Monday, November 28, 2011

{Ness Lovelies} Sadie bag and Ness discount!

This is the last Ness 'Bag of the Week' post.  It's been loads of fun to review their bags and a big thank you again to the folks at Ness for letting me borrow some samples to play with in these posts! Today, I'm delighted to review the 'Sadie' bag in the Tourmaline tartan (a nice mix of green and blue).

I'm wearing my blue 1967 me-made mod dress.  It's just the right colour of blue to match the beautiful tartan!

Here's a close-up of the bag.  I just love the purple accents and the Ness tag!  It's a great size bag with two separate sides with a button closure.  It also comes in the lovely burgundy and pink tartan called 'Almandine' (the same tartan used in the Laya bag I reviewed)

We had some left-over sparklers from Bonfire Night and considering that it gets dark just before 4pm--they are perfect for adding a nice glow to the evening!

I just wanted to let you all know that Ness is currently offering a 15% off discount on all items (of orders £50 or more) on their website!  Enter code XM4S at check-out!  They are also offering a 'Mix and Match' offer if you buy any combination of bag and wallet to get an additional 10% off (on top of the 15%).  If you've been thinking about getting any Ness presents (for others or for yourself) for the holidays, now's the best time with so many good deals!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sew Grateful Challenge: Giveaways and Tutorials

I'm just loving the Sew Grateful Challenge! It's so much fun reading about how various bits from the sewing community (be it a fee pattern, tutorial, fabric, etc) is incorporated into our sewing projects!  I wanted to do two highlights posts to showcase all the wonderful Sew Grateful Challenge participants!  This post will showcase some amazing giveaways and sewing tutorials!

Sew Grateful Tutorials:

The first tutorial comes from Beau Baby.  I just adore Suzanne's blog!  For her Sew Grateful challenge she put together an outfit for her daughter based on the book 'Little Blue and Little Yellow' by Leo Lionni.  She self-drafted the white hooded fleece romper and appliqued the little blue and little yellow dots.  She also made matching blue leggings using the "Sleeping Johns" pattern from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated, which she won in a giveaway.  And an added bonus is that she illustrates how to draft a hood pattern to add to any simple garment with a normal neckhole!  YAY! I'll definitely be using this tutorial in the future!

Suzanne is not alone in creating amazing tutorials!  Ms. Oonaballoona offers up the 'Double Agent Dress' Tutorial.  Using stretch jersey and three pattern pieces that Oona shows you how to make--you can have a fabulous dress that can be worn in loads of ways!  I just love it!

And to show how awesome our sewing community is, The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart used Oona's very own tutorial to sew up her Sew Grateful challenge!  She made the 'Double Agent Dress' from black jersey!  I am just loving the one-shouldered look!  Check out her post on making the dress here...

You are both inspiring me to make this dress!

Sew Grateful Giveaways
I'm delighted that the Sew Grateful week is inspiring giveaways! What better way to show your appreciation than to give something back to the online sewing community?  Check out these lovely giveaways...

Seeks over at the Seek Speak is hosting a fabulous giveaway to give thanks to her readers!  She is celebrating her 200th post!  I just love Seeks' blog!!  She posts a lot of really fun projects and has an amazing resource section on her blog for novice sewers.  Up for grabs in her giveaway is this adorable nightgown/robe uncut pattern from Simplicity in a size 16-18 (large) AND 4 yards worth of this amazing geometric patterned fabric!  The giveaway is open until the 1st of December and is open to everyone, everywhere!

Kat over at Modern Vintage Cupcakes is also hosting a fantastic giveaway!  You may have seen Kat's creations over at the Sew Weekly. Kat is also the mastermind behind two global pattern/notions swaps--such a lovely way to share something special with others in the sewing community!  The giveaway consists of a pattern pouch pocket, about 3 metres of blue lace/hem binding (depending on what you want to use it for), and a cute little belt buckle and the reader's choice of patterns: either Simplicity 8830 from 1970, in size 10 (bust size 32.5″) or Butterick 3037 from the early 1980′s, in size 12 (bust size 34″).   The giveaway is open until the 2nd of December to everyone, everywhere. Enter the giveaway here.

Lastly, the lovely Oona is also hosting a giveaway for the Bacciami dress from Shabby Apple!  The giveaway is open to U.S. readers, but hurry, it ends tomorrow (the 28th of November).  Enter for a chance to win the dress here...

I'm super excited about this next giveaway hosted by Amy who blogs over at Diana and Me.  Back in the spring I hosted a giveaway for several metres of purple corduroy fabric that I had used to make my Colette Parfait pinafore.  Amy won the fabric and look at the fabulous skirt she just made!!!  It gets better--there's still some fabric left!! So Amy is hosting a giveaway for the 1+ metres of purple corduroy fabric left!  It's a sisterhood of the traveling fabric!!  Stop by Amy's blog and enter the giveaway here.  The giveaway is open until the 4th of December!

While we are talking about giveaways, have you heard about coordinated giveaway day hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew? Mark your calendars for the 12 of December (a Monday) and host a giveaway on your blog.  Starting at 6am PST on the 12th, you can submit your link and thumbnail photo on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog for your giveaway!  

Stay tuned for more highlights from the Sew Grateful week.  I'll be posting the projects and reflections posts on Tuesday--so there's still time to finish your project.  Just send me a link and I'll include it! Thank you everyone for participating--it's been really fun to see your posts!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My 'Pumpkin Pie' Dress

Rain, rain, go away!!!  Well if I can't go outside to frolic in the leaves then I'll just add a leafy border to my inside shots :)  I've been wanting to make more 50's style pencil-skirt dresses as they are so easy to wear and hence my latest creation the 'pumpkin pie' dress in honour of my favourite autumn dish!

I made this dress out of a 'mystery' fabric that I bought a couple of years ago when I was visiting a JoAnn's fabric store in the States.  The fabric followed me to Scotland.  It feels a bit like wool but it irons like some sort of synthetic!  So it's probably a wool blend.

The fabric is a nice light pumpkin orange with flecks of grey, mustard, white and black. 

This dress is actually view B of the Style Print pattern I used to make my 'Mid-century Madness' dress.  I just love this pattern (which is making its way over to giveaway winner Megan!)  The dress features a side zipper closure and also a button-up front (which is good because it's still difficult to get on and off!), short plain sleeves, a collar that is in one piece with the front facing and a softly pleated skirt with a faux vent in the back.

I ended up using some vintage buttons that I got as a gift (that remind me of yummy chocolate treats!)

This dress is perfect for layering under cardigans (one of the reasons I did the short-sleeved version) and is just the right length!  YAY! Another office dress that can translate to evenings and weekends!

What are you working on at the moment?  I'm working on a McCall pattern from the year 1939 at the moment!  I am prepping my fabric and hope to cut it out today!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giveaway winners

I had so much fun during my blogiversary week and it was so lovely reading all your comments!
Now comes the fun part--announcing the giveaway winners!  All of the winners were randomly here we go....

1. The Paraders Vintage: The winner of the $50 gift certificate to The Parader's Vintage etsy store is.....KittyMeow who blogs over at Kitty's Drawings.  I just love her blog--she sews up fantastic vintage outfits and takes her pictures with her kitty in the background! Congrats KittyMeow!  Also good news for everyone else, The Parader's Vintage are having a 20% off sale on everything in their store until Monday!

2. EvaDress Pattern: The winner of her choice of patterns from EvaDress is....Stephanie Lynn from the Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart!  Congrats Stephanie!  Seeing as we are kindred spirits with vintage sewing--I know you'll really enjoy the EvaDress pattern!

3. BurdaStyle Pattern: The winner of her choice of downloadable BurdaStyle pattern is...Annabelle from Annabellebumps!  Annabelle just finished her Colette Fall Palette Challenge by sewing another amazing 1940's skirt!

4. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern: The winner of the Butterick pattern that has traveled around the globe will get to go to another continent!!  That's right...this pattern started out with Adey in Singapore, came to me in Scotland, is going to Oona in NYC and from there will go to.....Vicki from Vickikatemakes!  Welcome to the sisterhood :)

5. Custom Couture Book:  The winner of their own copy of Custom Couture: 32 Easy Ways to Transform your Wardrobe with Needle and Thread is.... Zannukene from Estonia!  Congrats! I can't wait to see your refashions!

6. A Fashionable Stitch: The winner of the $25 gift certificate to A Fashionable Stitch is...Lisa Kate who blogs over at Sparkle is my Crack, a blog dedicated to sparkling make-up!  Have fun with your gift certificate.  Sunni's shop is wonderful!

If you won one of the giveaways, get in touch with me at myhappysewingplace[at]googlemail[dot]com so we can figure out mailing logistics!

A toast to all the winners!

This was such a fun way to celebrate my blogiversary!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sew Grateful Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Just a quick reminder that I've got the 'Sew Grateful' challenge going on this week. 

Join me in using an item of fabric, pattern, book or other item that was given to you in a giveaway or as a present from a family member or friend and showcase your project on your blog this week.  This is a great time to get around to using that amazing pattern you won in a giveaway, or that lovely fabric someone gave you--even those buttons or special notions that you've received! Haven't received any material sewing items lately?  That doesn't matter either--we can be sew grateful for the time people put into organising sew-alongs, tutorials, etc.  Why not jump in and participate in that sew-along you missed or make something from that tutorial you've been thinking about?  Even if you don't get around to finishing a project, maybe spend some time blogging about what you're grateful for in relation to your hobby and the sewing community? 

You can grab the button from this post (or email me and I'll send you the picture).

I'm planning on doing two highlights post this weekend of everyone's Sew Grateful posts!  So drop me a comment if you've done a post for the challenge and I'll be sure to include it!

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Check out my guest post

Check out my guest post over at Sarah's blog Rhinestones and Telephones.  Stop by and leave a comment.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it was when you first started blogging and if you feel you have a blogging cohort?  

Monday, November 21, 2011

{Blogiversary Week} A recap of the week

Thank you all for making my blogiversary week so memorable! I read each and every comment and loved hearing your stories and reading your comments!  Like the Oban (city in Scotland) fireworks display for Bonfire Night—my blogiversary week was over too quickly!!

Here’s a recap from the week:

Well, I managed to only get three of five planned projects done during the week! Seems I was a little ambitious given my hectic work week but I am super happy with what I did get done:

It was great having a dedicated space to reflect on the last year of sewing!  Here's a recap of my reflection posts this week:


I'll announce the winners from the giveaways this next week!

Thank you all for such a wonderful week!  xoxoxoxo

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{Blogiversary Week} What's Next?

It seems best to end my blogiversary week by thinking ahead....what do I want to focus on in my third year of sewing/blogging?  

Following my Whim
I'm quite looking forward to going with the flow next year and working on projects that get me excited and that strike my fancy at any given moment.  This year has been very structured and it has been exactly what I needed and wanted.  This past year allowed me to explore lots of different styles and time periods.  I have loads of ideas and projects I want to do (and a growing pattern and fabric stash) and I'm excited to see when certain projects will come to the forefront this next year!
Despite my desire to follow my whim next year....there's also a few things I know for certain I want to do...

Put my house in order
Quite sewing room is a HOT MESS! (lol).  I look forward to using some of my creativity and time to sort out a space that will allow my creativity to flourish! I feel a bit cramped and disorganised and I know I am not using my space wisely.  Time to draw some inspiration from other creative ladies and get the place to be exactly how I would imagine my creative space to be.

The other thing?  My blog....oh deary, I can't find anything on my blog.  First up is to go back and tag all my posts (I've started already) and to create menus so that my blog is a bit more searchable.  It's a bit sad when I have to go to the Sew Weekly archives to figure out when I made a certain garment so that I can then find it on my blog! I have lots of other fun ideas for the blog but those are the first steps.  I realise I need to learn a bit more about computers and design and look forward to exploring that new (to me) territory.

Big(ger) Projects
I am very much itching to delve into some BIG projects! All I can think about are suits, suits and more suits, tailoring, gowns, embroidery, etc!  All the things I haven't had the time to really explore this year.  I look forward to taking my time and going DEEPER into projects (hello Gertie's Bombshell course!)  My posts may look a bit different next year as the pace slows down a bit.  The upside is that I'm looking forward to sharing more of the process with all of you and learning from you all DURING the process (as opposed to after a garment is finished)!!  That will be so much fun!  I do plan to have several mini-challenges throughout the year (much like this week has been) just to keep that different kind of challenge going!

Regular Features
Sew Country Chick did ask me this last week if I was going to participate in the Sew Weekly next year.  The answer is yes but only as a regular column contributor (monthly?)  For that feature, I am planning on taking modern patterns and giving them a vintage twist!  I also look forward to occassionally completing the weekly challenges as a Sew Weekly Circle community member.
I'm also still planning on completing my Sewing through the Decades challenge.  I'm making blouse/jackets/tops from each year from 1931 to 1949.  I've completed several projects already but look forward to picking that back up again!

Three new things I would love to focus on for sure next year:
  • Vintage office attire (did I already mention my current obsession with suits?)
  • Inspiration from classic movies--I'd love to sew up a few iconic movie outfits
  • Vintage patterns--I really want to explore different brands of vintage patterns across various decades
Becoming More Involved
There are several online communities that I would like to spend more time contributing to, namely:
  • Pattern Review
  • BurdaStyle
  • Sew Weekly Sewing Circle
  • Sew Retro 
 I'd like to also do more through my Facebook page!

I'm happy to say that despite a hectic year, I have even more energy and enthusiasm for my next year of sewing and blogging!

Thanks again for making my blogiversary week so special!!  Here's to another year of friendship and creativity!!!  xoxoxoxo 

{Blogiversary} Supporting Independent and Local Businesses

One of the best parts of this year has been seeing members of our own sewing community start or expand their sewing businesses!  In addition, I've been able to connect with and support one of my favourite Scottish small businesses.

Here's a little recap of everyone I've worked with or supported over the past year:

Reproduction Pattern Businesses:
I just love repro patterns.  For someone who enjoys sewing 30's and 40's patterns, repro patterns are a great way to have access to very rare patterns that would cost an arm and leg to otherwise acquire.  Earlier in the year, I put together a list of sources for acquiring 30's and 40's patterns and listed several repro pattern sellers.  During the past year, I've had the chance to sew with patterns from Wearing History, EvaDress and Vintage Fashion Library.

1934 Wearing History repro gown that I made for Valentine's Day

Two outfits sewn from EvaDress repro patterns (1933 Butterick Repro pattern based on an early Katherine Hepburn movie and a 1931 suit pattern)
I've also hosted Wearing History and EvaDress pattern giveaways and I hope to work with this 1933 Vintage Pattern Lending Library pattern before the year is out!

Independent Pattern Companies
I've just loved seeing how both Colette and Sewaholic patterns have grown over the past year.  It's fantastic that both Tasia and Sarai are also active bloggers! I love that and I hope to use more of their patterns before the end of this year and definitely into next year!  This past year I made a Pendrell blouse and worked with Tasia to host a Sewaholic patterns giveaway and also had the chance to sew up the Parfait dress from Colette! 

  My Purple Parfait Pinafore (say that ten times fast!!) made with the Parfait Colette pattern.
Etsy Sellers
I buy quite a few patterns from etsy and really enjoy interacting with the sellers!  One seller that I bought and made up two patterns from was Miss Betty's Attic.  She kindly offered my readers a discount to her pattern shop! 

1950's Patio dress and 1941 Sailor dress made from patterns from Miss Betty's Attic.
Another thing that Etsy is great for is finding high quality vintage items!  I had the opportunity to work with The Paraders Vintage to host a giveaway to their etsy store.  Both the ladies behind this business are fantastic and they are going to be launching their own online store soon!

Local Businesses
One of the most exciting collaborations for me is being able to work with Ness, a Scottish company that focuses on using tartan and tweeds in fun and fashionable ways!  I've been a huge fan of Ness since I've moved to Scotland.  You might say that I had a bit of a crush on them!  In my first year of sewing, I actually built a sewing plan around the colour palette of two pairs of Ness shoes and my Ness jacket.  One of the highlights of the year was meeeting the people behind Ness in person.  They are so lovely and I'm just so excited to be a Ness ambassador as I truly love their products and their vision and the fact that they are a small company doing exciting things in Scotland!

Giving the Ness 'Azure' bag (this week's "Bag of the Week") a test run while grocery shopping in our local South Asian food store!  I've paired my Ness 'Brooke' sweater with my very first me-made skirt!
Ness is currently offering my readers 15% off all items (of orders £50 or more) on their website!  Enter code XM4S at check-out!  They are also offering a 'Mix & Match' offer if you buy any combination of bag and wallet to get an additional 10% off (on top of the 15%).  If you've been thinking about getting any Ness presents for the holidays, definitely do it while it's discounted!!

Another fabulous local UK company that I had the chance to work with this year was Fancy Moon: Purveyor of Fine Fabrics.  It was so lovely of them to host a giveaway on my blog! I just adore their fabric!

 My 'Midcentury Madness' dress made from Fabric from Fancy Moon.

The Giveaway
One of the new independent online sewing stores that I haven't hosted a giveaway for is A Fashionable Stitch!  Many of you know Sunni from her blog and the store!  I've used several of Sunni's belt kits for my dresses including my 1941 sailor dress and my 1950's halter and skirt outfit.  I just adore Sunni (she is so lovely), I am in awe of her projects and I just love her store!  She stocks so many things that are hard to find (belt kits, horsehair braid, tailor's tape, wrist pincushions).  Sunni is very graciously offering one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to A Fashionable Stitch for them to get whatever they like!

This giveaway is open to all my readers anywhere in the world. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would get from Sunni's store with the gift certificate.  Enter your comment by midnight (London time) on Wednesday the 23rd of November for a chance to win the $25 gift certificate to A Fashionable Stitch. 

Thanks so much Sunni for your lovely generosity! And a big thank you to all the independent businesswomen in the sewing community--you are all such inspirations!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

{Blogiversary Week} The Bow Sweater

I'm really excited to share my newly refashioned sweater.  I'm especially happy because I made it to match my Mrs. Peacock skirt and my teal Pendrell blouse!

Awhile back (ok, too far back), the folks at Sixth & Spring Books sent me the book Custom Couture to review.  I feel like in order to properly review I need to do one of the projects from the book.  This book includes 32 refashion projects.  While flipping through I saw this picture for the 'Folk Cardigan':

I had a matching black sweater in my closet (except mine was a turtleneck sweater) that was earmarked for the local charity shop.  It's an older sweater (a hand-me down from my sister) and it lacks a bit of shape to look flattering as a main layer.  Plus, the fibers from the cable knit are starting to stretch--just enough that it's slightly see-through.  So as a main layer you'd have to wear something black underneath.  When I saw this project in the book I got really excited because the sweater is a perfect candidate to become a refashioned cardigan.  Cardigans come in super handy in scotland--so I decided to try it out.

First, I marked the centre front of the sweater.  This was very easy because as a cable knit it was perfectly symmetrical.  I also marked and cut around the turtle neck.  The next step was to make binding and sew it around the newly cut openings.

I decided to use some left over fabric from my Mrs. Peacock skirt.  It was really easy to sew the binding on and since the sweater is black--you can see any stitching.

There were a few parts of the book's instructions that I found confusing.  There are a few illustrations included and that was good because it made it very clear but I felt that some of the sections of text could have been clearer.  The illustrations for making the bow were clear but since I was using tweed, I had to adjust the stated measurements to accommodate the thicker fabric.

There's also some very interesting refashions in the book.  Some that I don't think I'd ever do--they are just not my style but I could see that maybe some people could pull it off??  This sweater refashion with bows on the arms is one good example.  I'm not exactly sure what look they are going for or if the refashion is even better than the original (lol):

Despite a few projects like that, there are some real gems in this book, including a few really neat ways to refashion tank tops!  All templates are included at the back of the book as well.

Lots of the projects are simple and are things I wouldn't have thought of.  It helped me to look at my wardrobe in a new way and to use some of their ideas to think about what I could do to change up items that are no longer working for me.

I am very happy with my sweater refashion and I love that it automatically completes this outfit for autumn/winter!  Makes me want to go out and find more sweaters in charity shops to make matching cardigans for all my me-made outfits!!!

The Giveaway

I'm hosting a giveaway to win a copy of Custom Couture. This giveaway is open to all my readers anywhere in the world. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me about any garments in your closet that are candidates for refashioning.  Is there something you don't want to get rid of but that's not really working for you in it's current state?  Enter your comment by midnight (London time) on Monday the 21st of November for a chance to win a copy of Custom Couture by Helene Le Berre.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't forget to enter the Paraders Vintage Giveaway!

I've really enjoyed reading all the comments on my blogiversary posts--they are all so lovely! Thank you so much!  I'm taking a little break today from the blogiversary festivities--but will be back with some new projects tomorrow.  In the meantime, I wanted to remind everyone about the fabulous giveaway I am hosting to the Vintage Paraders etsy store!

Enter the giveaway here for a $50 gift certificate to this fabulous online vintage store...but hurry, the giveaway ends tomorrow (Saturday) night!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Blogiversary Week} From 1 to 59: The Year of Meet-ups

One of the best parts of this last year has been all the fabulous people I have met both online and in person!

Eight months into my first year of sewing/blogging, I had the chance to meet up with one of my favourite bloggers, Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons.  It was the first time for both us meeting someone from the blogosphere. I was very nervous but Tilly is so lovely and we had so much fun.

During this second year of sewing/blogging, I've had the chance to meet-up with 59 people! WOWZA!  I just love it! It's so much fun to be able to connect in person.  My first set of meet-ups this last year happened on the same weekend.  First, I was able to meet the lovely Solvi who blogs over delfinese and Kristen from Kristenmakes.  Kristen lives in Edinburgh and it was so great to meet her (and we've met up subsequently--though Kristen, we should do it again soon!) and Solvi came over to Edinburgh from Sweden!

I just love the picture below of the three of us bent over a pattern box at a local vintage store:

The following day, I was super excited to hang out with Sofia and Jen.  Sofia is an amazing seamstress, which must be a family trait because she just so happens to be Tasia the Sewaholic's sister.  Sofia and Jen were touring around Europe and were in Scotland for a couple of days and I was super happy to be able to show them around one of my favourite towns--St. Andrews.

 Just a little over a month later, I had the chance to meet-up with Elise who blogs at Chez Napier
while she was vacationing in Scotland:
We went to my favourite fabric store (Edinburgh Fabrics--and where I love to take people) and then out for a cup of coffee!  I was even one of the first people to find out that Elise was pregnant! I kept it a secret and I can't wait until the baby comes--I just might have to send him/her a little something from Scotland :)

Later that very same week was the Blogger Meet-up of the Century in London.  This was the most epic blogger meet-up I've been to yet!  It involved 1 fashionable exhibit at the V and A museum, 10-12 fabric stores, 38 + sewists, 1 bar and a six hour train journey (on which I finished my dress that I wore to the meet-up! lol).  It was so big, I didn't even have a chance to properly meet everyone!  I had so much fun and I hear there might be another London meet-up this next spring organised by Tilly and Zoe from So Zo...  Though this time I'm definitely spending the night in London so that I can spend more time with everyone!

Look at all of us chatting away when our two big groups met up at Goldhawk Road Station at the exact same time:

This was my first ever large-scale meet-up and I just *might* be addicted.  I got to meet the ladies who blog at: Did you Make That?, Charlotte and Victoria from the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, Beebee's Vintage Dress, Sew Far Sew Good, Heart's Cottage Vintage Sewing, House of Pinheiro, Marguerite Designs, The Reel McCoy, Space Craft, MagpieMimi, Diana and Me,The Needle Diaries,Tuppence Ha'Penny Vintage, Midnight Betty’s, How To Use Your Time, So Zo, Tilly and the Buttons, Dibs and The Machine,Scruffy Badger, Miss P, Made In Oxford, All Style and All Substance, Catherine Daze, Pimp My Curtains, A Sewing Odyssey, Oobop, Blondon Daze, Pin Cushion Treats, Handmade By Freya, Tea and Crumpets Vintage, Little Miss Twitchy, Cyberdaze, Handmade Jane, Eugenia’s (fabulous) world of fashion, Molly and Mango.  I hope I didn't miss anyone on from that meet-up! Like I said, it was huge!

In early June, I got to meet Jane who blogs over at Daisy Donut before she set out on a wonderful European cruise.  I was also able to set Ted off on his excellent adventures across the UK to help Jane Jane fundraise for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Just a few months ago I was able to coordinate visiting my family in the States with meeting lots of people!  First off, I was so thrilled to be able to meet Mena, Christine, Shannon and Xandra at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon event in California! What a treat that was--we all got dressed up in our me-made 30's dresses and Mena had a lovely picnic spread and lunch for us!

Mena also took me fabric shopping and to some of her favourite local stores the following day!  It was great to meet Mena and see the woman behind The Sew Weekly!

On this trip, I also got to meet the lovely Solanah from Vixen Vintage who just so happens to live in the same part of the world as my family!  Solanah and I spent a Saturday going to some amazing estate and garage sales!

I was hoping to meet-up with Sarai from Colette patterns as well on this trip but I ended up canceling our arranged meet-up so that I could spend some time with my Grandma.  I'm hoping I can catch Sarai again in the near future as it would be loads of fun to meet her and Caitlin and to get a peak at their creative space!

Later in that trip, I was able to stop in NYC to co-host with the amazing Oonaballoona, Meg the Grand and Mena another EPIC meet-up.  I had been wanting to meet Oona and Meg since I started interacting with them on the Sew Weekly community site!  I knew I would be flying through NYC on my way back to Scotland, so I seized the opportunity and emailed Oona about my plans! Several emails, blog posts, and a youtube video later and we had quite a gathering in the big apple!

At the meet-up, I got to meet Vicki, daughter fish, Cindy, Mena (in another city!), Oona, Meg, Lisette, Nettie, Marina, Puu and Peter. We started with a sangria lunch, exchanged patterns, shopped our hearts out, went to dinner and then Oona, Meg, Mena and I continued onto a super secret venue that involved colour-coordinated dresses.  Needless to say I had a blast!  Why can't every day be like a fabulous blogger meet-up day? 

As if it couldn't get any better...Oona and I also had the chance to take a class with the one and only Gertie.  The class was amazing and SO MUCH FUN!  I highly recommend taking a class with Gertie if you ever find yourself in NYC! 

Fast forward to this very last week and my most recent meet-up with Miss Katie who blogs over at The Little Red Squirrel.  We had so much fun shopping and gabbing up a storm! It was lovely!

Phew! What a social year, eh?  I just love meeting fellow sewists and have been so delighted to meet everyone this year! I'm looking forward to many more social gatherings next year!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pattern Giveaway
What better way to celebrate all the fabulous people I've met this last year than to host a pattern giveaway!  This is not just any pattern--but a traveling pattern!  This lovely Butterick re-issue pattern from which you can make a sheath dress, full overskirt, sash and cape in sizes B30-34 (just a note that the size 34 has been cut out but the other sizes are still included)! 
 I originally got this pattern in a swap back in February with Adey from the Sew Convert.  She made lovely hot pink dress and a 1950's Sabrina inspired cape from the pattern.  I made this pattern up into a teal dress for my meet-up with Oona, Meg and Mena.  Oona very kindly even let me use Kenny for some last minute sewing!  I ended up leaving a few of the pattern pieces at Oona's place.  So I'm sending the pattern to Oona who is going to make her own delicious version but at the same time will send the pattern along to one lucky winner!  We hope you'll keep the tradition going and send it along to someone else.  It would be great to document where this pattern goes in the next year! 

To enter:
This giveaway is open to all my readers anywhere in the world. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me about your most memorable meet-up!  If you haven't had any meet-ups, let me know who would you most like to meet?  I can't wait to hear your stories.  Enter your comment by midnight (London time) on Saturday the 19th for a chance to win 'the sisterhood of the traveling pattern'.    
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