One good turn deserves another – Giveaway!

You heard right, it’s giveaway time!

But before I get to the giveaway bit, I need to tell you a little bit about my friend Ki.

This lady in the middle* is a bit of a legend you see. Not only is she an all-round kick-ass kind of gal, she’s got a PhD in awesome (or at least this is what I assume). Ki and I are pals from my time in Swansea, but now she has an exciting job in England and I’m back in the Welsh capital, we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to.

Except when we caught up earlier this week she brought me PRESENTS!

Not just any old present. LOOK AT ALL THOSE PATTERNS. As you can imagine, I got just a little bit excited. Her Mum’s a bit of a seamstress you see, and she’s been lovely enough to lend me some of her old patterns, which I’m going to trace and have a crack at making. Amazing present or what?

So, in lieu of Ki’s most excellent present, I propose a giveaway of my own. The whole trace it and pass it on ethos works quite well for old patterns – they’re highly sought after and go for a fair bob online. So I thought I’d take a leaf out of Ki’s book and offer one of my own collection to you guys.

This here is Vogue 7239, a ’60s style pattern with a coat and dress. Pretty schnazzy, right? I’ve yet to make this one up myself – I snapped it up at a vintage market here in Cardiff (actually, my friend Keiligh wrote about it here, there’s even a photo of my hands rifling through the vintage pattern goodies!) and haven’t had the chance to use it yet. It’s a size 14 with 36″ bust measurement, but I imagine it would be pretty easy to scale up or down.

What I’m going to do is trace the pattern, photocopy the instructions and send it along to one of you! All I ask the winner to do is pass it along in your own giveaway once you’re done with it – simples! Also, do blog about your creation! You’ll see mine at some point (I hope!) when I get a chance to whip one up, and it’d be great to collate the different versions we make.

All I need you to do is to comment with what you’d do with the pattern – what fabric would you use? What colour? Where would you wear it? You know me, I’m nosy! I’ll choose the winner at random two weeks today on March 28. This giveaway is open to everyone!

Oh, and do check out Ki’s blog, it’s lovely. Also, if you’re on the Twitter-machine, get following, because she’s a legend! Any ideas on how I can repay her?

*FYI, the one on the right with the blue hair? Equally legendary.

2011’s Inspirational Makes – as chosen by you!

I received some lovely submissions for 2011’s inspirational makes! You’ve been really busy this year haven’t you?

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Without further ado, here are Seamless readers’ inspirational makes from 2011 (in no particular order):

Check out Adri H’s Bombshell Dress! Isn’t it amazing? Gertie’s online class is clearly worth taking if these are the results. What I really loved was how Adri blogged the construction of the dress, so you can see just how much detail has gone into it. It’s clearly paid off – it fits her like a glove and the diamond brooch is an elegant touch. Adri said: “It’s an evening dress with a structured bodice, lots of couture techniques and an overall sewing adventure.” The Bombshell Dress is most definitely on my sewing list after seeing this incarnation of it!

image from The Wardrobe Reimagined

Ali was nominated by Minnado: “I was inspired by Ali’s use of existing jeans and a jacket to create her own pattern pieces and wardrobe staples.” Ali completed quite the feat this year by accurately making copies of not only a J Crew jacket but also a pair of jeans from Gap! Not to mention she did it from working out her own pattern for both garments. It just goes to show, who needs the labels when you have your sewing machine?

Minnado has been pretty busy too, sewing and refashioning a whole maternity capsule wardrobe for herself. In total, it cost her a mere £32 for her entire maternity wardrobe. She said: “It has meant I have busted out a lot of stash fabric and I have learnt that it is a myth that you have to buy maternity clothes, and need to spend lots of money.” Cost-effective, practical and stylish.

Molly made this fantastic coat for her sister, nicknamed the Sith coat. Possibly the coolest name ever? Perhaps only after her sister’s, who chose Pedro as her online moniker. She clearly enjoys wearing this coat and who can blame her? I can’t decide what I like best – the epic hood or the hipster-style lining. Bravo!

Charlotte whipped up this beauty from a V and A pattern found here! It’s retro-tastic and a great example of how reproductions of vintage patterns should be done. Isn’t the floral fabric just beautiful? Charlotte also wore it to the Sew Weekly UK meetup earlier this year and she looked fantastic!

Charlotte also nominated Sew Weekly contributor Debi for her response to the community’s Sewing Through the Decades challenge. Debi’s blog is well-worth a look, as she consistently comes up trumps with her creations. Charlotte said: “This 1933 outfit made me gasp out loud the first time I saw it. To be honest she has made lots more as well that I just love, but this is my favourite.” I agree with Charlotte, Debi’s creations are consistently inspirational – in fact, she’s just posted her own year in review, featuring a whopping 58 outfits!

Sometimes, the simplest silhouettes are the most effective, as Barbara shows with her 1950’s dress. Can you believe this is made from a vintage sheet? I think the little touches like the piping detail really makes this dress special. Barbara said: “I really got into the sew-mo during the second half of 2011. I think one of my best pieces was made out of a thrifted sheet that I repurposed into an adorable 50′s dress. Having one of my talented daughters take the pictures, made for a very pleasing set of pics.”

Last, but most certainly not least, is this very unique way of RSVPing a wedding invitation from Kirsty of The Leopard Anchor. The embroidery on this cushion is astoundingly intricate, particularly the post-card style writing on the back and the little owl stamp. It’s also scented! This wasn’t the end of the story for this special little cushion however. Kirsty said: “I was pretty proud of it as I hadn’t done much embroidery and it turned out quite well. But I was bursting with pride when I discovered the lovely couple were using it as their ring cushion on their wedding day.” How lovely is that?

There we have it ladies and gents! Some cracking makes, I’m sure you’ll all agree. I’m really looking forward to what you all come up with in 2012! I’m thinking of featuring inspirational makes on a more regular basis in 2012, perhaps monthly? What do you think?

If you want to see some of the blogs I read for inspiration, then check out my bundle of RSS feeds here, including Zoe (also recommended by Minnado), Thread Carefully and Gertie, amongst others! I’m always adding more, so subscribe if you want to share my sewing blog reading list.

Oh, also…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Apologies this post is so late in the day! WordPress and I were having a bit of a technological fist fight, as you do. I had a good old rant on Twitter and then got back to it. Consider yourself defeated WordPress, ha!