FOUR toiles trying to get the fit right.

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I got the bodice fitted after two toiles because I used a TNT pattern to get the sizing and darts placement right.

I just could not for the life of me, get the skirt to fit. So I gave up.

I desperately wanted the flounce but settled for a gathered skirt that I drafted myself.

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I teamed the dress with gold glittery shoes and a black glitter headband.

I’m pleased with the fit in the back. I usually have a lot of gaping around the upper back but nailed it this time and my zipper is pretty neat.

There is a little bit of gaping around the neckline but think that’s because it’s a touch too low for me combined with such a drapey fabric. Also I normally love gathered waist dresses but after a few too many cakes lately I’m not sure it’s as flattering as it could have been. I’m too ashamed of my handstitching to show you inside I’m afraid.

And then because I didn’t need the extra fabric I’d bought for the flounce I made I had a metre left over!

Hello New Look 6808!

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The best bit about making another one of these tops is that I knew I could fix the sleeves. I did this in two ways. I altered my pattern pieces to lower the bottom of the armhole on both pieces but increase the armhole curve on the back piece by a few millimetres.

Then I sewed the sleeves in flat! This was a revelation!!

I knew you could sew sleeves into jersey tops/dresses in flat but I wasn’t sure about woven garments.

A quick rummage around my google reader unearthed Sunni’s confirmation that you can!

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I made the gathers a bit more pleat like on this version. Though it’s hard to see in this photo.

The top fits like a dream with room for a big fat dinner.

I’m soooo making 50 more of these.

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Christmas Drawstring Present Sack*

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**Insert rude pun here**

I love a good rude pun. I’ve resisted the urge though as I don’t want you to think I’m peddling filth in my blog haha.

Or worse attract the wrong sort of readers from bad Google searches!

(If you want to gossip about any good ones via twitter please get in touch. I have a couple to share already.)

Today I dug out the Christmas present drawstring sack I made for Mr AR last year to size it up for 2012 presents.

I made it before I started blogging. And had way too much fun messing around with felt and glue.

It’s basically a huge pieces of red felt, folded in half, stitched up the sides.

The drawstring casing was made by folding down the top edge and stitching in place and my string is a white shoelace which I knotted at the end to stop it slipping out.

The Santa took a little longer but only because I was obsessing over the placement. I didn’t really use an official template, just drew up some of my own to guide me, you can probably tell right! But I’m pretty happy with it.

It’s a little less than A3 size so can handle quite a few small gifts and only took me an evening to make!

I definitely recommend whipping one up for someone instead of wrapping paper or if like me you want to fill it with smaller wrapped items.

Hope you’re getting in the festive spirit where you are!

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The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate

Well you can all guess where I’ve been today!

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Thanks to a facebook competition from Fabrications I won a free ticket to the Knitting and Stitching Show. It was recently in London and Dublin and now in lovely Harrogate for the weekend.

For those who don’t know the show covers knitting and stitching but way way more; felt-making, toy-making, shibori dyeing, jewellery-making, card-making, and mixed media. The HIC who are hosting said they expected around 10,000 people each day!!

I took the day off work as I thought it would be better to go on a weekday; foolishly thinking it should be less busy than a weekend day. Yeesh, if it was “quiet” then I dread to think how busy tomorrow or Sunday will be.

But it was fantastic to see so many people there eager to check out the stalls and exhibits.

Sadly I didn’t get to spot any sewing celebrities like Karen did but I got to see lots of beautiful embroidery, knitting and quilting displays. Most had *NO PHOTOGRAPHY* signs on which was a shame but I got a couple of photos from displays that didn’t.

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I also managed to curb my spending as I am technically on financial lockdown while we save for the new house.

I let myself get 1m of this gorgeous slate grey rayon with birdcage print. It feels so soft and delicious.

I also got this cute vintage blouse pattern with neckline variation and an air disappearing fabric marker.

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I should TOTALLY have bought this kid’s pattern and am now kicking myself over it. Who cares that I don’t have any children to make this for. Heck I could frame this bad boy to hang in my living room it’s that cool!

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I also chatted for a while with the lovely ladies promoting the Yorkshire School of Sewing. Gillian Hargreaves is a former City and Guilds teacher and she has opened up a sewing centre in Roundhay. I got a booklet about her courses and am interested in some of the pattern drafting courses available, the Chanel jacket class and the LBD session with couture techniques.

Again because of financial lockdown, I’ve entered a prize draw for a course of my choice and have put gift vouchers on my xmas list. If neither of those work out I’ll look into treating myself. I don’t think there’s much of a website yet but you can contact Gillian for details.

I saw plenty of cool exhibits. The Quilters Olympics Quilt (see the Synchronised Stitching block above), a man who embroidered whimsical maps of local areas, knitted armour, The Unfinishable project which was a tent made of incomplete garments (I could have contributed a lot to this one) and last but definitely not least a knitted town.

The town was awesome and therefore popular. I got two quick shots of the fire house and a church wedding. There was a farm complete with knitted vegetable patches and farmyard animals, a school, houses, cars, etc.

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I definitely recommend going to the show. There are some additional displays on Sunday and I’m sure the stalls won’t have sold out of much before then. It takes much longer to go around the 6 halls than you think so leave yourself plenty of time.

And let me know if you enjoyed it!

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Truffle Progress

After the death of my plaid top I wanted to bounce back into action and work on my Colette Truffle dress.

Super exciting as it’ll be my Xmas party dress yaaay!!

I’m using a gorgeous black and white polka dot satin I got at the Birmingham meet up.

The dots are so cute and large and the satin feels great.

After 3 muslins I got the darts in the right place and think the sizing is “spot on” for the bodice.

So I’ve cut it out:

And with some kick ass purple lining:

But all my skirt muslins were atrocious. I can’t make the hip curve fit, or the darts work or match up with the bodice darts!!!

Bah humbug*

(*hey we’re almost at Christmas).

So I’ve been debating leaving the Truffle unconquered for now. Well at least the bottom half.

If I add another style of skirt on the bottom I don’t think I can call it a Truffle can I?

I’m thinking possibly a TNT gathered skirt as I have them on most my dresses. Probably from my V8723 as it’s a good length.

Or something new and exciting like a half circle skirt. Though my maths skills are a little rusty.

Neeno used this tutorial for some of her half circle skirts.

Hmmm if I’m going to change the skirt up and lose that wonderful talking-point flounce, maybe I should add some other feature?

There’s even a tutorial  from the Selfish Seamstress to help me on my way.

Though I’d have to re-cut the back bodice and move the zip to the size. Oh my gosh this is getting complicated.

Any other suggestions to jazz up the dress without crazily redesigning everything?

Maybe just lowering the back into a nice v would be enough excitement.

Eeeeep!! I’m so excited to get this dress together but know I need to make some decisions.

I’ve got until Dec 7th to sew it up but not a lot of free time before then.

Best do some long hard thinking about this!!

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