Points mean…


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Yessir, I entered a few competitions recently and have been lucky enough to win some amazing prizes!!

For my Brigitte headscarf, I won £50 from Tilly to spend at Fabric Rehab. I agonised for a long time over how to spend this as there are just soooo many lovely choices. In the end I went with a sensible (but gorgeous) red Scandiavian cotton and a not-so-sensible (but awesome) Michael Miller bird print.

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For my Zinnia skirt, I won two Janome feet and four Colette patterns from The Stitchery. This was another hard choice, with several rounds of shortlisting on my part. In the end, having read lots of other sewist advice on feet, I went with the clearview quilting foot and the ultraguide foot. The clearview quilting foot has handy 1/8″ and 1/4″ markings, useful for sewing accurate seams. The ultraglide foot meanwhile is made from a special teflon-like resin that helps you glide over fabrics that would normally get stuck. I’ve found this to be a particular issue when trying to insert waterproof linings, or sewing with leather/faux leather, so I’m excited to see the difference the foot makes. For my four Colette patterns I went with Hawthorne, Juniper, Clover and Negroni. That’s right readers, TWO trouser patterns and a MAN PATTERN!! Those are some a scary new challenges right there.

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Lastly, for my Peplum top, I won a bundle of prizes in the Sewing Indie Month pattern hacking challenge. This one was particularly exciting as there were so many excellent entries. A huge thank you to everyone who voted!! The prizes are brilliant: a 1 year subscription to Sew News magazine; a Craftsy class of my choice; a £20 voucher for Minerva Crafts; a transfer pack from Kate & Rose; and pack of patterns from Seamster Sewing PatternsSinbad & Sailor, Dixie DIY and Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick – ahhhhhh!!

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As incredible as all of these prizes are (believe me there has been much whooping and dancing around), by far the nicest part is feeling like a legitimate part of this crazy talented online community. Big big smiles all round.

Siobhan xx

Neon Pocket Zinnia

We just got back from Japan – an incredible, wonderful, beautiful place with stunning food, lovely people and AMAZING fabric. Tokyo even has a fabric town people – heaven!!

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I had a whole plethora of “travel clothes” projects I wanted to whip up before our trip, but only managed to execute the one. I am pretty delighted with it though. The pattern is the Zinnia skirt by Colette Patterns. I was inspired to have a go by The Stitchery, a Glasgow sewing space & blog. Their Zinnia sewalong is by far the most in-depth I’ve seen and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to have a first go at garment sewing. The team really use the pattern as a launching point for teaching you lots about about fabrics, stitch types and all kinds of other useful things.

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I used two fabrics I got for Christmas 2013 (thanks mum!) – a dark teal floral print and a bright almost-neon yellow, with gold detail. Both from wonderful Ray-Stitch.

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Not the most obvious pairing perhaps, but if you look carefully the floral does have hints of bright yellow and, well, I love it. I made the patch pockets in the yellow, and covered my buttons to match. I even did the topstitching in a matching neon yellow thread. It’s one of those tiny details probably no-one will notice, but it makes me happy.

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This skirt got a LOT of wear in Japan. It packs down to nothing, the gathers mean it hides creases pretty well, it’s light and airy, it’s a nice length that feels appropriate for temple-hopping and lends itself to eating on the floor. And the pockets are a perfect size for phone/small purse/snack. All in all it is a great travel skirt and I can definitely see myself making multiple versions.

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One of my Japan highlights was wearing this skirt (whilst fabric shopping) and having an older Japanese lady complement me on it. Without a word of English (and without me speaking a word of Japanese) she said/mimed “ooh did you make that? It’s lovely. I like the coordinating buttons and pockets very much”. I nodded enthusiastically, beamed a “thankyou” and skipped off down the street.

Siobhan xxx