Monday, 22 May 2017

Happy #MMMay17! Sewbox Giveaway

Here's the second and final #MMMay17 celebration giveaway, and it's a really good one!!! Susan from has been insanely generous in offering up a £50 voucher to be spent on her site, with free postage included worldwide! £50?! You know what £50 will get you? LOADS. Sooooo annoyed I can't enter....

Well, if it wasn't unethical to enter my own giveaway and I won, do you want to know what I would pick? Probably some of this Liberty Tana Lawn pictured above. Because I recently discovered this French sewing blog and she makes lots of beautiful stuff from the Liberty Betsy print. 

And I'd further my trouser-making investigations with this lovely-looking Hot Patterns slim cut pants pattern. Plus, I'd probably get some other bits I'd need for the project, like the zip and thread. Job done.

If you are a Me-Made-May'17 participant and would like to enter this awesome giveaway, please let us know in the comments for this post what YOU would choose from the site. Don't worry, if you win you will be allowed to change your mind if you wish! Make sure that you've entered by midnight GMT on 28th May, and please include your email address in your comment if it can't easily be found within two clicks of my mouse. Good luck! 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Great Dribble Bib Swap!!! Are You In?

So, right now many of us are currently knee-deep in our Me-Made-May challenges. If you are, I hope you're having a fun and illuminating time. I'm not wishing the month away, but I must admit that each year, when May comes to an end and the challenge is over, I always feel some loss, mostly for the connections and community that are created during May. Well, this year I've decided to try something new-to-me, something that also might fill that Me-Made void when June rolls around: I'm hosting a sewing swap!

This swap is aimed at new or expecting parents, or the friends, siblings, colleagues etc. of new or expecting parents, who are up for sewing and then posting a baby's dribble bib, and to receive one made by someone else in return.

Why dribble bibs? Well, it seems like there are a lot of sewing bloggers and Instagramers around the world who have either recently had a baby (mine is seven months old now but I view anything up to a year as 'recent'!), or have one on the way. I thought this might be a nice way to connect with each other, reaching out in sleepless solidarity by sending each other a low-energy little project. Obviously, new parents or about-to-be-new parents don't have heaps of time to sew, but finding a scrap of time to do so can be really beneficial to mental health (I've found), so this might be a great motivation to find that spec of time! But this sewing swap really is open to anyone, not just parents, who has a baby in their life, or is about to.

If you would like to take part, then please email me (sozoblog at g mail dot com) with your name, address (this is a global swap) and whether you require a bib for a boy, girl or unisex (if your expecting and don't know the gender) by 30th May. I'll then email you the details of who you'll be making a bib for by 1st June. You will have the entire month to create a dribble bib (as opposed to a bib for protecting clothes when eating) and pop it in the post by the end of the month. I'll use a random number generator to assign who will send a bib to whom, so it'll be nice if you include your name when you send the bib so the recipient will know who made it.

Aside from being assigned a gender/gender-neutral, the style or design is totally up to you, but please make it big enough to fit a baby up to year old or thereabouts. If you are stuck for inspiration, then I've collated some ideas on this Pinterest board, which also includes links to some free bib patterns and tutorials (and you can find my dribble bib tutorial here).

Frankie has recently pushed out all four front teeth AT THE SAME TIME, so it's dribble aplenty round these parts. I really hope that some lovely sewers/sewists take me up on this so we can send each other some awesome dribble catchers! Oh, and I'm totally new to hosting a swap like this, so if there's something you think I've missed then please let me know.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Happy #MMMay17! Miss Maude Giveaway

This Me-Made-May, we've got two awesome giveaways for participants to enter by way of celebration. This first is being hosted by Jennifer Lauren Handmade, and the prize has kindly been donated by the incredibly well-curated, NZ based online sewing emporium, Miss Maude. Emma, Miss Maude's owner, has generously offered the winner their choice of one sewing pattern and two metres of fabric, PLUS a surprise piece of haberdashery thrown in for good measure, AND includes shipping worldwide.

If you're asking me what I'd choose (and I know you were just about to!), I'd probably go for some of this delicious looking organic cotton gingham woven in India (pictured above). How chic and grown-up would it look made up as an I am Patterns Pan Tee?! But that's just me. 

Head over to Jennifer's blog post to find out the full details on how to enter, but do so quick because the giveaway closes this Sunday (14th May). 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Refashion Friday: Primark Maxi Dress to Striped Scout Tee

When you find a well-fitting, quick-to-make sewing pattern, like Grainline's Scout tee, you'd be crazy not to make another, amirite? I'm so pleased that I held back from cutting into this charity shop score maxi dress until after I had the chance to try out that pattern for myself. 

'Before' garment:

Whenever I pop into a charity shop, I check out the dress section for both larger sizes and maxi styles, as you can sometimes get a good amount of fabric for your money in those items. I was particularly elated when I found this treasure because: A) it was in one of the cheaper charity shops in Hastings so, for once, the fabric I wanted to reuse didn't cost me more than if I'd bought something similar on the roll in a fabric shop, B) it's a Primark garment, and as one of the biggest 'disposable fashion' offenders here in the UK, I take extra pleasure in giving new life to something that started its life on their racks, and C) navy and cream stripes. 

Initially, I considered leaving fairly well alone and simply hacking off the bottom. My thoughts being that it's existing shape is similar to the April Rhodes Staple dress pattern, and I have worn the living hell out of my version. But where's the fun in that?! Also, I'm not a massive dress wearer, even when I'm not breastfeeding, so I decided to go with a remake that would see LOTS of use. 


Having toiled and made up this pattern before, I knew which size to start with (i.e. a size smaller than my measurements would have suggested I cut), and also what issues to look out for. I found that the sleeve head/shoulder seam on my safety pin version sat a touch too far off my shoulders. But I feared that grading to a smaller size for the top part would make this top too tight across my shoulder blades to get on and off or feel comfortable. What I ended up doing was to slightly redraw the armhole shape to simply scoop away a little from the shoulder line so the sleeve heads sat where I wanted them to. That seems to have corrected the issue nicely without reducing the width across the back at all. Boom. 

The only other change I made was to create little side splits, mainly because I like the way they look, but also because I found with my safety pin version that it's a bit of a stress point with all the yanking up for 'access' that all my tops currently receive. The side splits meant that I couldn't do French seams on this version but I was happy with that as I think it made the side-seam pattern matching a bit easier.  


So I'd say that I've now completely nailed the fit of this pattern on me, until I go and change size/shape, of course. If I were being the pickiest pernickerty of all time, I would, however, point out that I should have used cream bias to finish the neckline rather than making self-bias from the dress fabric. You can see a tiny bit of shadow where a navy bit of the bias can be seen through the cream bit of the neckline at the front. But I'm going to chalk that up as a lesson learnt and move the hell on.

Whilst I was figuring out how to position the Scout tee pattern pieces on this dress, I discovered some nail varnish along the hem. Perhaps the former owner was painting her toe nails on holiday before a night on the razzle. I think there's a bit of it still inside the turn up on the hem of my top! I think that's as close to going out on the razzle as this top is going to see, but you never know...


Pattern: $12 in PDF form (approx. £9.86)
Dress: £3.50 from Oxfam in Hastings 
Total: £8.43, as per my own rules, if I use a pattern more than once I calculate the total with the pattern's cost-per-use (in this case, by dividing it by two) rather than the original pattern price 
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