Tag Archives: giveaway

Giveaway: The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction

13 Mar

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Hey everyone! Remember Christine Haynes, maker of the Emery dress pattern? Well, Christine has recently released her second book, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, and I’m excited to be the next stop on the blog tour!

CPG Clothing Contruction High res

When Christine originally asked me if I wanted to preview the book and take part in the tour, I didn’t even finish reading her email before I started typing my ‘YES YES YESSSSS’ response right back to her (good thing I did finish reading before I actually sent it, though- because at first, I thought she was saying she was planning a physical book tour and would end up in Nashville! Doh! Christine, you should still come to Nashville, tho :)). I really love sewing books, almost to a fault – I have a few dozen on my bookshelf, and only that few because I tend to cull them pretty aggressively so they don’t end up taking over my sewing room. Even though I’m not a beginner, I especially love the books geared toward beginners – I love all the photos and how-tos, and I still find myself learning new things from time to time!

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The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction is a book that is definitely geared toward beginners – if you need hand holding, this is the book for you. I’m actually pretty amazed at all the information Christine managed to cram in this deceptively small looking book – from choosing the correct thread and needle, to pretreating fabric, to deciphering the envelope of a sewing pattern, to those amazing step-by-step photo guides for a whole array of techniques. The general consensus on this book seems to be that everyone wishes they had it when they started sewing – and I absolutely agree! Just the zipper section alone would have sent angels singing to my sewing room if I’d had this shit back when I was first trying to understand how to operate my sewing machine. I think the best way to learn it hands-on with a good tutor, but that’s not always an option for everyone. Having this book would be the next best thing – it’s like having a tutor in your sewing room 24/7, but in print! Ha!

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I think this was the tutorial that excited me the most about this book. Yes, it’s geared toward beginners, but then she throws things like this in the mix. A full color, photo tutorial on sewing a front fly zipper! And it’s a good one, too! See – a beginner could TOTALLY tackle this technique with Christine by their side.

(psst! You can click the photos to enlarge!)

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I also love this how-to on shortening a zipper- isn’t it sooo much more clear than the sad little insert that comes with your Coats and Clark zip? Especially since, yes, you can totally shorten a zip by machine. I think I did mine by hand for the first, oh, 7 years of my sewing career – and trying to find a needle with matching thread in the heat of the moment? Forget about it! Half my stuff from back then has self-made zipper stops in some obnoxious mismatched shade of whatever I happened to find in the nearest pincushion. Again, I would have LOVED to have this book at my side when trying to figure this stuff out.

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This is probably my favorite part of the book – scattered throughout are photos of garments with numbers denoting what technique was used for each part, and where to find it in the book. Isn’t that genius? Plus, all the patterns Christine used (both finished garments and for the photo tutorials) are from indie designers. No Big 4 to be found anywhere in this bad boy, yeeeah!

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GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Ok, that was fun, but let’s get to the REALLY fun part! Christine has generously offered up a signed copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, plus an extra Emery pattern for one lucky winner! Yay! To enter, all you gotta do is leave a comment on this post and tell me what technique you’d like to master. That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the comments one week from today, THURSDAY MARCH 20, 2014 AT 8:00 AM CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Don’t forget to check out the full blog tour here on Christine’s blog – lots of awesome ladies involved, lots of cool giveaways going on!

Good luck! I’ll be off the blog and prowling NYC this weekend with my best blog gal, Clare. Expect lots of photo spam on Twitter and Instagram… and possibly an extra little surprise in that winning package ;)

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Giveaway: Knitting Patterns from Andi Satterlund

13 Jan

I’ve got a really fun giveaway for y’all today! Assuming you like knitting… if not, what’s holding you back?? :)

As you all know probably know by now, Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots is my not-even-trying-to-make-this-a-secret Knitting Girl Crush. I don’t want to call myself obsessive, per se, but every single one of her knittng patterns has a solid spot in my queue, and I’ve personally knit and finished (and worn!) half a dozen of her patterns for myself. I can’t help it – her designs are beautiful, flattering, fit my body shape exactly, and there is always some new construction trick to learn.

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Aiken Pullover

My very favorite part about Andi’s patterns is how they are constructed. Every knitter has his or her own personal preference for knitting – some like knitting each piece and seaming them together, some prefer to knit things entirely in the round with no seaming. I fall in the latter camp – it’s so fun to watch the shape emerge as you complete the pattern, plus, you can pull it on to tweak the fit as you knit. Not to mention once you’re done, you’re done! No seaming necessary :) All of Andi’s patterns are knit this way – one piece, in the round (top-down or bottom-up depending on the particular pattern in question). Sleeves are set in with short rows and button bands are picked up and knit directly along the edge. Like I said – NO SEAMING. Miracles all up in this bitch!

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Chuck cabled pullover

Another thing I really love about her patterns is the sizing. This is really a personal preference – my body just happens to fit exxxactly into that XS size. I love it! However, if you don’t have the same sort of hourglass figure that the patterns are written for (and there’s a full schematic on the back of each pattern with a zillion finished measurements, so as long as you gauge swatch matches up you can be pretty sure exactly what you’re in store for), they are pretty easy to tweak thanks to the in-the-round construction. Not to mention, the bust measurements range from 29″-50″+, so you’re much more likely to find a size that fits you :)

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Hetty Lace Cardigan

Not into knitting sweaters quite yet (well, what’s stopping you? ;))? Andi also has a nice selection of non-sweater knits – cowls, hats, and fingerless gloves. Most of the accessories patterns include some colorwork – such as the Stray beret in leopard print which I’m dying to knit, or the super fun Bernadine Cowl which has ball of yarn knitted into the design – but there are also even simpler accessories, such as Salt and Bea. Again – what’s stopping you from knitting a sweater, though? :)

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Geralindine Pullover and Ethel Beret

Feeling inspired yet? Look at all the makes I’ve whipped up using Andi’s patterns-
Agathamy mustard Agathaon Ravelry
Agatha(again!) – my Blagathaon Ravelry
Miettemy navy Mietteon Ravelry
Chuckmy red Chuckon Ravelry
Marionmy red Marionon Ravelry
From A to Zmy L is for Laurenon Ravelry

Yikes, that’s a lot of links! Hopefully that gets the creative juices flowing, though :)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


All right, here’s the fun part – Andi has generously offered to give away a small prize pack of 3 of her patterns, chosen by one lucky winner! Yay! To enter, all you need to do is check out her Ravelry store and tell me in the comments what 3 individual patterns you would choose if that winner is you (sorry, y’all, the Wrapped in Wool package is not included in this giveaway. But you could totally pick 3 of those individual patterns if that’s your jam ;)). That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the comments one week from today, January 20, 2014 at 8PM CST.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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If you’ve yet to knit your first sweater and feel terrified at the prospect, perhaps I can tempt you with the gorgeous Agatha? It was my first sweater, too! ;)

Good luck!

Giveaway: Vintage Patterns from She’ll Make You Flip

26 Dec

First up, a big thanks for all your comments on my last post. The outpouring of support I received was much-needed and absolutely appreciated. The good news: Dad made it home for Christmas! That alone was by far the best part of the day :) so thanks again, everyone, for your prayers and positive thoughts. Love you all!

Dad's finally home! Best Christmas present ever

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but for me, the day after Christmas means I’m doing two things:
1. Laying on the middle of the floor, basking in the glow of all my gifts surrounding me in a circle; and/or
2. Sitting at the computer, trying to frantically spend my Christmas money before it burns a hole through my wallet

While I can’t help you with #1 (I mean, if you were bad, that’s totally your fault and no one is feeling sorry for you today), I can help you with #2. Or, rather, She’ll Make You Flip sure can!

She’ll Make You Flip is a shop that specializes in sewing patterns – vintage patterns from the 20s-70s, and modern out of print patterns. They will also occasionally offer a smattering of sewing magazines, embroidery and needlework transfers, fabrics, laces and trims as they become available. Honestly, I probably have enough vintage patterns in my stash to bury myself in should I need to, but that doesn’t stop me from browsing the offerings in this shop and playing pick-the-best, which is my favorite game by the way.

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McCall 4118

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McCall 4115
Like these two WWII era shirtwaist dresses. GET IN MY LIFE, Y’ALL.

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McCall 4448
Two piece 1940s dress? Check.

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McCall 7646
Late 40s classy lady dress with fancy detailing at the bodice? You got it!

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Vogue 5630
Ok, I’ll drag myself out of the 40s but first get a load of this – ! That zig-zag colorblocking is amazing.

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McCall 3151
I love love love the strong shoulders on this 30s career jacket. I don’t say this too often, but that shit is smart as fuck.

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Simplicity 3708
1950s more your bag? No worries, I got ya! Check out this shirtwaist – quite a bit different from the 1940s models above, yeah?

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McCall 8484
This little collared dress is just asking to be made up in a fun striped cotton.

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McCall 8646
This swing coat is just killing me – look at the lady on the right with the popped collar. She’s so smug, and yet I don’t blame her one bit.

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Butterick 5655
I think this casual little 60s dress looks like the comfiest thing ever.

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McCall 5603
Or one could be the opposite of comfy in this, but look fierce as all get out.

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Simplicity 5900
I’m suddenly dying to channel my inner Elizabeth Taylor with this incredible caftan.

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McCall 3246
Or just go all-out hippy with this fabulous maxi dress. Look at that thing! That’s a dress that’s begging to be lived in all summer long.

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McCall 4182
But what I’m honestly, REALLY loving most are these 70s FOOTIE PAJAMAS. YOU GUYS. I WANT THESE SO BAD I CAN’T BREATHE.

Now that I’ve gotten you all excited, I have a present for one of you! She’ll Make You Flip has generously offered a $25 store credit to one lucky winner! Yay! To enter, all you need to do is visit the shop and leave a comment letting me know what pattern you’d choose if you’re the winner. That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the entries at Wednesday, 1/1/14 at 8AM CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

If you’ve already found your dream pattern and can’t bear the thought of it becoming the One That Got Away, you can use the coupon code LLADYBIRD20 to get 20% off your purchase through the end of 2013. Yes! Go spend that Christmas money before it sets itself on fire!

Good luck!

Giveaway: Sweet Sewing Prints

9 Dec

My first introduction with Joanna Baker was the best kind of introduction – I actually won a giveaway that was hosted by Madalynne. I immediately fell in love with her beautiful illustrations and send her plenty of gushy emails that may have even bordered on creepy/obsessive. What can I say – when I fall for some, I fall for it hard!

Joanna Baker - Thread

An illustrator trained in fashion design, Joanna creates some of the prettiest sketches, for both wall prints and note cards – just lurk her Etsy if you don’t believe me! I especially love this fancy little pug! Or, ooh, how about this Poppy Sundress, too bad I can’t find that kind of fabric and make myself a real-life one!

Joanna Baker - Dressforms

Now here’s the fun part – Joanna has created these three beautiful sewing prints for one lucky winner! Yeeeah!! Wouldn’t these be perfect in a sewing space? Or even just hanging around the house, because why should something this lovely be restricted to one room amirite?

Joanna Baker - Buttons

To enter the giveaway for the sewing prints, all you gotta do is like Joanna’s Facebook page and also leave a comment and let me know what is your favorite thing in Joanna’s shop. That’s it! One lucky winner will recieve all three sewing prints – perhaps an early Christmas present for yourself? :) Also, this giveaway is open WORLDWIDE (if you can receive mail, you can enter this giveaway!) and I will close all entries 12/16/13 at 8:00am CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

I am SO jealous of whoever wins these prints. It kills me how cute they are! Here’s a little Instagram shot of mine chilling in their new home – I found these cool frames at the flea market, I love how fancy they are! I hung the prints over my ironing board so I can see them from pretty much anywhere in the room :)

Good luck!

EDIT These prints are now available in Joanna’s shop for a limited time – go get you one!

Completed: The Sugar Plum Dress (+ a Giveaway!)

25 Nov

This dress is SO awesome and sneaky. Looks like two pieces, but wait- there’s more! It’s actually one dress! Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics I LOVE these kinds of dresses! Looks like a silk blouse with a high-waisted pencil skirt, without the bother of keeping a shirt tucked in all day and making sure things match in the morning (because, ew, all I wanna do is sleep right now). Extra bonus – the skirt is a ponte knit, so it’s actually a COMFY pencil skirt. Are y’all feeling my excitement right now?? Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics This is the Sugar Plum, from Lolita Patterns. Full disclosure: Amity sent me this pattern free to try it out and see how I liked it. I guess you probably gathered at this point my reaction to the finished dress – ummm, amazing! I love how it’s totally appropriate for a professional environment (not that I need clothes like that anymore, but, you know, I still like to dress up ;)), but it’s still beautiful and feminine and unique. The pattern is really fun to put together – lots of tiny pieces, clever seam finishes, the kind of stuff that makes me :D Since it doesn’t require a lot of fabric to make up the top half (less than a yard!), I splurged on this amazing Oscar de la Renta silk print from Mood Fabrics. I also bought this navy blue ponte knit for the skirt (omggg so comfy) and lime green china silk for the lining for a bit of a color pop. Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics This is view B, without the front flounces. I sewed up a size 2. The top fit with no alterations, although I did need to take the skirt in a bit to get it fitted (it’s actually a bit toooo fitted now, whoops. Good thing it’s a knit lol). I did use a much stretchier fabric than suggested by the pattern, so I’m not surprised. The pattern has you use a stretch woven, and pontes tend to be a little more like an actual knit. Based on the way the skirt fits, I suspect you could also use a non-stretch woven and just cut the panels on the bias for the same fitted/comfortable effect. I skipped the pockets and the sleeve gathering detail for a more simple look. Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics The more I sew with silks, the more I find myself not wanting to make up anything else. The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to sewing lightweight/slippery/silky fabrics is to make sure that your cutting is super accurate, then the sewing is a piece of cake (or, at least, as much of a piece of cake as it can be!). I always rip my fabric along the cross grain first, to ensure that the edges are perfectly straight, and then pin the selvedges together before I lay down my pattern pieces. This prevents the silk from shifting as I cut it. When it’s time to cut, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp, and try to cut the entire length of the blades (instead of timid little snips). One thing I loove about ordering from Mood Fabrics is that I know the fabric is going to already be on-grain, so I don’t have to worry about straightening the grain before I cut. Just rip the cut edge, pin, and cut those pattern pieces! Sewing with the ponte was much easier than the silk, obviously. I used a serger for all the skirt seams, and my regular sewing machine (treating it like a woven) to attach the silk top to the ponte waistband. I love this ponte because it’s quite a bit more stretchy than other pontes I’ve tried, which means it’s extra extra comfortable. Just be careful when you press it – it definitely gets a shine, so use a press cloth. I keep a big square of silk organza specifically for this purpose. It absorbs the heat of the iron so my fabric underneath doesn’t shine, and it’s sheer so I can actually see what I’m doing :) Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics I really enjoyed working on this pattern – lots of tiny details to make me feel challenged as a seamstress, but not so much that I got overwhelmed with the process. A lot of indie patterns run on the easy/beginner side – which is fine, I know there are lots of people who want something simple to make up, and it’s easier to complicate a pattern than simplify it. But sometimes it’s nice to have something that I feel is aimed at a slightly higher level, without me having to run through the steps and find ways to make it harder for myself. Wow, I just made me sound like a total weirdo. What can I say, I like a challenge! Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics I did make a pretty crappy mistake toward the end of this dress. I was sewing in the invisible zipper and could not get the waistband seams to match up. I was tired, hungry, getting grouchy (you can see where this is going), and I thought, “One more try and then I’m outta here.” While picking out the zip, I somehow managed to detach the teeth from the zipper tape. WHYYYYY. I know I tell y’all that I have millions of zippers in my stash, and I do, but none of them are invisible. I actually have to go out of my way and buy one whenever I need it (because I’m too stubborn to keep those in stock, apparently), which usually ends up with me going to Walmart because they sell invisible zippers and they’re open at 3am when I suddenly need one. So I pretty pissed about destroying this zip, and trying to avoid another trip to Walmart. I ended up cutting the zipper right above where I sliced it open, and just finished the dress with a super duper short zipper – it ends about halfway down the waistband. Since the skirt is so stretchy, this works, kind of. It’s funny to watch me pull it on, ha! And you know the worst part? THE WAISTBAND PIECES STILL DON’T MATCH UP. Whatever, I’m over it! Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics I love the little details on this dress that make it so special – the ruffled collar (hemmed using the rolled hem on my serger), the tiny buttons with the tiny button loops, and that BRIGHT LIME GREEN LINING. Really, it’s like a party when I take the dress off! Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics By the way, don’t ever search Oscar de la Renta on the Mood Fabrics site unless you plan on dropping some serious dough on some seriously incredible fabrics. I just fell down the rabbit hole – again! – and discovered violet boucle, boucle with sparkly lurex (!!!), silk floral and some freaking polka dot silk taffeta. I want, I want it all! Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics

Now time for the fun part – a giveaway! Amity has generously offered a copy of Sugar Plum to one lucky winner, yeeeah!! Still having reservations? Just know that the sizing goes aaaaall the way up to 24 (yes!) and there is an entire sew-along on the blog for anyone who needs some hand-holding. You have no excuses, people! To enter, just leave a comment on this post and let me know what you’d make your Sugar Plum up in (Personally, I’m lurking on a second version with a leopard blouse and a denim skirt, like, ahem, Leila’s. Yes. Exactly like that. Sorry boo!). This giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE and I will close the entries a week from today, Monday, December 2 8:00AM CST. Good luck!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

ChatterBlossom Giveaway!

14 Oct

Ooh I’m so jealous of whoever wins this giveaway!

Chatterblossom, run by the gorgeous Jamie, is one of my newest sponsors. Jamie upcycles antique and vintage pieces into some of the most stunning jewelry I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’m not much of a jewelry collector – I tend to wear the same thing every day, yep, ok – but once I started clicking through her Etsy, I found myself unable to stop. It’s hard to pick a favorite when literally every single item in her shop is amazing! Once I did finally settle on a favorite (my Golden Chariot necklace. I LOVE THAT NECKLACE. I wear it nearly every single day, only taking it off if my outfit requires silver :P), it came packaged in the prettiest little gift wrap. I almost didn’t want to open it because it looked so nice! Ha ha, just kidding, you know I tore that shit open so fast I felt bad later because I forgot to take a picture!

What’s extra awesome about ChatterBlossom is that Jamie gives each piece a name and a story to go with it. So, combine all that is lovely in the shop, coupled with all the stories to be read on each listing, and you’ve got an entire evening of entertainment (not to mention a wishlist that goes on for several pages). I spent long enough clicking around, now let me show you some of my favorites!

Jamie has dozens of necklaces, rings, and earrings, all made with reclaimed vintage and antique pieces. I especially love how she finds beautiful and interesting buttons and turns them into jewelry.
roman bust
Roman Holiday

pewter necklace
My Lady Ivy

cut glass ring
Petals of the New Moon

bird necklace
Share my Song

Or perhaps you fancy a necklace made with Victorian lace?
lace necklace
Upon the Wings of Night

Or, ooh, how about some gorgeous hair accessories? That black beaded flapper headband especially, gah.
pink flowers
My Foolish Heart

flapper headband
Night Atop the Stars

If beads and lace feel too fancy for your every day needs, ChatterBlossom also makes lovely hair flowers, often with those pretty vintage buttons in the center. I love these autumnal colors!
autumn flowers
Woodland Lovers

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Ready to start shopping? Hold onto your wallets for just a second because Jamie has generously offered a $25 gift certificate to her shop for one lucky reader! Yay!! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and let me know what is your favorite item in the ChatterBlossom shop. That’s it! Just don’t get too sucked into the vortex of beautiful jewelry for too long ;) This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE – if you can receive mail, you can enter! I will close the comments at week from today, Monday 10/21 at 8am CST. Good luck!
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

If you don’t want to wait and see if you won the giveaway, I’ve also got a discount code for ya! Use the code Lladybird15 to get 15% off your entire order at ChatterBlossom (so, yes, now would be the time to stock up). This code is good for now through 10/28.

Thank you so much for letting me host this giveaway, Jamie! Guys, if you want a double dose of pretties, you can always follow her blog. Personally, I can’t stop geeking out over her hair. It’s so perfect, I can’t even.

Review+Giveaway: Draping/The Complete Course

2 Oct

A few weeks ago, I came home to a mysterious (and heavy!) package waiting for me from Laurence King. “Hm, I don’t remember ordering anything from LK recently,” I said to Landon as I tore the shit out of that package.

Draping

“Oh. Oh!
(psst! click the pictures to enlarge)

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Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kiisel is more than just an instructional book for producing draped patterns – it is a massively intense course – complete with over a thousand color photographs and an accompanying DVD to supplement the various lessons – to guide you through the process of draping. From the necessary tools (and before you ask – yes, you need a dressform to use this book the intended way), to preparing your muslin, to draping lessons for specific patterns and fabrics, this book covers everything. Seriously, everything.

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Dresses, bustiers, pants, blouses, skirts, knits, coats, gowns, bias – you name it, this book is gonna teach you how to do it, and it’s going to give you a famous pattern to rip off in the process (Glinda’s pink gown from The Wizard of Oz? Check. Something slinky and bias worn by Jean Harlow? Check. Crazy tuxedo jacket designed by Dolce & Gabbana? Check!).

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While I haven’t had a chance to start the draping projects in the book yet (and believe me, I am chomping at the bit to dive headfirst into this!), I have really enjoyed just reading it cover to cover like it’s a romance novel. Each section starts off with a bit of history (which I love love love! Sorry, I’m a nerd :)), exercises with variations, and finishes with a big draping project. The included DVD offers additional hands-on support for those of us who need a little more guidance beyond pictures.

Here are a few sample videos. Ooh, I want one of those wrist pincushions.

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Now here’s the fun part! Laurence King has very generously offered a second copy of the book up for giveaway! Yay! Who is gonna win and drape away with me??

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

If you would like to enter to win your very own copy of Draping: The Complete Course, simply leave a comment below and let me know what dream garment you’d love to learn how to drape. This giveaway is open for US RESIDENTS ONLY (sorry!! The book is just really heavy. I’ll have something that includes everyone later this month; stick around for that ;)) and I will close the comments next Wednesday, October 9th 2013 at 6:00PM CST.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

If a giveaway just isn’t your bag, you can also order the book on Amazon. It’s currently almost 40% off the $75 list price.

Good luck!

Review+Giveaway: Sweet Dress Book

12 Aug

Laurence King really has cornered the market on these cute little sewing books, haven’t they?

Sweet Dress Book

Their newest offering, Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori, is just as saccharine as the title suggests. Beautifully photographed (guys, there is a FLUFFY CAT in like half the pictures omgomg) and illustrated, the book includes 6 patterns and enough variations to make a total of 23 different outfits.

Sweet Dress Book

Each pattern incorporates a different technique – french sleeve, no darts, straight-cut, pants and playsuits, raglan sleeve, and with darts – and has three variations to make a full range of clothing. This being a Japanese pattern book, the instructions are laid out differently than standard sewing patterns – there is a list of steps and a numbered illustration (or two, or three!) to show how everything goes together. I don’t think the patterns in this book are nearly as complicated as the ones in Drape Drape – a confident beginner should be able to navigate their way through these.

Sweet Dress Book

While the patterns in the book aren’t necessarily my cup of tea, style-wise, it’s still really fun to flip through for inspiration. The model is freakin gorgeous and I love the way the letters are illustrated to look like ribbons. Sweet, right? Oh, and the book also includes a recipe for cupcakes. If anything, I will definitely be testing that one out… for science.

Sweet Dress Book

Before you go nuts with the credit card, I should mention this book isn’t available to the public just yet. It will hit the market on 8/20!

Laurence King has generously offered an extra copy for one of you lucky peeps, so let’s have a giveaway! If you’d like to enter to win your very own Sweet Dress Book, simply leave a comment on this post and let me know your favorite sweet. This giveaway is open worldwide and I will close the comments next Monday, 8/19, at 9 AM CST.

Good luck!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Giveaway: Fashion A-Z

26 Jun

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

A couple weeks ago, the folks at Laurence King sent me this cute little book, Fashion A-Z: An Illustrated Dictionary, to check out.

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When I say cute little book, I’m not exaggerating – it’s a mini book, not much taller than the length of my hand (and I have small hands!). The cutest dictionary I’ve ever seen, at any rate!

Fasion A-Z Blad Spreads-7

While one can easily find this information on Google in this day and age, there’s something so satisfying about flipping through a book to find your answer. And this lil guy is PACKED full of answers – in addition to definitions for stuff like Dolman Sleeves and Gussets, there are definitions for historical clothing (Medici collar, anyone?), some knitting terms (ever wonder what people are talking about when they discuss Stockinette?) and fabric definitions. “Man Bag” is included, for god’s sake!

Fasion A-Z Blad Spreads-8

And the illustrations are so sweet! You can click on the images in this post to make them bigger.

Fasion A-Z Blad Spreads-9

The fabric definitions are the most fun to look up! Do you ever lurk the fabric suggestions on vintage patterns and wonder wtf they are talking about – Sharkskin? Marocain? Dimity? Ottoman? WHAT IS THIS WITCHERY? It’s *all* in here, y’all! Pretty impressive!

Next time a vintage pattern throws a weird, outdated term at me, I’ll be armed and ready!

Fasion A-Z Blad Spreads-4

Want a copy for your very own? Leave a comment on this post – and yes, this giveaway is open WORLDWIDE! I’ll close the giveaway Monday, 7/1 and draw a random winner then.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
CUTIEPIE

Theodore wishes you the best of luck! :3

The Bombshell Swimsuit: a Review and a Giveaway!

10 Jun

Remember this little teaser during the last week of Me Made May?

5/27

The pattern has been released so I can announce it now… allow me to introduce the Bombshell Swimsuit, from Heather Lou at Closet Case Files!

And now, I’m going to post pictures of myself in a bathing suit, on the internet. Eep.
(Also, can we talk about how Landon laughed at me when he saw me tromping out the backdoor in this swimsuit with these shoes? Excuse me, but if I’m going to stand half-naked for pictures on the internet, I’m at least going to make sure my legs look AWESOME, ok??)

Bombshell Swimsuit

When Heather Lou contacted me about testing this swimsuit pattern, I hadn’t even finished reading the email before my yes response was being sent right back to her (ok ok… let’s be honest here, it was more like OIASDL;GAJSD;LFAJSDF OMG FUCK YES !!!!!). I’ve never made a swimsuit, although this year I was ready to try. I had bought some fun swimsuit fabric and lining while in New York, and had a 70s bikini pattern that I planned to make up. But have you SEEN this sexiness?! Bikini went on the backburner, Bombshell hit my cutting table.

Bombshell Swimsuit

I won’t lie, there was a minute there when I hesitated, and then got scared. Like I said, I’ve never made a swimsuit before, let alone any sort of lingerie. As much as I looove working with knits and stretchy fabrics, sewing on elastic with that a zigzag stitch is totally uncharted territory for me. Not to mention I didn’t have enough fabric to muslin this, so it was really a testament of trusting the pattern sizing, and crossing my fingers in hopes I got it right the first time.

Bombshell Swimsuit

Spoiler: I did! :)

This is PRETTY CUTE, amirite?! Let’s see, I sewed the size 8 – I fit exactly into the 34-26.5-36 measurements – and the fit is SPOT-ON. I did not many any changes to the sizing of this pattern whatsoever. Dreamy, right? I used a gingham swimsuit lycra for the suit, and a proper nude swimsuit lining for the inside. I put bra cups in the front to avoid any nippage. The only thing I did not do was use proper swimsuit elastic. Ahhh, I’m so sorry! Truth, I was pushing really hard to finish this before I went on vacation, and I didn’t have a chance to run to the fabric store for swimsuit elastic (if you are sitting here thinking, “wtf are you on, Lauren, elastic is elastic is elastic” let me tell you that swim elastic is different because it won’t break down over time like standard polyester elastic). I did have some cotton elastic that *said* it was good for swimwear, but we’ll see if that actually stands the test of time. If not, I can always replace the elastic later. Ain’t no thang!

Bombshell Swimsuit

I LOVE THE WAY THIS SUIT LOOKS ON ME, THOUGH. Look at how flattering it is – and fully covered! Like I said before, I was very hesitant to actually wear this in the water, for fear that it would… I dunno, disintegrate and float away into the ocean, maybe? Shouldn’t have worried, though, as this baby stuck to me like a comfy second skin and didn’t budge at all while I was thrashing around in the waves. And I felt SO SWANK sitting on my beach chair, reading a book and sipping a cocktail.

Bombshell Swimsuit

As far as the actual construction… I really should not have worried! The instructions can look a bit intimidating at first glance (Me: “OH SHIT what is all this elastic stretch percentage talk here I can’t math this HELP”), but each step made perfect sense as I approached it. Making this swimsuit was very intuitive – for someone who’s never made swimwear before – and there are lots of pictures and words in the instructions to guide you along and hold your hand. If you still need help, there is now a Sewalong to really clear things up!

Bombshell Swimsuit
Bombshell Swimsuit
(I don’t know why these pictures turned the color all crazy. Sorry.)

Bombshell Swimsuit

So… a little tip about those bra cups. I actually tried to buy them while I was in NY, but I got SUPER overwhelmed by all the options available (Sonja and Oona can attest to the fact that I was lurking in the back of each store, putting cups over my boobs and trying to decide was size to get! HAHAHA). I ended up going home with none. Fast forward to this swimsuit, and part of my freakout was that I didn’t have any bra cups to put in – and no time to order online, let alone go to the fabric store. So how did I end up with cups, you might ask? I went to the thrift store, grabbed a bikini top from the 99ยข section, and cut the cups out! They fit just fine and I know they’re good for swimwear because, duh, they came out of a bikini :)

Now here’s the best part – Heather Lou has graciously offered up a freebie pattern to give away to one of y’all! YAY!!! BOMBSHELLS FOR EVERYONE!! Don’t let yourself get scared away from the concept of sewing swimwear – it’s really fun and YOU CAN DO IT.

For a chance to win a PDF copy of the Bombshell Swimsuit, leave a comment here on this post and let me know what fabric you’d use to make it! If you have a specific fabric in mind, or just a color or pattern that you’d love to see it made up in, do share! I’m nosy and I need to know! This giveaway is open worldwide – as long as you have email and can receive PDF attachments, you can win this pattern. I will close the comments next Monday AM, 6/17, so get yer entries in while you can!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Bombshell Swimsuit

If you want to go ahead and buy the pattern, you can do so here ($10 only, hells yes). Thanks to Heather Lou, for letting me test this amazing pattern and also for providing a giveaway copy!

Good luck, y’all!

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