Sunday, January 29, 2012

Almost Done!

I'm almost done with my birthday dress suit.  I really love it.  I just need to hem the dress and the jacket and attach the last of the buttons which I'll do tomorrow after work.  My goal is to post the outfit photos before my birthday month is over!!

Here's a sneaky peek:

You can check out the pattern I used (a 1937 McCall pattern) here...

My esteemed sewing assistant, Echo, was very helpful during the dress construction phase:

YAY!  I'm super excited.  My sewing mojo got a major upswing after the Crafters' Ceilidh meet-up--and I'm sewing non-stop!

What are you working on at the moment?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Special Day

Today is my Pa's birthday. Happy Birthday to the best Dad ever! I love you and wish I was there to celebrate with you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mission McCall Monday: 9111 to 9120

Thanks for all the comments on the last post! It was so much fun to meet-up with everyone in Edinburgh and to even hear of some plans for future visits to the city!

Back to Mission McCall Mondays and today we are covering patterns 9111 to 9120 from 1937.

I'm missing the image for 9111 so first up is McCall 9112 for these fabulous culottes:

I must say that I really adore the fit of these culottes and the two small pockets on the hip line!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crafters' Ceilidh OR The Perfect Day

 Crafters' Ceilidh Group Photo, From L to R: Kerry, Karen, Winnie, Rachel L., Kari, Roo, Carolyn, Amanda, So-Ha, Kiran, Rachel, Debi B., Kristen, Franca, Alana, me, Hannah, Katie and Melizza.  Not pictured: Clare, Anneleen, Tom and Cat.

Wow, oh wow! Yesterday was the Crafters' Ceilidh--or the most perfect day ever!  Twenty-three of us met up in Edinburgh, Scotland for a jam-packed day of chatting and shopping.  It was so much fun!

The preparations began last month in earnest when Kristen, Kerry and I met-up and decided it would be great to hold a fabulous meet-up in Scotland!  Full credit for the idea goes to Dibs who's been wanting to come up to Scotland for some time (Dibs, we missed you so much!!!).  We had several planning meetings and after phone calls, emails and even crafting we sat anxiously waiting in Frederick's Coffee House for the first folks to arrive from all over the UK!

 Photos: 1. Kristen, Kerry and I chatting, photo by Roo; 2. Clare, Alana, Debi B. and Anneleen chatting away, 3. Karen and Winnie, photo by Karen.

We started out the day chatting and mingling as folks arrived and grabbing some food and caffeine for what would be a whirlwind trip around Edinburgh!

We walked through Prince's Street Gardens and took a group photo at one of the most picturesque vantage points in the city:
David was our lovely photographer and yes, we did bring a Scottish flag (teehee).

We walked first to the Grassmarket area and had fun at W. Armstrong and Sons vintage store, K1 Yarns Knitting Boutique and Fabhatrix.  We then ventured onto three fabrics stores: Edinburgh Fabrics, Mandors and the Cloth Shop.

Karen looking gleefully at some fabric with Winnie and Amanda contemplating fabric choices.

Rachel and I in the Cloth Shop

1. Rachel explaining what could be made with the fabulous 80's patterns, 2. some of the many goodies up for grabs, 3. Rachel L. showing a really beautiful gown pattern--can you believe no one wanted to take it home...that is except for me..*rubbing hands together*
We then headed to the soon-to-be-opened Sewing Bee Cafe--Edinburgh's first sewing space!  The lovely Kal gave us an introduction to the Cafe and generously hosted us in her space for our pattern/fabric/yarn swap.  We had so much fun and hilarity ensued with a contest for the funniest cover art of patterns in the giveaway.

We then headed to the Voodoo Rooms for a wonderful group dinner where we were joined by Tom and Cat.

It was such a fabulous day! Thank you to everyone for coming and for those that weren't able to come at the last minute due to illness or injury (Kate, Donna, Jane and Dibs), we're hoping to have many more meet-ups!

And did I hear a rumour at my dinner table that there is a desire for our next meet-up to be in Bath???....hmmm...what are the chances?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1907 McCall Pattern Leaflet

Lauren from Wearing History sent me this fabulous leaflet she found in a 1907 McCall's magazine to share with all of you.  It gives details on what all the notches and holes stand for in the early unprinted McCall patterns.  What a find! Thanks Lauren!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Preparing for the Crafters' Ceilidh Meet-Up

I'm so excited for this upcoming weekend! I wanted to do a post about what to expect at the Crafters' Ceilidh meet-up.  Those who are coming will be receiving an email soon with all the details but I thought I do a little showcase piece on some of my favourite sewing related offerings in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.  Now, it's no Goldhawk Road or Garment District....but we've got a few Aladdin's Caves with hidden treasures.  I know I am horrible at spur of the moment shopping and prefer to plot and plan a little before my fabric and sewing related excursions--so I thought I thought I'd share some photos to get your creative ideas flowing!

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that I love Edinburgh Fabrics (they don't have a website).  They have everything: consistent offerings, great quality and excellent prices.  I've made many of my garments from fabric bought at Edinburgh Fabrics.  Here are a few of my favourite things:

Fun Buttons photo credit: Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons

Edinburgh Fabrics is small and jam packed with goodies.  I always find something new every time I visit.  Some of my favourite things they offer includes amazing British wool (at good prices approx. £15-20/mtr), crepe back satin in virtually every colour, fun buttons (including rhinestone vintage looking buttons), loads of trim, beautiful Chinese brocade fabrics, great linings and some beautiful netting (think petticoats) in nice muted colours.  Edinburgh Fabrics is family run and I think you will love it!

We also have a store called the Cloth Shop (run by Remnant Kings):
 Photos from Remnant Kings Website

Looking for home furnishing fabrics, fun stretch tartan fabric or funky prints?  The cloth shop is a great store.  I never know what I'm going to find but I always love having a look!  They also have  accessories such as shoulder pads, etc.

And last but not least in the fabric store category is Mandors Edinburgh:

Mandors Store photo credit: rovingreporterseca

They have their flagship store in Glasgow but have a two-floor shop in Edinburgh.  The basement holds the quilting cottons and furnishing fabrics and the ground floor is dedicated to dressmaking fabrics.  Let me tell you...they have an A-MAZING wool selection.  Mandors is know for their colour coordinated stores and it is so fun to browse their amazing offering.  There is a huge range in prices from bargain bin half-priced fabric to Alpaca and Wool coating going for £50/mtr.  It just so happens our visit will coincide with their winter sale....hmmmmm

But wait....there's more. 

Fancy knitting?  K1 Yarns Knitting Boutique is a cute little shop with some very nice yarns.  They also have a short stack of wool fabric and batik print fabric in the store (though it's a bit on the pricey end).

Do you have an embroidery project or are you thinking of starting one?  Well....the Grassmarket Embroidery Shop (again no website) is the equivalent of handwork heaven.  Every colour of floss, embroidery canvases and fabrics, speciality kits....

Do you love vintage?
 Photo credits: Gloves and hats photos from La Poubelle Verte, Cashmere sweaters photo from Rosie and Gracie Vintage.

Armstrongs and Sons is THE place in Scotland for vintage clothing.  Some of my favourite things include their vintage hats, gloves and of course, cashmere jumpers/sweaters.  They also have vintage patterns and fabrics.  Every time I've gone, I've walked away with some fabric at a fabulous price (in December I came away with three yards each of two separate wools!!)  Plus, the store is such a fun experience--it's packed from floor to ceiling with pretty things.

I'm currently checking to see if any of these places will give us discounts.

What else?  Bring your camera and plan for cold weather.....of course, you do realise we are all totally crazy for planning a meet-up in January in Scotland??  heheheh.  The high is expected to be 6 degrees Celsius with light rain and wind--so bundle up.  You don't have to wear a me-made creation, unless of course you have made a coat recently.....

We'll probably do a bit of traveling by bus around the city (Edinburgh buses are fantastic)--so plan to bring £3.20 in exact change to purchase a day ticket.  Unlike other buses in Scotland, the Lothian buses do not give change so you have to have the exact fare.

If you have fabric, patterns, yarn or other crafty stuff that you're not using--bring it with you and put it in our swap!

More details on the actual meet-up location and other logistics will be sent soon!  I can't wait for Saturday!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm in Sew Magazine!

I'm so excited!  The lovely Mary Jane who blogs over at Mary Jane Makes interviewed me for a piece she was writing on sewing with vintage patterns for Sew Magazine.

I am SO EXCITED! How neat is that??  You may recognise in the photo that I'm wearing my very first sewn garment--the 1940's DuBarry pattern blouse.  A big thanks to Rachel for letting me know she had seen the article.  I'm picking up a couple of copies at the train station tomorrow! Thanks so much Mary Jane!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Look Inside Early McCall Patterns: 1910's to 1930's

Today I thought we would take a look inside some early McCall patterns to see how the patterns themselves evolved over time.

I want to give a special thank you to Lauren from Wearing History (a fellow McCall pattern lover) as she helped me put together some of the information for this post and kindly contributed several pictures!

Here's what a pattern piece from a 1910 McCall pattern looks like:

 Photo credit: Lauren from Wearing History
Notice how it's unprinted but does include notches and circle and triangle holes?  That's the guide for different construction techniques such as darts, etc. 

The earliest McCall pattern I have is from the 1920's.  Here's a look inside at both the instructions and the sleeve pattern piece:

A few things I noticed right away with this 20's pattern is that the instructions (called 'Printo Gravure') are printed on the same tissue paper as the pattern.  You'll also notice that the sleeve pattern piece has a pictorial guide on it on how to alter the sleeve for special measurements.  I've only seen this on 1920's patterns but I really like it.  In the last picture above you can see that the instructions contain a lot of real photos including how to make a bound buttonhole (in photos as opposed to drawings).


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sew Grateful Week--Rescheduled for February

January is sure flying by!  I've decided to reschedule the Sew Grateful Week to the first full week in February to give us all some more prep time.  There's been little sewing around these parts as I am completely re-organising my sewing room at the moment.  It's almost done and it is so much better!

You may recall from the first Sew Grateful Week that the idea is to use 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 to showcase that project on your blog during the Sew Grateful Week.  Haven't received any material sewing items lately?  That doesn't matter --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?

I hope you'll join in for the Sew Grateful Week in February!  Button coming soon...  Now I just need to figure out which lovely gift to sew!!

In other news, have you heard about the "Vintage-Inspired, Modern Style Design Challenge" hosted by BurdaStyle?  It sounds really fun.  You basically take one of the patterns from the 'Vintage Notions' book (a book that my Dad got for me that I absolutely love), or a pattern from Amy Barickman's other lines and update it for your style.  You then post it as a project on BurdaStyle and they do some judging and award some amazing prizes!  The U.S. winner gets one of these 160th anniversary limited edition Singer machines:

Unfortunately, the international winner doesn't get one of those but they still get some cash and neat other swag.  I am SO IN!

Anyways, check out all the details here...

Like I said before, I just adore the Vintage Notions book and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the projects and adding my own unique twist!

Or why not join the U.F.O. (i.e. Unfinished Objects) Party that Marina from Frabjous Couture is hosting?  I just organised all my UFOs today and I could definitely use a party to get those finished!

Another exciting challenge is the 'Sew Colette' Sew-along, which is hosted by two of my favourite ladies--Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones and Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy

They are planning to sew all the patterns from the book (one a month).  It sounds fantastic!  I am happy to say that I've just joined the rest of you.  I just got my book in the mail today!!!  A birthday gift!  YAY!

My, my....I best get a move on and finish tidying up this sewing room!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mission McCall Mondays: 9100-9110

My regular 'Mission McCall Mondays' post series seems especially appropriate this month! For those of you new to the series, my goal is to update the Vintage Pattern Wiki so that it's complete for all McCall patterns from mid 1936-1940.  I am admittedly behind in uploading these to the Wiki but I know I'll get there soon.  All of the patterns this week are from 1937.  The pattern envelopes were uploaded into the pattern Wiki by great online pattern seller.  The other images (alas just the images not the patterns) are from my own collection.

We start off this week with a  pattern already in the Wiki, McCall 9100:

I really love this pattern between the double collar, the neat rows of buttons up the front to the interesting sleeve details, I think it's just perfect!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Preparing for the Crafters' Ceilidh Meet-up

Today Kerry, Kristen and I got together and did some planning and prepping for the Crafters' Ceilidh Meet-up later this month.

We're just wrapping up some of the details--more to come but I can promise you it will be a fun day!

Thank You- You Are Amazing!

Thank you all for the sweet birthday congratulations!  It made me so happy reading through all your comments and well wishes!  I had a fabulous day ..(more pictures to come later)...

I wanted to share a really fun video that Oona put together that I think you will enjoy (I know I did!):

hahahaha! Isn't that great?  We sure do know how to bust a move :)  Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A note from David

Hey, all.
This is David, Debi's partner.
We've awakened to an uncharacteristically-sunny morning in Edinburgh, a wonderful start to the day.

Please join me in wishing Debi a very Happy Birthday.

Thank you all for your continued interest and support of Debi's sewing hobby (fascination, obsession...).  Your interactions have inspired, instructed, and encouraged her to pursue it with all her characteristic joy and passion, and it has made her incredibly happy.

Happy New Year, and here's to wonderful things in 2012!

Warm regards,

McCall's in the 1910's

Photo credit: Magazine cover by Coles Phillips [1880-1927], scan via American Art Archives

As we embark on the year that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the titanic, there will be lots of looking back at Edwardian times.  I thought I would put together a post of some lovely scans from McCall's magazines of the 1910's.  Hope you enjoy!

 Photo Credits: 1. August 1910 McCall's Magazine via Christine592 on Flickr (also known by the blog Vintage 123), 2. Winter 1913 McCall's Magazine via Clothes Circuit, 3. April 1914 McCall fashion plate via Vintage Fan Girl

 Photo Credits: 4. March 1914 McCall's Magazine fashion plate via Christine592 on flickr, 5. 1915 McCall's Magazine fashion plate via the NYPL Digital Gallery

  Photo Credits: 6. 1916 McCall's Magazine fashion plate from Iowa State University Library Special Collections via Old Rags  ,7. April 1917 McCall's Magazine fashion plate via Christine592 on Flickr, 8. January 1918 McCall's Magazine fashion plate via Christine592 on Flickr.

More 1910's McCall's resources:

  • A story from the April 1916 McCall's Magazine on auto-camping across the United States from The Vintage Traveler (a fabulous blog and fellow vintage pattern lover!)  Lizzie explains ... From Coast to Coast, A Nine-Thousand-Mile Vacation for Two for  $350.  The story is the first person account of Beatrice Backus and her teacher husband’s decision to drive from Massachusetts to San Francisco during his summer break.  In 1916 the automobile was still relatively new, and many parts of the country did not have any paved roads.  There was no highway system, no AAA, no reliable maps for many places.  But that did not stop these intrepid travelers who decided to auto-camp their way across the country and back.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Breaking News: More Information on James McCall

I am so excited! Mikhaela who blogs over at Polka Dot Overload and her mom, Beryl (who by the way has a really amazing site that includes loads of three dimensional Google Earth models she has made of literary landmarks and other notable places!!) have been amazing genealogy detectives!  Through a search on, Mikhaela's mum was able to find out more about the founder of the McCall Pattern Company.

James McCall was born in 1823 and was 47 when he started the McCall Pattern Company.  He was married to Laura S. McCall who was five years younger than him.  They had a daughter, Fannie M. McCall and what I find really fascinating is that Mrs. McCall had Fannie when she was 40 years old (James was 45--so it was two years before he started the McCall Pattern Company that they had their only child).

They lived at 9 West 42nd Street.  Yup, that's right across the street now from Bryant Park and the NY Public Library (NYPL).  Back in the 1880s, the spot where the NYPL is now was a large water reservoir.  Here is a picture of what James McCall's view would have been (this is the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd street) in the 1880's:

This photo shows what would have been around the corner from him (1885-1939).  He lived right next to that first building on the left with the cool windows (down 42nd street in the direction that the arrow is pointing).

Photo credit: Wittemann Collection via  (from this post)

Here is a photo of 5th avenue looking South (McCall's residence would have been down the street to the right--in the direction the arrow is pointing).  That fancy looking castle like building on the left was
Rutgers Female College:

Photo credit: NYPL via Sepia Town: From Here to Then (a neat interactive map)

Wow! He lived in what was then (and still is) a very desirable part of town.  James and Laura had two servants living with them at the 1880 census named Mary Griffin and Kate Doyle.  So it seems that the McCall's did quite well for themselves within the first decade after he founded his pattern company.

Number 9 on 42nd Street still exists but you'll never guess what it is now (or maybe you will)....

It's the building in the middle...which is now a Chipotle Mexican Grill (photo from Google Earth).

Sigh. Well, the next time I'm in NYC, I may have to have a taco in his honour. Double sigh.

A super big thank you to Mikhaela and her mom for finding out more information about Mr. McCall and his family!

Who Was James McCall?

No idea! I find it astonishing that we know so little about the man who started the McCall Pattern Company in 1870 who is the founding father of the modern McCall Corporation. 

Here's what we do know....

  • He was Scottish,
  • He was a tailor in Scotland by profession,
  • As an answer to your question, Molly....He was born in Scotland and immigrated to New York City (I've seen some accounts say shortly before he started the McCall Pattern Company--so the company is American but started by a Scotsman),
  • While in NYC, he worked as an agent for the English pattern company called 'the Royal Chart'
  • He was married (though we do not know if he was married in Scotland or the United States),
  • He died in the United States (I am presuming this), and
  • His widow, Mrs. McCall, co-ran the McCall Pattern Company for a limited time after he died (though I find no reference of her name anywhere).
That's surprisingly little information about a man who made significant contributions to the home sewing industry!

Well, I figured since I am in Scotland, I could do a little research--however, given so little information, it is difficult to know where to start.

So, I've contacted the General Register Office for Scotland.  They are the the main source of family history records in Scotland.  You see, they've got this initiative called the Famous Scots Archives:

According to the General Register's website,
Records of every person who has grown up to be a 'Famous Scot', from Mary Queen of Scots to Sir Walter Scott, are archived in the Centre. Our Famous Scots Archive gives a snapshot of some of the men and women who have shaped the history of Scotland, the United Kingdom and further afield, together with the references to the relevant entries in the registers. Amongst our priceless archives are Rob Roy's birth records, Mary Queen of Scots' second marriage certificate and the death certificate of James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party. The archive is sub-divided into generic subject headings. To access these pages, click on... this link: Famous Scots Archive. Use our Contact page if you have a suggestion about a Famous Scots whose profile you'd like us to add to these web pages.

So following their suggestion, I have contacted them to add James McCall to their web pages.  I really want to know more about the man behind my favourite pattern company!  Why don't you join me and contact the General Register via their contact page and suggest that they add James McCall, the founder of the McCall Pattern Company to their website of Famous Scots?  It would be great to know a bit more about this piece of history from folks that have all the resources available to research it!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

EvaDress 2012 Vintage Pattern Contest

It's on! Xandra just announced the 2012 EvaDress Pattern Contest which will start at midnight EST on the 15th of January. 

The Details:
There are four categories for which one may sew and each entrant is welcome to submit as many projects as desired within each category. Each entry will be judged according to quality of construction (as best we can tell online!) and creativity.

The BIG theme for this year's contest is completing that project you have always wanted to do:

Category 1~Any EvaDress pattern garment project that you have only thought about doing, but never took on. When you submit in this category, tell us why you only dreamed about doing the project and never made it. For example, perhaps your technical or pattern grading skills just weren't there yet.

Category 2~Any EvaDress pattern garment project you started some time ago and have been meaning to finish. It doesn't matter if it has been years (hey, it happens) or weeks, when you submit in this category you need to tell us why you didn't finish it until now.

NOTE: Category 2 is exempt from the pre-January 15, 2012 contest start date for obvious reasons, but if you are entering in this category, you are not to pick that project up and continue it until 12 a.m. January 15, 2012.

Category 3~Best use of pattern in its original form = Any garment for men, women or children created devoutly from the pattern (that is, with no changes to the design, although grading or alteration to the pattern for proper fit or length is a must).

This is the category I won last year (thanks to all your votes) for the Katherine Hepburn frock:

Category 4~Best use of pattern as adapted for contemporary-wear = Any garment for men, women, children created from an EvaDress pattern that has been modified for a more updated look (design changes allowed). One may not use pattern pieces from pattern companies other than EvaDress but, may incorporate pieces from an original vintage pattern, if desired.

No purchase necessary to enter (one may use from one's EvaDress pattern stash).

The winners will be voted by all participating EvaDress customers, fellow entrants and members (followers) of the EvaDress blog.

$100 of EvaDress patterns will be awarded to the winners of each category plus free shipping (international included).  Isn't that generous??? The awards (in the form of EvaDress gift certificates) are redeemable for up to one year from March 15, 2012 (the contest ending date).

Projects are to be started no sooner than 12 a.m. EST on January 15, 2012 (with the exception of Category 2-see note above) and the contest will close for submissions at 12 a.m. EST on March 15, 2012. Voting will take place from 12 a.m. EST on March 16, 2012 until 12 a.m. EST on March 26, 2012.

Visit the EvaDress blog for more details on how to enter your submission!  Are you going to do it??

The Queen of Fashion

 Photo via Tom Folio
McCall patterns have a fascinating history.  The McCall Pattern Company was started in 1870 by a Scotsman.  Starting in 1873 until 1884 he published a short four-page leaflet called "The Queen" to advertise his patterns.  I've found references to two different taglines both "The Queen: Illustrated Magazine of Fashion" and "The Queen: Illustrating McCall's Bazaar Glove-Fitting Patterns".   I haven't been able to find any image scans from these earliest publications.

From 1884 to 1897 he began publishing these leaflets under the name 'The Queen of Fashion'.  In 1897 the name changed to 'McCall's Magazine: The Queen of Fashion' and that tagline remained on the magazines until the spring of 1911 when they dropped the tagline on the magazine covers.

 Photo via Digital Changeling

The Queen of Fashion magazine and the subsequent McCall's Magazine: The Queen of Fashion extended the publication length (from 4 pages to approximately 15).  Each magazine included a colour cover and another black and white inside cover and pages detailing the fashions of the times and the McCall patterns available for purchase (such as the photo above).

Photo via what-i-found

One or more colour fashion plates (like the one above) were also included in the magazines.  I'm not sure if these colour fashion plates appeared in the Queen of Fashion magazines or only started in the McCall's Magazine: The Queen of Fashion.

Want to see more?  Check out these amazing resources for McCall's Magazine: The Queen of Fashion
I'll be covering more on the evolution of McCall's magazines and patterns up until the end of the 1930's this week.  Please contact me (myhappysewingplace[at]googlemail[dot]com) if you have any additional resources or knowledge of these early McCall magazines and patterns!

Information Sources:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pattern Giveaway Winner + What I'm Working On

Thank you everyone for your feedback on my new blog layout!!  I was able to make the blog layout narrower, hopefully that solves the problem of having to scroll.  Let me know how it looks from your end!

Giveaway Winner
I'm very happy to announce the randomly chosen giveaway winner for the 1950's Butterick pattern is...

Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons!
Congrats! I can't wait to see what you make with it!!

What I'm Working On
For this first week in the Month of McCall, I'm working on a dress suit from 1937:

I haven't gotten very far but hope to make some headway on it today!  What are you working on?

New Changes to the Blog

I am so excited! I've spent some time making a bunch of changes to my blog!

First off, you may notice that I now have a left sidebar with a photo linking you to all of my sewing projects by decade.  I am so delighted about this.  I hemmed and hawed about adding tabs at the top and found it really frustrating.  I think this is much, much better!

Along the left side bar you'll find my projects by decade but also the challenges I am participating in and the other blogs I contribute to!  I still want to add BurdaStyle and Pattern Review (maybe after I have contributed more to

On the right side bar, I've added the option to follow the blog via email, changed the 'about me' text, and added blog categories.

I've also changed the size of the font (am I the only one that likes a larger font to read on screen?) and the style of font for the headers.

Lastly, I've added a bit at the bottom so that you can link and share posts.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the changes.  It took a lot of time but is well worth it as I can now finally find things on my own blog! lol.

How do the changes look from your end?  Anything else you would change?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crafters' Ceilidh: The Survey

Just a quick note about the Crafters' Ceilidh meet-up on January 21st.  We have quite a group going and have sent out a survey to those who are on the mailing list.  We wanted to get a feel for what everyone wants to do so that we can plan the perfect day, and as such, the survey is a gauge of possible activities. 
If you have not received the email and are interested in attending, do comment or email me (myhappysewingplace[at]googlemail[dot]com) and Kristen, Kerry and I will make sure you are added. 

Please complete the survey by January 7th so that we can get planning -  We're very excited!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What's in store for January 2012...

I hope you all had a lovely time ringing in the New Year!  I can't believe it's now officially 2012!!

I wanted to share some of the fun things I've got planned for this first month of the year.

Signature Styles: Learning More About Vintage Patterns
First, you all know how much I LOVE vintage patterns.  Well, I've decided to apply some of my sleuthing/research skills to finding out more about vintage patterns this year.  To start off, this month will be dedicated to my favourite (so far) vintage pattern company:  McCall (or McCall's) patterns!!  So this will be the Month of McCall.  I am so excited.  I hope to dig out some lovely McCall patterns from different decades and to link to your McCall/'s projects as well.

Sew Grateful Week: January 16-22
Were you blessed during the holidays?  Is there a gift, tutorial or sew along that you are especially grateful for but haven't had the chance to tackle?  Mark your calendars because there will be another Sew Grateful Week from January 16-22!  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 during the week of January 16th.  At the end of that week and the beginning of the next week, I'll do several round-up posts showcasing everyone's projects. 

I had so much during the last Sew Grateful Week.  My only problem will be picking just one project!  I'm hoping to make this a quarterly challenge with the next Sew Grateful week later in the spring (April??)  I'll also get a new button up for everyone this week.

The Crafters' Ceilidh: January 21
I'm so excited to be co-hosting an exciting meet-up in Edinburgh later this month. 
So far, we've got just under 30 people planning to attend.  It will be a fabulous time to catch up with each other, check out the local fabric/yarn/vintage goods and explore this lovely city.  If you want to attend, be sure to send me your email (send it to myhappysewingplace{at}googlemail{dot}com) so that I can include you on the logistics mailing list.  Expect more planning news coming towards the end of this week and early next week!

Updating my Creative Spaces
Part of this month will also be dedicated to updating my creative spaces: both my sewing room and the blog.  My sewing room is not really working for me at the moment, so I'm looking forward to moving things around a bit and organising the space better.  I hope to post some before and after shots.  

Also, I can't wait to spend some time updating the blog with features that I think will make a big difference in terms of grouping similar posts together and finding past posts.  Look out for categories by decade (1930's, 1940's, etc.) as well as organisation by challenges (Sewing through the Decades, Sew Grateful, etc.)  I'm excited to start a bit of New Year's cleaning and organising!
What about you?  What have you got planned for January?
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