Monday, February 25, 2013

Wanna see my fabric stash?

I'm delighted to share my fabric stash in a guest post over at Modern Vintage Cupcakes today!  I've also got a few fabrics to swap including the lovely wool blend fabric that I used to make my 1950s pumpkin pie dress:

Also, some exciting news....I now have my own domain name!!!  You can find me at

A super big thank you to David for helping me figure out how to redirect to my very own address.  No need to change your links--everything should automatically come to this address!  So much easier to remember :-)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Check out my guest post on unprinted vintage patterns!

I'm super excited to be featured as a guest blogger over at Lucky Lucille today!!  Check out my post on working with unprinted vintage patterns here...

A super big thank you to the lovely Rochelle for inviting me to guest post!  And if you haven't already, check out the great 1940s 'Sew for Victory' challenge she is hosting.  I'm definitely participating and I can't wait to see everyone's 1940s outfits!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm on the Map!

Have you heard about the cool thing Vicki who blogs over at Another Sewing Scientist has created?  There is now a google map of sewing peeps!! 

What a neat idea and a great way to find like-minded sewing enthusiasts nearby for meet-ups!!

Here's all you have to do...
Open this link to get to Map the Sewintists
Click on the red Edit button on the left
Click on the blue pin on the upper left of the map (though I would only do this after you've gotten to your area of the world on the map--I accidentially dropped my blue pin near
Click on your location to drop the pin
A box will open that will allow you to add your name or blog URL in rich text

YAY! What an easy and fun thing to do....I don't know about you but I've been coming home from work completely exhausted these last few you ever feel as if all your mental energy is used up?  Maybe I need to get some retroactive sleep or my version of a mental exhaustion evening includes eating a simple dinner, drinking some wine, catching up on blog posts and watching episodes of the Amazing Race (watching all the past seasons I missed...)  lol...  Hope this passes soon and that I get back my sewing energy!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scotland Sundays: Writers' Museum

Welcome to another edition of Scotland Sundays (you didn't think I forgot about it, did you?).  I am super excited to highlight a really cool museum in Edinburgh called the Writers' Museum.

It's tucked away just off the Royal Mile through 'Lady Stair's Close', one of the many 'closes' or alleyways leading off the main historical road in Edinburgh:

The museum is small but packed with goodies and best of all, the entrance is free!  It is dedicated to three major Scottish writers: Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.  There are rooms dedicated to each writer with lots of neat historical artifacts, photos and samples of writing. There is even the printing press on which Sir Walter Scott's Waverly Novels were first produced! The museum also gives a bit of the history of the building which dates from 1622 and has been restored to much of it's original grandeur:

For this little outing, I donned a few of my me-mades.  I'm wearing my me-made 1950's Betty Blouse under my Ness Fair Isle jumper and my Simplicity 3688 Trousers (a reprinted pattern from 1941).

I also really love the outside of the museum.  On flagstones throughout the square are some lovely quotes from Scottish figures.  Here are a few of my favourites:

Though, very much the dork that I favourite part is the lampost in the middle of the square.  Does it not look like the Chronicles of Narnia lampost??  I really want it to snow one day and then come to the lampost...maybe Mr. Tumnus will be waiting...

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Phew! Sew Grateful Week made me really tired! Keeping up with all the awesomeness!!!  I have one more wrap-up post I want to do but I'm sneaking in a post today about another amazing Etsy store discount and some lovely Valentine's Day images...

First, there's a 20% discount happening from now until the 17th over at the Jane Ferrari Etsy Store!!!  Just use coupon code: BEPRETTY

Jane has got a pattern in her Etsy store that I've been meaning to sew up for ages...isn't it pretty?

And because I love vintage images, here are a couple of lovely 1940's Valentine's Day inspired hats:

Joan Crawford in a heart-shaped hat...look at her perfect pout:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sew Grateful Giveaway: The Moment of Truth

Drumroll please........

The randomly chosen winner of the 1940 Simplicity coat and jacket pattern AND a $15 voucher to the super duper fabulous Adele Bee Ann Patterns Etsy store is......

Esz who blogs over at Kitty's Drawings!  Woot! Woot! I am so excited....if you haven't seen Esz's blog...hop on over as she makes the most wonderful 1940s creations!

Thank you everyone for entering and thank you again to Adele for such a generous giveaway!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sew Grateful Week Highlights: The Giveaways

Just a quick reminder that there is still time to take advantage of the Sew Grateful Week Etsy discounts.  The most amazing vintage pattern stores have given generous discounts that are available this week--but hurry, they finish soon!
Check out the 58!! giveaways that were part of Sew Grateful Week.  Many are still open and there is still time to add your own!

Thank you everyone for your generosity. This has been so much fun!  Stay tuned for more highlights later today.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sew Grateful Week: Around the Blogosphere

Wow! What an amazing week it has been! Thank you to everyone who has participated! I have loved your posts. If you haven't participated, there's still time! Keep uploading your giveaways, reflection posts, resources and projects! And if you haven't been checking out all the Sew Grateful posts, take a browse:

I'm adding one more post to the Sew Grateful Sharing group with this round-up of some great things happening at the moment in the blogosphere.

Have you seen Anthea's blog?  If not, you must head over to Sewing, Vintage, Knitting.  Anthea is undertaking a FABULOUS project to sew up all the patterns in her 1941 Lutterloh 'Der Goldene Schnitt' book.  If you've never seen vintage Lutterloh books, you are in for a treat.  Developed in Germany, these books include individual cards each with a pattern on them.  They are patterns in miniature like this:

The books come with a special ruler and you expand the miniature pattern out on the lines indicated according to your own measurements!  I am so excited to follow along with this project....I think Anthea and I are vintage kindred spirits :-)
The Past on a Plate blog

I am love, love, loving Lauren's blog called Past on a Plate: Food for History Geeks & Vintage Freaks. She combines cool vintage fashion photos with recipes from the same time period.  She's recently been exploring the recipes featured in Life Magazines from 1940 (YAY!) 

Lauren gives the recipe and also cooks it up herself. You should definitely check it out.  I'm looking forward to trying many of the recipes from the 1940s!

The lovely Lauriana who blogs over at Petit Main Sauvage has uploaded some fabulous scans from the Dutch magazine Libelle.  I really want to try one of these hat patterns:

I can't wait to see more of these lovely magazines. Thanks Lauriana for sharing all of these fabulous pages!

Have you heard about the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge?  It seeks to address the issues of sustainability through self-imposed rationing.  According to challenge hosts:
We have taken our inspiration from the wartime clothes rationing system that the British government developed to deal with scarcity of raw materials and production capacity (due to factories prioritising military needs and limited shipping). The modern constraints inspiring this self-imposed rationing are land use considerations and finite raw materials, water and energy resources as well as chemical pollution at different stages of the production process.
Here's the challenge rules:
Neat idea, right?  Here's a link to the full coupon chart.

You've probably already heard that the lovely Rochelle who blogs over at Lucky Lucille is hosting a 1940s sewalong from now until the end of March?  Definitely stop by her blog and check it out.  I'll be participating and it will probably be the one sewalong I'll  She's already posted some great scans to get people started.  I can't wait to see everyone's 1940s outfits!

The super talented Julia Bobbin is hosting the 2nd annual Mad Men Dress Challenge!  Happening now until mid-April, everyone will be sewing along making their own renditions of the stylish Mad Men outfits (from any season).  More details on the sewalong are here, and check out all the cool outfits that were sewn during the first challenge.  I'm hoping to participate in this as well but haven't officially signed on yet...

One of my favourite sewing bloggers, Rosy who blogs over at Sewingadicta, recently posted about an AMAZING archive of vintage Burda magazines.  This archive contains ALL the Burda magazines from the year 1950 until 1990--completely viewable and downloadable.  The magazines are in German and the website is in Russian...but it's still an amazing resources!  Imagine the number of patterns that are available (perfect for the Mad Men challenge!).

The Bowie Sewalong hosted by Tempest from Fanbloomingtastic

My favourite sewalong that's happening? Hands down has to be the Bowie Sewalong hosted by Tempest.  I think this is such a cool idea!  The original impetus came from a bunch of the Sew Weekly gals this year when they were sewing up the challenge inspired by an artist or album cover. Turns out that Bowie is actually coming out with a new album in March (his first studio album in 10 years) and there is a V&A exhibit on his work that is also happening in the spring.  Tempest has started a neat pinterest board to get the creative juices flowing!  Can't wait for this...surely I can channel a 1940 dress inspired by Bowie??

Last year, Winnie hosted the Frock Fest using the New Look 6000 pattern:

Turns out many of the participants made polka dot dresses!  This year, Winnie is hosting a sewalong to make a polka dot dress with this pattern!  How fun is that?

I can't wait to see all the dresses and I might try and sew a polka dot solidarity frock :-)  
The 2013 EvaDress Pattern Contest

It's that time of the year!  The lovely Xandra is hosting the 3rd annual EvaDress Pattern Contest! Here's the details:
Sew up any men’s or women’s garment (not accessory) from your favorite EvaDress pattern. When you forward your submission, tell us why this is your favorite pattern, what you like most about it. You are not required to use all elements from the style you sew from the pattern as it was originally issued, although it must contain at least 70% of the original pieces for any one style you are sewing from the pattern.
No purchase necessary to enter (If you have an EvaDress pattern in your stash and not yet put it to use, here’s your chance).  
Five FINALISTS will be voted by all participating EvaDress customers, fellow entrants and members (followers) of the EvaDress blog. I will vote one winner from these five selected finalists.  
A $25 gift certificate from will be e-mailed to the winner. Also, a $100 EvaDress patterns certificate plus free shipping (international included) will be awarded. The EvaDress certificate is redeemable for up to one year from March 15, 2013 (the contest ending date). Separate conditions will apply for the certificate as outlined on that certificate.  
Projects are to be started no sooner than 11:59 EST on January 31, 2013. The contest will close for submissions at 11:59p.m. EST on March 15, 2013. Voting will take place on March 17, 2013 and announced no later than March 18, 2013. 
I LOVE this contest!  For more details, check out Xandra's blog.  You can find all the EvaDress patterns here...
Modern Vintage Cupcakes and Mercury Handmade Fashion's Swap Your Stash Exchange

I heard about this amazing idea from my friend Kat who blogs over at Modern Vintage Cupcakes. The idea is that we've all got our fabric, notions or pattern stashes and what once excited us is perhaps lingering around....why not swap that stuff for someone else's stash items!  It's about being ruthless about what you're never going to use and swap it for something you will use.  It's like a giant online stash-swapping party!

Check out Kat's page for more details including the pinterest page and a list of participants!
Sew Classic's Pushing Daisies Sewalong

I'm super excited for this sewalong hosted by Sew Classic!  It's based on the show Pushing Daisies!  Some really cute outfits.  Check out the initial post here...

Phew!  What a round-up, I should do these more often!  It's so great to see everything that's happening! Do tell, are you participating in any of these?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sew Grateful Week: Projects Link Party


Sew Grateful Week: The 'Aviator' Dress

I am beyond excited to share with you my Sew Grateful Week project!  The original inspiration for this dress and hat came from Kate Beckinsale's character in the movie 'The Aviator':

I just love everything about the outfit including the colour blocked sleeves, the keyhole neckline, the accompanying scarf and of course, the hat!!!  Oddly, the dress hardly makes an appearance in the movie.  I think it's only in a couple of scenes but it's the only thing I remember about those scenes!  I even had the perfect pattern in my stash, Advance 4143 from 1946:

I used navy viscose as the main dress fabric and found some lovely wool jersey in a beautiful mustard yellow for the contrasting sleeves.  The pattern is magnificent. The keyhole neckline and neckline facing went together quite easily.  The dress has two bodice and back waist darts for shaping and a great four gored skirt.  It's closed at the top with link buttons--I used mother of pearl cuff links that I borrowed stole from David for the top of the keyhole neckline.

I also made a matching neck scarf using McCall 7284, a jacket and scarf pattern from 1933.  I had previously made a scarf from this pattern for my 1933 jacket refashion.

The hardest part of sewing the dress was the sleeves.  I spent months on the sleeves.  They are attached with a lapped seam and it was quite tricky to get the placement just right.  Once I finally liked the position, I hand basted them in place before sewing.  The wool jersey was a dream to sew with and they didn't slip at all during the sewing process.

This is the perfect Sew Grateful Dress because when I originally posted my inspiration photos, several people mentioned how much they loved the hat.  I loved the hat too, but where would I find the perfect matching hat?  That's when Ellen from BMillinery left a comment that she'd love to try and make the hat to match the outfit if I was interested.  OH YES!!!!  So, I sent her all the fabric I had left over and she made the most amazing hat!!!

Just look at it!!  I absolutely adore it.  The front is an exact replica of the Aviator hat.  We didn't have any photos of the back of the hat so Ellen used her creativity and just look what she came up with--the back of the hat is stunning!  It's held on with lots of bobby pins and a hat pin.  There are six small elastic loops on the underside of the hat through which the bobby pins are placed.  Isn't it just amazing?  Ellen has an Etsy shop and does custom orders as well and I definitely look forward to utilizing her creativity and talent for making such beautiful hats!

To celebrate such a wonderful, thoughtful and creative gift, I knew that I wanted to take some fun Aviator type photos.  There is a fantastic spitfire memorial (603 Squadron) in Edinburgh that I knew would be the perfect backdrop.  I had to get special permission to take the photos at the monument since it's so close to the Edinburgh airport, but I'm so glad I did!!  These little planes were powerhouses during WWII and were decisive in ensuring a British victory during the final months of the Battle of Britain.

Not only was I able to take pictures in two of the coolest locations in Edinburgh (the Spitfire Memorial and on top of Calton Hill) but I had the opportunity to work with Phil from PSD Photography for the photos.  Phil was nominated as the Scottish Fashion Photographer of the year through the Scottish Fashion Awards.  How freakin' awesome is that?  His work is absolutely amazing and I feel so incredibly grateful to have been able to be a part of the creative talents of Phil and Ellen for this project!

This is definitely one of my favourite outfits I've ever sewn and the perfect testament to the wonderful online sewing community that we're celebrating this week!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sew Grateful Week: Sharing Link Party


Sew Grateful Week: Launch of Lolita Patterns

I am beyond excited to help support the LAUNCH of a brand new independent pattern company called Lolita Patterns!  Today in honour of the Sharing Day of Sew Grateful Week, I've got a special guest post from Amity, the co-founder of Lolita Patterns....

Hi! I’m Amity from Lolita Patterns. An exciting new pattern company started by myself, and my friend Nhi who I met through the online sewing community. We are so excited to be releasing our first pattern today to coincide with Sew Grateful week. You can get it through the shop at Lolita Patterns. It is especially meaningful to us because, were it not for the wonderful online sewing community, Nhi and I would never have met and Lolita Patterns would not exist!  Releasing our first pattern during Sew Grateful week seems like it was meant to be!

Our first pattern is called Fuchsia and is free! Fuchsia is the skirt you can wear for both work and play. This three tiered gathered skirt has a modern silhouette and flirty scallops for a sweet lolita twist. It is fully lined and has a curved waistband that flatters all figure types. Fuchsia also features an invisible side zipper to keep the beautiful line of the scallops perfectly smooth.  This versatile pattern has many variations built in with several fabric options. Sew two tiers or just one tier; add more gathers, use less gathers. It is all up to you!

Nhi has already made up several different versions for the One Pattern Many Looks contest on Pattern Review to showcase the versatility of the pattern.

With different fabrics, amount of gathers, and tiers you can get so many different looks! One of the most unique things about this pattern is the foolproof method of sewing the scallops so that they look smooth and perfect. Everything from putting the pattern together, to sizing, scallops, and variations will be covered during the sew-along, which starts February 11th. The materials and supply list can be found here for imperial, and here for metric. So grab your pattern, fabric, and supplies and meet us there!

We are extremely grateful to Debi for supporting us on our new venture and helping us get the word out. We are also sew grateful to all of you in the online sewing community that helped make this possible. We love you!

A super big congrats to Amity and Nhi on their venture and thank you so much for sharing your first pattern for free!!!  A fantastic way to kick off the Sharing Day of Sew Grateful Week!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sew Grateful Post: Reflections Link Party

It was so much fun seeing all the giveaways in yesterday's link party!  Feel free to continue uploading giveaways to that post and check back often as many new giveaways are listed!

As part of Sew Grateful Week, today is all about reflection.  Reflecting on what role sewing has played in our lives, reflecting on those who have been supportive in our journey and reflecting on what the online community means to us!  What are you sew grateful for?  Add the link to your blog post below.

For those without blogs, I'm collecting your reflections and will add those to a blog post this week!  Feel free to send me a paragraph on what the online sewing community means to you (email me at: myhappysewingplace[at]googlemail[dot]com).


Sew Grateful Week: Why I Love the Sewing Community

Crafters' Ceilidh Group Photo, From L to R: KerryKarenWinnie, Rachel L., Kari, RooCarolynAmandaSo-HaKiranRachel, Debi B.,KristenFrancaAlana, me, Hannah, Katie and Melizza.  Not pictured: ClareAnneleenTom and Cat.

I think the photo above, which was taken at the Crafters' Ceilidh Scotland meet-up, says it all.  Aren't sewists amazing people?  I'm constantly blown away by the creativity, generosity and sheer coolness of everyone I meet and interact with online and in person.

Over the years, sewing has become less about just making garments and more about connecting with people.  It's funny because I can't even pinpoint when this shift started to occur for me but I can honestly say now that a lot of the joy I get from sewing involves the process of sharing. Whether it be sharing the finished outfit, sharing the inspiration or simply sharing the bumps along the way.  But the coolest thing about sharing is that it happens in two directions!  I would have nothing to share if it weren't for all of you sharing your own inspiration, your own struggles, your own technical expertise, your own time, your own creativity and your own finished projects.  I feel the ways in which we share is less important--whether it be through writing your own blog, sharing via email or other through other communication avenues or even through commenting on other people's comments in blog posts.  I feel our strong sense of community in all these places!!

It's amazing, humbling and heartwarming (all rolled into one) when I think about our sewing community.  And I think the more the merrier!  Whether you're just starting out on your sewing journey (or even if you are pre-contemplation about sewing) or have spent your entire life crafting fabric with your hands and the help of a machine--we all bring something unique and special to this community.  I never thought I would have such fabulous friends all over the world!

Thank you all so much for sharing your creativity, enthusiasm, projects and skills with me!  I can't imagine my life without this fabulous community!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sew Grateful Week: Post Your Giveaways

Welcome to the first linky party of Sew Grateful Week.  Please post a link to your giveaway post with a short description below:


Sew Grateful Week: My Pattern Giveaway

I'm excited to be sharing my giveaway with you all today!  Up for grabs is this lovely pattern, Simplicity 3529, for a lovely jacket and coat:

The pattern is from 1940 (my favourite year!!) and I've sewn up the jacket version in faux fur.  It's a size B36...


The winner will also get a $15 voucher to spend at Adele Bee Ann Patterns Etsy Store!!  Here's just a sample of the vintage pattern goodies available in this Etsy shop:

To Enter:
The giveaway is open to everyone.

To enter:
1. Visit Adele Bee Ann Patterns Etsy Store and leave a comment here with which pattern(s) you like best,
2. Like Adele Bee Ann Patterns on Facebook. {UPDATE: I've fixed the facebook link....let me know if it works!!!}

Easy peasy.  I'll randomly choose ONE winner who will get both the 1940 Simplicity pattern and the $15 gift voucher.  The giveaway is open until 11pm (UK time) on Sunday the 10th of February.  Good luck and a big thank you to Adele for her generosity!

Kicking Off Sew Grateful Week: Vintage Pattern Discounts!

Welcome to Sew Grateful Week!  I'm like the eager hostess who is nervously rearranging chairs, wondering who will show up first!  Consider this post the hors d'oeuvres of the party--available for you to take nibbles from all week long.  Like any good hostess, I might have already taken a few nibbles myself....

Here are some FABULOUS week-long discounts to some of my favourite Etsy stores for Sew Grateful Week!

Take 20% off all patterns at CynicalGirls Etsy Store with Coupon Code 'SEWGRATEFUL'

Take 20% off all patterns at Adele Bee Ann Patterns Etsy Store with Coupon Code 'SewGrateful'

Take 12% off anything in Floradora Presents Etsy Shop with Coupon Code 'WEARVINTAGE'

Take 20% off all vintage patterns at RetroMonkey's Etsy Store with Coupon Code 'SewGrateful'

The coupons are good all week long! Enjoy your Sew Grateful Week hors d'oeuvres! :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...