Saturday, 27 April 2013

Well done Lauren

Yay, I made it to the opening of Sewing Bee Lauren's new shop Guthrie & Ghani! I thought I wouldn't get there on time to see the ribbon being cut as I'd been on call and so had to go to work in the morning. (I even saw Sandra who was also working and had a little chinwag about the final!) Luckily the night hadn't been too busy so I was able to get off again fairly quickly...

Stuart was there to help open the store (what's the term, launching the ship?) and Tilly turned up a wee bit later too. I think she got caught in traffic!

Lauren seemed very overwhelmed with the turnout - there were so many people queuing in the street that they had to manage it so that only a certain number of people could go in at a time - it was a bit of a squash! But what a great turnout, it was fab to see so many people (even some blokes who had come along willingly and  not because their ladies had made them...!)

The shop itself is gorgeous. Set in a mock Tudor building and done up wonderfully inside with fabrics and haberdashery downstairs and a light and airy workshop upstairs. But whoops, I forgot to take photos! (so I've included the one above and below from facebook). There were some lovely fabrics there...but I was on strict self-imposed instructions not to buy as I am soon to go on a fabric frenzy when my friend Katie comes to visit from La France.

I'm very glad that I persuaded one of my friends to sign up with me for a beginners knitting class a couple of weeks ago as I have a sneaky suspicion that Lauren's workshops are going to be very popular! Oh, hey, look at me, I'll be able to tick off another of my resewlutions!

All the best to Lauren, it's fab having such a lovely store locally. I can't wait to get knitting with her help!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

I'm a Sewcialist Logo Finalist! (Please vote...)

I can't believe it, I've actually made it to the final of the Sewcialist logo competition!

For those of you who don't know, the term "Sewcialist" was coined very recently to represent any sewer/sewist who also uses social media to interact with other like minded individuals. The official definition is this:

If you use social media to chat about your sewing (any kind of sewing) you're probably a #sewcialist. Sewing + Social = Sewcialist

Cute, eh? Well, a comp was set up to find a logo. On a whim I entered. I'm rubbish at graphic design so I never thought my entry would get picked...

But it has and here it is:

I basically wanted to keep the logo very simple and recognisable. Every sewcialist will at some point use a computer to communicate about their creations or engage with other sewcialists. Although there are lots of different hardware options to enable us to do this (smart phones, desk tops, tablets etc etc) I thought the world at large would be able to immediately recognise a standard laptop to represent how the online community interacts.

The sewing machine in the middle was the obvious choice to represent what sewcialists do at the very heart of our creativity. It’s actually based on my Janome 525S machine! The dot and dash circle enclosing the logo represents to me the cutting lines on patterns!

So, if you like it, please do vote. You've got until 8 May. Here's how to do it:

Go to one of the sewcialist jury blogs below and comment on your favourite, including the # of the entry and the designer’s name.

I'm entry #3 and could really do with your votes as I'm up against some brilliant designs!

Thank you to everyone who votes!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I'm jumping up and down with excitement - Sewing Bee final and a new haberdashery in Brum!!

***SPOILER - don't read this if you haven't watched the Sewing Bee final yet!!***

Guthrie & Ghani

The Grand Opening Party starts at 10.30am on
Saturday 27th April!
You've all seen finalist Lauren on the Great British Sewing Bee, right? How fabulous was she? Wasn't the final absolutely brilliant? Those evening dresses were just beautiful. What a shame she didn't win but well done Anne, a worthy winner. Let's hope that this puts sewing well and truly on the cool map.

Well, for the last year or so, Lauren's been doing up a building in Birmingham to open up a haberdashery, fabric store and creative studios! And it's being launched this coming Saturday...

Here's what Lauren says on her blog:
"Come along to check out our range of fabulous fabrics, lovely yarns and lots of essential haberdashery bits and pieces for making your craft projects something special. Take a tour of our fully equipped creative studio where you can sign up for a wide range of upcoming workshops. Look out for our special invitation postcards that will be available to pick up from lots of locations around Birmingham. Keep it safe and bring it along with you on the day to enter into our prize draw to win lots of g&g goodies"

And another little surprise - Tilly (from & The Buttons fame), Stuart, Sandra and Ann from the Bee will also be there to lend a hand - oh I'm so excited! So if you live locally (or even if you don't!) why don't you pop along and see what's on offer and join in the fun. I'm planning to get there at some point in the late morning/ lunchtime (once I've finished my on-call at work, boo...) and am really looking forward to meeting new sewers (sewists?), hopefully making some new crafty friends... and maybe buying some more fabric! For all the details have a look at Lauren's website.

Be there or be.... a broken needle...?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

WIP - Washi Dress

Shirring, cut out neck detail and giant basting/tacking stitches!

ps - I've now added Disqus for comments as I was having a few little problems. Fingers crossed it works! You don't have to have a Disqus account to comment, it can be done as a guest. Please leave comments as I love reading them (and knowing that someone, anyone, is actually even mildly interested in my makes...!!) 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Odds and ends, including a Birmingham Meetup!

No finished garments to show I'm afraid. The dress I've been beavering away on is finally completed but can't be blogged about just yet as it's a pattern test for a brand new company so I have to keep my lips sealed....

However, lots more in the pipeline. First of all, I'm doing:

I, Sabs of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade/self-stitched garment at least 3 times a week (sometimes under a boilersuit...) for the duration of May 2013

Ok, I need to explain the boliersuit part, don't I? Well, for two weeks in May, we were supposed to be having demolition/construction work done in our kitchen. Mr Sabs and I were going to do the said work ourselves with the help of my in-laws. Wearing pretty dresses while knocking down walls didn't really seem like a good idea so initially I wasn't going to sign up for MMM13. But I couldn't bear not to, as I'd been looking forward to it for months so instead of making the full "I'll wear me-made every day of the month" I knocked it back to three times a week and thought that at least some of my tops could be worn under a boilersuit while I was working. It now turns out that our plans will be probably be put on hold which means that I can commit to more!

Are any of you taking part? It's so popular, there're loads of pledges all over the blogosphere already! More details can be found at So Zo...

I've been really lucky to win one of Krafty Kat's blogiversary giveaway lots, the jersey fabric. Need lots of practice with jersey so really happy! Thanks Kat!

And then there's this:

Birmingham Meetup
Saturday 15 June 2013

Oh I can't wait! The lovely Kat (Krafty Kat), Marie (A Stitching Odyssey) and Claire (Sew Incidentally) are organising this - thanks gals! I was gutted I missed the last one in November so I'm really excited. There's going to be sew much fun hanging out at the Rag Market and Barry's and, of course, lots of buying and swapping of fabric. Full details on any of the three blogs (click on links above). Who else is up for this? See you there!

And lastly, here's a sneak peek of the fabric for my next project, the Washi Dress, which I've been a bit obsessed with for a while. Look, the colour matches the bottom of the pattern packaging!

*Edited to add: I didn't win the Pattern Review Fitted Blouse Contest but thank you to everyone who voted for me. I had fun making it and just being in a competition was cool!*

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Crazy for Cambie (and the Great British Sewing Bee)

I finally made my first Cambie!

I've been ogling this pattern for bloody ages it seems, stalking photos of it all over t'interweb and mainly swooning over it. Then I got it as an Xmas present, along with some bottle green cotton. It might even qualify as emerald green, Pantone's colour of the year, no? Get me, all cool and on trend!

Looking Pantonely smug...
I went for the A line skirt version as my first go, mainly because I thought I'd get more wear out of it (eg at work) although I'm in love with the full skirt version that Tasia made when the pattern was first launched. I'll be looking for a similar sort of fabric to make that up, methinks!

It was reasonably easy to sew. I made both the dress and lining at the same time rather than one after the other, it might have got very boring otherwise. The instructions are minimal, and do presume some pre-existing knowledge but the diagrams are good and Tasia's tutorials are fab. It took me a while to get my head round joining the dress and lining at the zip but now that I have, I think I'll be using this method forever. I cut a size 2 based on the finished garment measurements on the back of the envelope and although I'm very happy with the look of the finished dress, I do wish I'd cut the next size up for the bodice and waistband as it doesn't leave me much room to breathe!! I'll remember for the next version!

This is my first ever lined garment - and I'm so proud of the finish! I used some slippery poly lining which was fine to sew but doing normal zig zag finishing of the seams looked awful (I don't have an overlocker). So after one look at my first set of seams, I decided to French seam the rest, which looks bloody brilliant!

Inside and out

I love the gathered sleeves and the way they transform a normal dress into something more fancy. I wore it to my friends' wedding - and got the colour spot on - green for IRISH!

The left hand side of the top of the zip is a little bit wonky but other than that (and the fact that the bodice is a bit tight) I absolutely love it. Next time, I'll make the full skirted Cambie in a slightly larger size and maybe raise neckline just a wee bit. But I know one thing for certain - I will definitely be making more versions of this dress!

On a slightly different note, how exciting was the Great British Sewing Bee?! The only thing I don't like about this program is the name - it should have been called the Great British Sew Off! I already have my faves - Lauren, who lives near me and is about to open a haberdashery and fabric store, Sandra who works in the same hospital as me (eek!), celebrity blogstar Tilly and Ann, who is also from Birmingham and is just the most brilliantly unflappable person on the show! Oh, do you notice a theme? All my faves (bar Tilly, but I'll forgive her) are from in and around Brum - we are obviously the best crafting city.....

And oh. my. god. Patrick.

Hello, tailor!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Please vote for me!!

The voting for the Pattern Review Fitted Blouse Contest starts today!

I know I'm a newbie and certainly not the most experienced of sewists but to be in with a chance of winning a contest like this (in fact, any contest!) would be amazing!

So if you reckon my blouse is fitted enough to qualify and looks cute (I do, I'm really pleased with it!) please head over to PR and click on my photo!

I will love you forever... Thanks!