Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A toasty fire, a nightcap, warm tartan and a kitten....

OR the ingredients for a perfect winter's evening...

I made David matching pj's and a nightcap to keep his head toasty in the frigid Scottish winter:

You may remember that I made myself the same PJs last October/November.  I took an old pair of PJ bottoms from each of us and used them as a pattern for our new PJs:

These were pretty easy to sew together except for the bottom of one of David's pant legs that I cut slightly off grain.  The waistband is basic elastic casing for both of our PJs.

For the nightcap, I copied an existing nightcap that David has--but it is basically two triangles sewn together into a point at the end.

There is elastic but only in the back of the nightcap to keep it on.  I had to play a lot with this to get the tension just right (didn't want to cut off the circulation and make it too tight and didn't want to make it too loose!)  After many fittings, we got the perfect fit! 

I'm all for making cosy treats for winter!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Had Me at Downton Abbey Theme

Did any of you catch the amazing designs from the Ralph Lauren runway show?  He started out with the Downton Abbey theme song and everyone went crazy!  I just love that his pieces hark back to the English countryside (and what Ralph Lauren is known for)!

Here are a few of my favourites (individual photos from's coverage):

I am seriously contemplating making the red velvet suit and the grey jacket/suit with fushia accessories! LOVE!

And check out the tweeds, pinstripes, fair isle sweater vests and argyle socks:

Swoon! Love those hats too!!  What do you think of this collection?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mission McCall Monday: 9121 to 9130

Thank you everyone for voting in the Sew Grateful poll!  I'll leave it open for a little bit longer and then I'll announce the dates for next year's Sew Grateful Week!

Back to Mission McCall Mondays and today we are covering patterns 9121 to 9130 from 1937.

First up, Sarah who blogs over at Pattern Vault (another pattern lover) sent me a photo of the envelope for McCall 9116 which I featured in the last Mission McCall Monday post! Thanks Sarah!

First up this week is McCall 9121 which is a basic 1930's style shirtwaister with some lovely back pleating:

I'm missing images for McCall 9122 and 9123...I suspect Nargles...

Take a look at McCall 9124:

Isn't this a stunning gown?  Is it just me or does the model look a bit like a more grown up Snow White?

And the back of the dress is amazing:

You can view the actual pattern envelope on this flickr stream.

I'm missing the image for pattern 9125.

Next up is the adorable blouse pattern 9126:

EvaDress has this exact pattern as a reproduction pattern in a B38! I've been contemplating getting it for quite some time!!

McCall 9127 is very practical outfit for your little boy's recreational activities:

Pattern 9128 is a slightly flared skirt pattern:

In fact, you could wear skirt 9128 under the smock pattern (9129):

I think one of my favourites this week (besides the Snow White gown) is McCall 9130:

That neckline is divine!  I wonder if the scarf bit is attached to the bodice or if it's detachable?  What do you think?

Do share! Which are your favourites this week?

Missing images so far:  9011, 9012, 9013, 9017, 9041, 9050, 9062, 9073, 9082, 9088, 9106, 9110, 9111, 9120, 9122, 9123 and 9125. If you want to contribute to the Mission McCall--just email me the images or pattern covers and I'll update them in the Mission McCall Mondays series.  myhappysewingplace[at]googlemail[dot]com.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poll: The Next Sew Grateful Week

I want to get your thoughts on when I should hold the next Sew Grateful Week!  I'm thinking once a year (so we don't get fed up with being  I have a nifty poll for you to fill out to help me decide:

Please leave any additional thoughts or ideas for the next Sew Grateful Week in the comments!

As part of the Sew Grateful Week, I highlighted 15 patterns and tutorials, 16 reflection posts, 23 projects and 31 giveaways!!  How amazing is that??? It was great to see all the interactions and it has even spurred new projects (check out Moon Munkie's Mystery Make Giveaway Experiment!)  I really enjoyed the week and am looking forward to the one next year!

In other news, you may have noticed that I have changed my comments on the blog and am now using Disqus (following Marina's lead--check out her post for more details on this widget). I had lots of people mention that before they weren't able to leave comments so hopefully this solves that problem!

I'll close with a picture from Mikhaela's (Polka Dot Overload) recently finished FABULOUS wool jersey skirt that I wasn't able to highlight earlier....

Definitely check out Mikhaela's post for the story behind the skirt!

Thanks again for a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Last Round-Up Post and a Thank You!

Happy Valentine's Day--hope you are all having a great day.  This is the last round-up post for the Sew Grateful Week!  I wanted to thank you all for making the week so amazing and fun.  It was great to see how many people participated and got to discover each other during the course of the week!

Here's all the posts from the week, in case you missed any:

Wow, I don't think I've ever blogged that much in one week! Thanks for sticking around and reading the posts and supporting the Sew Grateful Week contributors.

So without further's the last set of fantastic giveaways, reflection posts and projects!

The Kitschy Coo Giveaway for Fabric

Amanda who blogs over Kitschy Coo (and who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Crafters' Ceilidh meet-up) has just opened a fabulous online fabric shop!  AND she is hosting a giveaway for one metre of the knit fabric of your choice from her shop (I'm a bit partial to the orange hippos and red elephants...but that's just me!).

Here's what she says...
"To enter, leave a comment on [the giveaway] post with anything you want to tell me about. Except if it's mean. Internet high fives to everyone who plays along and makes it interesting. I'll post the fabric anywhere in the world except Antarctica. Bonus entries are awarded if you blog / twitter / Facebook / any other cyber-shenanigans but you'll have to come back to [the giveaway] blog post to leave additional comments or I'll lose track. If you are a mysterious person who doesn't have a clickable link to enable me to stalk find you, leave your email address too. I'll close up comments and randomly pick a winner on (Saturday) 18th of February."

Monday, February 13, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Patterns and Tutorials Part 3

I'm trying to catch up with all of the fabulous creations! Just a couple more posts to end the Sew Grateful Week! It's been so much fun hosting this and sharing all your wonderful creations, tutorials, patterns, giveaways and reflections!

This post will focus on the last of the patterns and tutorials from three fabulous ladies.  Here's the links to the previous posts in case you have missed any:

The Petite Main Sauvage Tutorial for Flared Culottes

Lauriana who blogs over at Petite Main Sauvage has a fabulous tutorial to make the flared culottes pictured above.  Here's what she says...
If I had ever made a list of weird items of clothing which are unloved by a vast majority of people to try and make work for me, I'd almost be through with it by now.  Shorts? Check. Jumpsuit? Check. Culottes?? And...check...

The thing is, I had the basic idea for very flared culottes at the back of my head for a year or so.  The fabric has been in my stash for at least as long. Once more, bought very cheaply one one of those everything-must-go crazy sales at the market where I found it among mountains of nasty polyester.  It's largely wool and has a rugged sort of texture.  I've liked it all along but I knew it would look frumpy in any kind of 'normal' garment.  Go for short or for a strange pattern, it seemed to say.  Last December, when I decided not to use this fabric for a wide skirt, the two finally came together.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Projects Part 2

Here's the second round-up post of all the Sew Grateful Week projects! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Also, here's the links to the other posts from the week in case you missed any:

A Fashionable Stitch's Project Called the Sew Grateful Skirt

Oh! I am so (or sew?) excited about this first project sewn by the sweet Sunni who blogs over at A Fashionable Stitch.  Here's what she says...
Ever since I saw Casey’s Ginger skirt version – a great vintage-ish denim number – I knew I had to have one just like it. I’ve been in dire need of a denim skirt. Seriously dire. Especially as my lifestyle now is more laid back and wearing casual clothing is becoming more and more of a necessity. Since I wear my denim shirtdress so much – and this only since the beginning of January – I felt that adding more denim pieces to my wardrobe would be a great idea. Adding this skirt has been no exception.
I didn’t differ too far from Casey’s version. I used her clever pocket tutorial, but left out the buttons and opted to topstitch heavy thread a top the pockets, waistband and hem. Originally, I started out using a plain old denim needle from the stash to topstitch, but soon found that as I really wanted doubled stitching lines and the single needle was making a serious mess of the a double stitching line, I went in search of a twin needle. I had read about twin needles somewhere, and I actually have one and I’ve used it before on my knit top. But twin needles can come in different widths and I wanted one that was wider than the one I had. Got one and used it here on this skirt and Voila! perfectly spaced twin topstitching lines.

{Sew Grateful Week} Projects Part 1

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I've got some amazing projects to share with you all as part of the Sew Grateful Week!  I've also gotten a few more giveaways, tutorials and reflection posts that I will post tomorrow and then the last post of the Sew Grateful week (also on Monday) that will be a sort of wrap-up and planning for the next Sew Grateful week!  Woot! Woot!  First, I want to thank you all for your wonderful comments on all the posts--they've been such a pleasure to read!

Here's the links to the other posts from the week in case you missed any:

Here we go....

Lladybird's Project Called The Big Reveal--The Fabiani Coat

Sew Grateful Factor:  Lauren was gifted the pattern, the fabric, and someone took the gorgeous pictures for her. She also used a post from Gertie on tacking down the lining.

If you haven't already come across Lauren who blogs over at Lladybird--you must definitely check her blog out.  In terms of inspiration this lady ranks an 11 on a 10-point scale.  She makes some amazingly beautiful and innovative projects.  

Here's Lauren's recap of the details:
Pattern: Vogue 2925 (Thank you, Molly!)
Fabric: Coating – Sea Green Solid Coating (Thank you, Tracy!!); Lining – Bemberg Rayon Ambiance Lining in Kiwi
Notions Used: Horsehair interfacing, fusible interfacing, silk thread, self-covered buttons (made to order, yeehaw!), and the tiniest piece of silk organza.

{Sew Grateful Week} Patterns and Tutorials Part 2

I'm really excited that there's more patterns and tutorials as part of the Sew Grateful Week to share with you all.

Again, here's a round-up of all the other posts from the week in case you missed any:

The Of Dreams and Seams Tutorial for Turning a Man's Suit into a Woman's Overall

My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw this amazing tutorial that Katja who blogs over at Of Dreams and Seams put together!  This step-by-step tutorial is in two parts of how to take a man's suit and make it into a woman's overall/jumpsuit.  The outfit Katja made above originally started out as this suit:

How amazing is that? Here's what Katja says...
"Not only am I sew grateful that my husband gave me the suit (he has learned to give me just about everything that remotely resembles fabric before throwing it away), I have also used thread, needles and a rotary cutter that my mom has given me, and I am also ever sew grateful for the on-line sewing community, which really has kicked off my sewing hobby to a new level. I have learned so much from the many sewing-bloggers out there, thank you ever so much. I can only hope that the one or other project/tutorial on my blog will inspire others, too!"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Giveaways Part 5

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!  I've got more Sew Grateful giveaways to share with you all today!

This is the fifth giveaway post (wowza!)  Here's the links to the other posts from the week in case you missed any:

The Presser Foot Propaganda Giveaway for Three Vintage Patterns

I'm really excited about this giveaway!  Forrest who blogs over at Presser Foot Propaganda is hosting a giveaway for three awesome vintage patterns!  Here's what she says...

"I know I'm a little late to the party, but I am SO (and sew ;) grateful for all of you! I started this little blog almost a year ago and I can't believe how much fun I've had sewing for this blog and getting to know all of you! So here's a little giveaway to show my love ;)"

Friday, February 10, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Round-up of Reflection Posts

Happy Sew Grateful Friday everyone!  Today's post will provide links to all the great reflection posts that people have been writing as part of the Sew Grateful Week.  It's been a bit difficult to capture all of these as the whole week's really been about reflection!  So I've only included separate reflection posts in this round-up.  Several people wrote reflections alongside their giveaways, patterns and tutorials and projects--and I'll try to capture those in the other round-up posts!

First, here's a link the other posts from Sew Grateful Week in case you have missed any:

I'm not going to do a lot of summarizing for the reflection posts because I feel that they are personal and a wonderful reflection from each person's perspective AND I want to encourage you to click the link to go to their blog and read the whole post!

I've really enjoyed how many people have contacted me and said how they've met lots of new sewing bloggers through the posts from this week!  So my challenge to you all today is to take a few moments and comment on the reflection posts and get to know a few new people or support people you've known for awhile!

So here we go....

*The She's in Fashion: Vintage Sewing in NYC post called What I'm "Sew Grateful" For
"I’m a self-taught sewist. I have only one friend in real life who sews who I see rarely, and if it weren’t for the huge community of sewing blogs that have offered tutorials, tips, pictures of projects (both failed and successful) I don’t think I would have come this far on my own."
I love following Janice's blog She's in Fashion: Vintage Sewing in NYC!  Definately check it out--we've got the same love for vintage patterns and I adore all her creations (lace dresses, Wearing History1930's blouse and trousers....just to name a few!)
*The Sew Essentially Sew post called Sew Grateful to be Sewing for Family and How-to-Books

"I have sewn for my extended family over the years.  Some of my sewing projects were requested.  Others were received with bored looks (not all Christmas gifts go over well).  But they have all been made with care and love.  I'm sew grateful to share my sewing projects with them over the years. "


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Running a bit behind schedule...

Hi everyone...just a quick note that I'm running a bit behind schedule on the round-up of reflection posts but they should be up later tomorrow!

While we are talking about reflections.....You know what are great dates for reflection?  Blogiversaries and birthdays!  Earlier this week was Casey's (Casey's Elegant Musings) eight-year blogiversary and TODAY is Marie's (A Sewing Odyssey) birthday (and Tuesday was my sister's birthday)!  Are there any other birthdays or blogiversaries this week or this month? I think a little celebration is in order:

It's been so lovely seeing everyone's participation in the Sew Grateful Week! Thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Round-up of Patterns and Tutorials

Can I just say how excited I am that so many people are participating in the Sew Grateful Week!  Thank you all!

Here's a recap of the posts so far in case you missed any:

Today's post is a round-up of some fantastic tutorials and patterns.  As with all projects, tutorials and patterns...if you use it or repost on the web please link back directly to these lovely bloggers who have created these things for us to enjoy.

Doing What Comes Naturally in N.C.: Apron Tutorial

A.J.A. who writes a fantastic blog over at Doing What Comes Naturally in N.C. has very kindly put together a pdf pattern based on one of her Grandma's pretty aprons.  In the picture above she is wearing an apron she made based on the pattern and holding up her Grandma's apron.  How great is that?  To get your free vintage scalloped apron downloadable pattern, visit her blog post here.

Annabellebumps: German Pattern in PDF

The lovely Annabelle who blogs over at Annabellebumps has been doing a fantastic project called the German Pattern Experiment.  Here's how it all started...


{Sew Grateful Week} Giveaways Part 4

Woot! Woot! We are on giveaways post number 4! How amazing are these giveaways?  Here's the first three giveaways posts in case you missed them: 
Giveaways Post 1
Giveaways Post 2
Giveaways Post 3  
The VickiKate Makes Giveaway for a Snood, Reader's Choice of Burdastyle pattern, Yarn and a Vintage Pattern

The lovely Vicki who blogs over at VickiKate Makes is hosting several giveaways! First up is a hand made snood by Arthelia’s Attic.  It’s in a gorgeous purple colour and the grosgrain ribbon is held on with a safety pin so can be removed if that’s not your aesthetic and used as a brooch or anything else your heart desires. This is the same snood that I have (thought mine is in pink) that I had on in my Sew Grateful reflection post.  They are lovely snoods.

The second prize up for grabs is for those sock knitting fiends.  Vicki is offering a skein of hand dyed Fleece Artist Sea Wool.  Its 70% Merino and 30% Seacell and 350m/112g.  The label recommends 3mm needles to give 26sts to 4″ and it’s machine washable.  It’s in gorgeous shades of greens and blues.

Vicki is also offering a BurdaStyle electronic pattern of your choice!  It could be something as classic as the Jenny Pencil Skirt or one of their new Boudoir patterns…  What ever your heart desires!

The last item that Vicki is giving away is a beautiful vintage pattern from the late 1950's/early 1960's (Simplicity 3829). It has been used but the pieces are all present. Along with the pattern Vicki is offering some bias tape made from 100% cotton shirting (pictured above with the pattern) that she also happens to be making her Jasmine blouse from.

If you’d like the pattern and bias tape, please leave a comment on this giveaway post by Vicki before midnight on Sunday the 12th of February.  If you want to be entered for the snood, yarn or BurdaStyle pattern, leave a comment on her other giveaway post here.  These giveaways are open to everyone, everywhere as long as you’ve got a postal address!  As Vicki says...
"So, here’s to the future and the continuing friendships I hope to keep building and making, with the common thread (Da Dum!) of sewing!"

{Sew Grateful Week} Giveaways Part 3

YAY! I hope you are all enjoying this week as much as I am!  Today, I have the last giveaways round-up posts (oh yes...four posts in total) and hopefully the round-up post for patterns and tutorials!

In case you missed it, here are the last two giveaways round-up posts:
Giveaways Post 1
Giveaways Post 2
I'm super excited about today's post of, here we go...

The Stacie Thinks She Can Giveaway for Anna Maria Horner Pattern

I'm very excited for this first giveaway from Stacie who blogs over Stacie Thinks She Can.  You see, this is her second time participating in one of the Sew Grateful Weeks. As she says..
"I learned to sew from amazing teachers at a now closed sewing lounge in Houston. The last night before the liquidation I was in a jeans making class. The owner, Sara, was nice enough to let us have first dibs on the inventory for half off. In my frenzied sense of loss over the store closing I bought just about one of every pattern they had [including the pattern pictured above]. I never got around to making it, but I would love to send some of that Sew Crafty mojo forward. The store and amazing people in it actually changed my life and gave me a new creative outlet. This giveaway represents how grateful I am for the amazing seamsters that have been such a great influence in my life"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

{Sew Grateful Week} Giveaways Part 2

Good news! There's even more giveaways to come...meaning a three-part post!

Thank you everyone for participating in the Sew Grateful Week!  It's really fabulous to see all the giveaways and the generosity (and thankfulness) for our community.   Even if you're not hosting a giveaway, you can still participate!  Check out the details here...  And if you missed the first giveaway round-up post you can check it out at this link.

Without further ado....onto the giveaways round-up part 2:

The Petite Mess Giveaway for Two BurdaStyle Magazines

I was thrilled when Maril√≥ left a comment on my blog yesterday.  She heard about the Sew Grateful Week by participating in the giveaways hosted by Andrea at Four Square Walls and Sunni from A Fashionable Stitch and decided to host her own giveaway!  As Maril√≥ says...

{Sew Grateful Week} Giveaways Part 1!

Oh boy! Oh boy!  You are all going to love all the giveaways in today's post(s).  Yup, there were SO many giveaways, I couldn't include them all in one post!   So, this is Part 1 of a 2-part round-up post for the Sew Grateful Week giveaways.   A big thank you to everyone whose hosting a giveaway as part of the week!  So here we go...

The Sew Essentially Sew Giveaway for Vintage Vogue Pattern 1137 (sizes 8-14):

I am so excited about this giveaway from Graca who blogs over at Sew Essentially Sew.  Up for grabs is this amazing vintage vogue dress and coat pattern (for sizes 8-14).  This giveaway is open to everyone and Graca will ship anywhere!  You can enter the giveaway (which is open until Friday) here...  I've been lucky to win a couple of giveaways from Graca myself!  If you haven't check out her blog--definitely do so! I just love it!  As she puts it...

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm Sew Grateful for...

I'm going to indulge in a little contemplation today as it's the beginning of the Sew Grateful Week--February 2012 edition!  I always enjoy the opportunity to take a bit wider perspective on my hobby and all the amazing people I have met through it.  There's an exciting week in store and it's great to see how many people are participating!

Here's what I'm planning for the week:

  • Tuesday: A round-up of Sew Grateful Week giveaways
  • Wednesday: A round-up of tutorials and patterns
  • Thursday: A round-up of reflection posts
  • Friday: Part 1 round-up of project posts
  • Saturday: Part 2 round-up of project posts
  • Sunday: Wrap-up for the Sew Grateful Week
More specifics on how to participate can be found here....

Here's some things I am particularly grateful for at this moment:

My Sweetiepie

 Photo credit: Karen of Did You Make That?

Many of you know David and how supportive he is of my hobby but I should also point out how much time he spends supporting me through taking photographs, helping me figure out bloggy things (like buttons and graphics), helping me plan outfits and marking the hem on everything I sew!  Now if you can imagine doing all of that during last year's Sew Weekly schedule--you can see why David should achieve sewing sainthood.  He's a trooper and so supportive and lovely--THANK YOU, Sweetie!

Thoughtfulness of Others
The past several months I have really been struck with the tremendous thoughtfulness in our sewing community.  The supportive comments, the lovely check-in emails--and even some surprises in the post!  I feel tremendously blessed to be part of such a supportive community.  It's so wonderful to have friends that get what inspires you, what you love doing and help support you along the way to achieving your goals.  Thank you all so much!

An example of the thoughtfulness of others--I got this bag in the post this last week as a birthday present from the lovely Dibs from Dibs and Machine!  I just LOVE it! Thank you, dear!

Sewing Humour

Photo Credit: Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time

Another thing I love about sewing and sharing with all of you?  It's so FUN!  I had such a blast at the Crafters' Ceilidh meet-up--there was loads of laughter and sewing humour.  I also love reading people's blog posts--they almost always make me smile!

What about you? What makes you Sew Grateful?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sewing Room Makeover

You may recall that one of my major goals for 2012 was to makeover my sewing space.  I took that goal on in January and am very happy with the results.  I feel very lucky to have a dedicated sewing space.  We rent a furnished apartment (it's almost impossible to rent an unfurnished apartment in Scotland) which presents some challenges for creating a unique space.  I've taken over the spare bedroom of our flat.  After disassembling the bed in the room (and getting creative with storing it elsewhere in the flat), I still had a mammoth storage closet and couch to contend with in the room.

In the photo above you can see the 'before' shot which had my teeny tiny corner desk (sans computer in the photo--but the computer literally took up the entire desk space) right next to my sewing table.  My patterns were stored in accordian files and the overflow were in boxes.  The previous layout also had challenges with plug outlets--especially the area right by the bookcase which became a sort of 'cord central'.

The two major things I wanted in the new sewing space was a bigger table/workspace and more fabric storage.  You can see in the 'after photo' that we moved our already existing bureau into the window space (which fit perfectly!)  The bookcase stayed in it's original position (just tilted it more to face the room).  And the lovely new-to-me piece of furniture that David got me for my birthday against the wall:

Isn't this beautiful?  We got it for £40 from the local charity shop down the street! I would say it's from the 30's or 40's and had two large storage areas on either side that I use to hold my fabric (the right side is wool/woven fabric and the left is everything else).  I was pretty astonished when I moved to Scotland to find such wonderful antique furniture in the charity shops and auction houses for such reasonable prices--and we've definitely taken advantage of that in decorating our space!  What sold me on this piece was the middle top that folds up with a mirror and then can close again.  There's storage at the top, which is where I keep my make-up and hair accessories.  Each of the drawers is pretty deep and I keep my interfacing in one drawer, my oversized vintage vogue patterns in another with buttons stored in clear containers and my repro patterns in another drawer.  I also LOVE The bottom drawer as the drawer folds down completely and this is where I keep my curlers because I can pull them out to rest on the folded out drawer and just plug them right into the wall! Brilliant!

In one of the photos you can see David filling in the scratches--we're going to rub that off soon and it will make the scratches literally disappear!

Next to this new dresser, I've utilised the wall space for a new monthly planning dry erase board.  That's where I have fun brainstorming all the creative ideas I have and what I want to do during the month.  I also thought it would be great if I could hang the patterns that I have in my sewing queue:

To do this we took two wooden sewing spools that I had used all the thread from and screwed them into the wall and wound twine around each of them.  I had little mini clothes pins that I used to hang up each pattern (in protective plastic).  The patterns move from this position quite frequently depending on my mood (and more on being realistic about what I can accomplish...hehehehe).  All of the patterns pictured have moved down the queue and have been replaced by new projects!

I really love that I now have more storage space.  I've cleaned up my bookcase and just love pouring over my sewing books.  The bureau that we moved into the space in the window now houses my patterns, zippers and UFO projects.  On top of the bureau I still have my buttons in old honey and IKEA jars and my threads (white, red, yellows, pinks) in a vintage tin (the darker colour threads live in my sewing table).

Here's the other side of the room:

The knotty pine wardrobe came with the place and is where I keep all my clothes, belts, shoes and purses.  In the 'after' photo, you can see I now have a large table where I can work.  It is SO much better to have more space while I'm working.  Plus, there are more outlets on this wall so it's much better for sewing as well (not to mention a bit warmer since it's not right near the window).  The table was also a birthday present that we got for super cheap at a local charity shop.  We've managed to get all the furniture in this room (table, two bureaus, bookcase and including the sewing machine, the 1930's Singer sewing table and adjustable tailor's dummy) for under £200 over the last three years we've been in Scotland. I'm super happy that we've been able to find such lovely pieces for reasonable prices!

While the 'before' photo looks like there is more room--it was the only space I had to set up my ironing board--which because of the outlet situation had the cord extending across the length of the room (a big safety hazard)!  Now I have space near the monthly planner dry erase board to put up my ironing board right by the wall so that it's not in the way.

I also decided I wanted to decorate the walls a bit more:
David put up all my hats on the far wall (just with small nails) and now I have a bulletin board right near my desk.  Also, above my sewing machine is another small clothesline/frame thing that came with the flat that I use to hold the pattern I am working on at the moment.  My next goal is to add some framed photos from the lovely meet-ups I've been able to attend on the wall next to my sewing machine.  And don't worry--there's some extra paint to cover up the nail holes when we eventually move out, but we're hoping to be able to stay in this space for awhile.  I just love having everything visible and find the space so much more creative now!

YAY! So happy with my sewing space and a big thank you to David for indulging my birthday wishes to spend the entire day moving furniture around!

What about you? What does your dream sewing space look like?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sew Grateful Week Plan + Button

Thank you all for the lovely, lovely comments on my birthday dress! I am so thrilled with it and it was so wonderful to read all the comments!

Guess what is coming up next week?  The second Sew Grateful Week--February 2012 edition!   If you missed the first Sew Grateful Week, it goes something like this....

This is the week to show your thankfulness for our wonderful sewing community and people in your life that support your love of sewing!  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?
This time around, I've put together a little schedule (no worries--it has lots of flexibility).  I'll be showcasing everyone's Sew Grateful post during the week on my if you want to be included just make sure that you do your own blog post on whichever aspect you choose by the following dates:

  • Host a giveaway: post by Monday, February 6th
  • Create a tutorials or offer up a pattern: post by Tuesday, February 7th
  • Write a reflection post (on what your 'sew grateful' for): post by Wednesday, February 8th
  • Finish a sewing project: post by Saturday, February 11th
Just mention the 'Sew Grateful Week' in your blog post and email me that you've done one ( OR you can leave a comment on my blog as I frequently check the comments.

I'll be showcasing everyone's giveaways, tutorials/patterns, reflection posts and projects on the following day on the My Happy Sewing Place blog! No worries if you miss one of those dates but still want to be included.  I'll be doing a final catch-all post at the end of the week.

Does that make sense?

Copy the code below for the Sew Grateful Week banner:

YAY! I am so excited!  Let me know if you plan on playing along this next week...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My 1930's Birthday Dress Suit

YAY! I am so excited!  I finally finished my 1937 McCall dress suit.  I originally started it back at the beginning of January thinking I would finish it for my birthday.  Well, that's been and gone but I almost made it (just one day late) for my birthday month.

I used McCall 9156, a beautiful pattern from 1937.  The dress is in one piece with a high neck (I left off the bow) and a faux button placket down the front.  The dress closes with a side zipper.  It also has a matching collarless jacket.

One of the things that initially made me pass up this pattern many times in my sewing queue was the sleeves.  Now I think that is my favourite element of the dress! There are darts at both the top and bottom of the sleeve giving it that unique shape.  Another one of my favourite things about the pattern is how it lends itself to mixing and matching colours.  I used a pumpkin shade of silk dupioni for the bodice and a delicious brown wool (a present from my Dad) for the skirt and contrast cuffs/neckband/button placket. 

One of the most time consuming elements of the dress was sewing the faux button placket down the front.  It's only the buttons that are tacking the placket in place on the bodice.  I picked lovely small ball buttons in a matching pumpkin shade and they were surprisingly difficult to sew on--they kept moving around and are small and hard to keep a grip on (though my cat was quite entertained watching me and praying for the chance that one of them might escape so she could play with it)!

I was just lucky enough to catch the last of the daylight for the photos. I hiked up to Calton Hill--a great vantage point in Edinburgh and caught a delightful sunset!

I really love this dress and am happy with my first creation of 2012!

Dress and Jacket: Made by Me
Shoes: Wildfell Hall Vintage (I won in a giveaway hosted by Quincy from Q's Daydream Vintage)
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