Tag Archives: giveaways

And the winner is…..

NancyD you’ve won the Basic Black book!  Congratulations.

Please email me your mailing address and I’ll get it in the post to you.


Basic Black – Book Review and Giveaway

With the weather being so overcast and dull, it’s been nigh on impossible to get photos of finished knits and sewing, so I’m taking this opportunity to share another of the books that Tuttle Publishing recently sent me.

This time its a sewing book, Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe.

This is a beautiful book.  I do love the Japanese aesthetic, but often find that it leans a little too much towards simplicity, or, even, too young.  But this one is full of clean, stylish, wearable garments that would be equally at home in the wardrobes of 20-somethings as well as those more *cough* mature, like myself.

The patterns include blouses, dressed, jackets, skirts and coats.  Pretty much a whole wardrobe’s worth of designs.

My personal favourites include:

J. Jumper Dress with Square Neckline

 

K. High Neck Shirt with Three-quarter Length Sleeves

S. Dress with Stitched Skirt

U. Asymmetric Jumper Dress

Y. Flannel Short Coat

Z. Raglan Coat with Pin Spots

See, I told you they were gorgeous!

I particularly like that Flannel Short Coat!  Just the most perfect Autumn jacket.

The instructions are quite basic, in a style reminiscent of Burda magazines, and just list a series of sewing steps.  However, where you’ll need a bit extra help, there are diagrams to assist you.

The sizes are quite generous…these are finished measurements:

Although it’s still not a book for fuller figures, unless you’re happy to do some grading.

Which I’m not.  I just don’t have the headspace for that at the moment.  I’m concentrating on clearing the stash and filling the wardrobe as quickly as humanly possible.

So, I thought that maybe one of you guys would like to have this copy of the book?

Yes?

If so, please leave a comment below, before noon on Friday 3rd November, and I’ll pick a winner after that.

I’m happy to ship internationally.

Good luck!

Disclaimer

The lovely Ann over at @TuttlePublishing supplied me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own and in no way influenced by @TuttlePublishing.


Pattern giveaway

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that at the weekend I decided to tip out the boxes into which I’d hurriedly unpacked patterns and have a bit of a sort out.

Hubby has kindly offered to scan everything into an Evernote catalogue for me so I’ll never duplicate a pattern again, and I’m itching to sew but not sure where to start.  It’s been so long, I don’t trust my hands at the moment for much other than sock knitting!

As I emptied each of the 4 boxes that will be the permanent home of the pattern stash, I sorted them into piles of the same…..dresses, trousers, skirts, etc., etc.

It’s a bit of a revelation. I’ve some fabulous contemporary patterns in there, Big 4 and Indie, and also a growing collection of vintage ones that is bigger than I’d originally thought. This is entirely thanks to the kindness and generosity of my lovely friends Liz and Christian, who have gifted me some corkers over the last year or so. Liz is a whizz with the charity shops and is the person who always finds the most amazing things. Vogue Couturier for £4 anyone!?!?

I think I need to get some archive envelopes for these and store them separately. I’ll happily share details in another post if you’re interested.

But for today I’m sharing some spares I have in my stash.

I’ve got half a dozen Cake Patterns up for grabs and a Frozen costume.  Here are the ones available:

If you’d like any of these patterns then please let me know in the comments.  If more then one person wants it I’ll draw names out of a hat!

Let’s say I’ll close comments on this on one on Friday 7th April.  I hope they’ll find a good home.


She wears the pants….winner!

She_wears_the_pants_1I’m pleased to announce the winner of this copy is Katy M!

Congratulations Katy.  Please drop me an email with your home address and I’ll pop this in the post to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition and the debate.  I’ve really enjoyed the conversation.

 


She wears the pants – review and giveaway

Yay…giveaway time!  I lurve a good giveaway and this one’s no exception.

She_wears_the_pants_1

The lovely peeps over at Tuttle shared this book with me for review, but you know, as always, all opinions are my own.

So, to the book.  Can we talk about the elephant in the room first?  “She wears the pants”. What were they thinking?  The original title of the book “She has a mannish style” is much more appropriate and really shows how easily things can get lost in translation, and why it’s so important to check cultural norms when carrying out any translation work.  To be honest, my preference would have been for them to include some of the strap-line and title the book “She has an urban style”, which would actually better encapsulate the contents of this book.

Like all Japanese sewing books this is very stylised.  Perhaps a little too much for my taste. Some of the photos are a somewhat too dark to properly see the garment, and you have to rely on the technical drawing. For me, this isn’t a book I’d make lots out of, but that’s because I’m not that hip! I don’t think it’s an age thing, more a personal style thing.

That said there are some garments that with a little tweak would fit perfectly in my wardrobe, you just have to restyle them in your head.

She_wears_the_pants_2

I love this jacket and think it would be a great trans-season piece in a good weight of ponté jersey.

She_wears_the_pants_3

This draped cardigan would look great with cigarette trousers and loafers.

She_wears_the_pants_4

This is a very classic blouse that would work in just about anyone’s wardrobe.

She_wears_the_pants_5

And with a bit of length added this blouse would work brilliantly with leggings or jeans.

As you’d expect the instructions are minimal but you do have some really clear drawings to help you out.

She_wears_the_pants_6

And the pattern pieces included in the back don’t have seam allowances, so you’ll need to add them.

Finally, I have one final, but rather large caveat, and that’s the sizing.  Whilst I appreciate that the Japanese market for which this book was originally intended is markedly more petite than the western market this edition is designed for, I’m surprised and disappointed at the very small range of sizes included.

She_wears_the_pants_7

Even taking the largest size I’d be having to grade that bust up by at least 30%. Which is a real shame because there’s a whole section of the sewing population that would love to dive into cool, Japanese sewing patterns and can’t because they either don’t have the skills or the inclination to carry out such a significant grading exercise.  I probably fall into the middle of both categories.

I really hope the publishers take this on board as more of these books become available in English and that they expand their size ranges accordingly.

However, let’s not detract from the fact that, quibbles aside, this is a great book that I’d definitely recommend if your style leans toward an urban look.

And I have a copy up for grabs!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Japanese patterns in general and sizing in particular, so leave me a comment below before Friday 22nd May and I’ll draw the winner at random.


Sewing for your girls….giveaway winners.

Sewing_for_your_girlsClassic Button…sassy as sassy can be!

But it’s time to pick the lucky winners of the Sewing for Your Girls giveaway.  I used Random.org to select them.

So, Birdie and Katie Sinclair you each get a copy of this adorable book.

sewing fyg

Ladies, please drop me an email with your postal address and I’ll get your copy out to you as quickly as I can.

Thank you to everyone who entered…I wish I had a copy for each of you.  But I’ve another giveaway coming soon.  This time it’s one for the grown ups, so do stay tuned.

 


Sewing for your girls – review and giveaway

sewing fyg

Thanks to the lovely guys over at Tuttle Publishing I received a copy of their new title “Sewing for your girls” by Yoshiko Tsukiori, which is available in the UK from Amazon on  the 15th April 2015.

I decided to road test this book and the blouse I’ve been teasing you with is Basic Pattern #7 (catchy, no?) made up in Liberty Tana Lawn purchased from Washable Fabrics on Preston Market for a tenner.

sewing_for_your_girls_1

This book is delightful.  There are 8 patterns in total, 7 of which has a basic and an applied version, which, as you’ve probably guessed, has a little more going on.   You’ll see from the photo above, which is the blouse I made, that using pattern #7 you can make an adorable blouse or a lovely summer dress.

sewing_for_your_girls_2

sewing_for_your_girls_4

As well as the patterns the book also has a wealth of clearly photographed advice to give you the best chance of getting a great result.

sewing_for_your_girls_3

The patterns traced from printed pattern sheets that are stored in the back of the book.  A word to the wise….they don’t include seam allowances to do allow for that when tracing. Ask me how I know!!!

Given the chance I’d change a couple of things about this book, but they are only minor gripes.

So…to the blouse.  I really enjoyed sewing this one.  It’s beautifully drafted with facings to the front and armholes and bias binding to the back neckline.  The front ruffles and round collar add a sweet touch without being overly twee.  This is a good thing.  I’m not mad on ruffles but these hit the mark.

Button didn't want to do photos, so we decided that dancing was the only way forwards.

Button didn’t want to do photos, so we decided that dancing was the only way forwards.

I cut a size 120 for my 116cm tall 7 year old, based not only on height but chest measurements.

sewing_for_your_girls_6

I couldn’t be happier with the result.

sewing_for_your_girls_7

Button loves it too!

The details on this top are really quite lovely.

sewing_for_your_girls_8

sewing_for_your_girls_9Gorgeous, no?

Now, if you, like me, have a very pernickety small girl to sew for then I suspect that you’d like a copy of this book too.  Good job I’ve got a couple of copies to give away, then! 😉

Edited to remove Rafflecopter and say…leave me a comment below to be entered into the draw!


And the winners of the Simplicity giveaway are…..

Helen S

and

Mother of Reinvention

Congratulations, ladies, I’ve emailed you for your postal addresses.


Build your sewing skills with Simplicity

If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know by now that I love a good sewing class or tutorial.  So when the lovely folk at Simplicity contacted me to ask if I’d like to tell you about their new Masterclass Webinars…well, how could I say no?

At the moment there are two, one featuring cushions, the other a tote bag.  They are, only short videos so you can easily watch them over a quiet tea break, but I think they could benefit from being slightly longer so that the editing is a wee bit smoother.

That said, these are perfect for beginner sewists who are looking to expand their repertoire.  There are more videos planned to follow on from these…a bridesmaids dress, inserting a zip, a table runner, and an apron masterclass, and I think these will also appeal to those of us who have a little more experience.

Even so, I’m always keen to see someone else sewing. You never know when you might learn a brilliant new tip that will either save you time or make your sewing look more professional, so these are definitely worth checking out.

This is the bag pattern used in the video:

6095_env_front_1

I can think of so many uses for that bag….beach…baby…swimming at the pool…taking your knitting to Stitch ‘n’ Bitch…carrying your sewing to class…the list goes on.  It’s such a roomy tote.  And with the help of the tutorial, even a beginner sewist could tackle this project with confidence.

Also, take a look at that cute dress (which is drafted for wovens, btw).  Obviously it’s just a perfect everyday summer dress, but as the weather here is cooling down I can also easily see versions B and C in winter wools, layered over a polo neck sweater or crisp shirt, paired with cosy tights and boots.  Sew the tote in leather (faux or real, dependent on your nerve and budget) and it will take you through the winter months too.

Chic, no?

Oh, I’m glad you agree, because I’ve got two copies to give away.  Well, after all the knitterly love over the last week or so, how could I leave the seamstresses out of the fun?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But if that doesn’t float your boat, do check out the Simplicity website, because they’ve got a half price sale on at the time of publishing this post.  That could be dangerous to the old bank balance.

Have fun either way!

 

SimplicityNewLook provided the patterns for this giveaway, but all opinions are my own.  And no…I’m not getting a commission for pattern sales either.  I just don’t see why I should be the only one with too many patterns landing on the doormat these days!


CustomFit giveaway winner

Thank you again for all the comments on my CustomFit giveaway. I’ve really enjoyed reading about all the lovely knits you have planned. I think the needles are going to be very busy this autumn.

Sadly, there can be only one winner of free Amy Herzog design, and this time its Christine who said:

“I think I would design my own, but who knows.”

Congratulations, Christine.  Have fun with your new knit and do please pop back and let us know what you’ve chosen.  I’ve emailed the coupon code to you.

Happy knitting!