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Monday, 14 April 2014

Cast your vote!

Time to cast your votes, folks!

This so, so exciting.  All the entries are so darn beautiful! I'm kinda glad its not me voting, i truly don't think i could pick between them all, I'd want to give everyone a prize. 

So below is how to vote and  its real simple too:
      1.  Check out  the fabulous contestants listed below.   Also have a more closer look over            on the Flickr group.            

     2.   Then cast your vote on the  voting form and and pick your favourite.
The winners will now  be announced on Monday 23th of April ( aest) so you will need to cast your vote by 20th of April ( aest).  Once your all done with voting, i will tally them to find out who YOU chose as the 3 winners!

Here is what the three lucky ducks could win:

INDIE STITCHES - $50 online shop voucher

This indie pattern shop  caters for you, the lovers of Indie patterns as well as  supports all of us indie pattern designers!

SEWBOX - £40 pound online shop voucher

Check out the  beautiful range of fabrics they have in stock, this voucher will get you some pretty cool fabric for your stash.


The lovely Sunni, has together and amazing prize pack from here shop, A Fashionable Stitch  which lots of sewing goodies. 

Below is the fun part, the Contestants!!!



T from Uandmii 

Tanya from Tanya Today



Maria from Velosewer

For more a look at everyone's lovely Winifred dresses take a look at the Flickr group.


Have fun!


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Elizabeth & Billie Jean

Don't you just love this photo?! The best!

With all the Winifred pattern hype of late its been easy to miss out on all the other wonderful makes everyone else has been sewing up from all the other patterns. So today i have the awesome Elizabeth from sewnbyelizabeth sharing her Billie Jean dress, as well as some thoughts on how she came about sewing up such a gorgeous version.

What type of fabric did you use? What inspired your choice of fabric?

I had originally thought to make the pencil skirt version and bought a red and white weave tweed, but after finding a beautiful light weight vintage sheet at the opshop I was too tempted by a full spring dress. I cannot wait for next spring to get lots of wear from the dress. 

Did your Billie Jean dress  live up to the image you had in your mind?

The dress turned out even better than I had imagined! I often over-think pattern and fabric matches and talk myself out of different ideas. With this dress I jumped straight in and the final product turned out amazing. I'm so glad I went with it. 

How did you decide to reflect your personal style in the pattern? 

My style is reflected in the colours, floral pattern and length. I adore the colour palette of the fabric: cream, pink/coral, light purple and white. These are the colours I like to wear a lot of  in warm weather, paired with brown sandals and sunglasses, of course. I'm a sucker for floral fabric. Floral can be worn all year round, right? 

Tell us a bit about your making process, any tweaks you made?

The Billie Jean bodice is meant to be quite fitted. I think I must take very big breaths as I needed much more ease than expected. Because of this I used smaller seam allowances and inserted a regular invisible zipper rather than a lapped zipper. I took quite some length off the dress as the I don't find the mid calf length flattering on me. Other than this, I followed the instructions and the dress sewed up very quickly and neatly. 

What thoughts do you have about the project?

This dress was my first time sewing princess seams and it's converted me. I look forward to sewing up another Billie Jean and trying other patterns with them. They are such a flattering shape while making fitting a breeze. The big skirt and shape of the straps are wonderful. After finishing the dress I put it straight on and floated around the house swirling around in the full skirt. This dress makes me feel like a princess barbie cake. 

Are you planning any future Billie Jean dresses?

My next Billie Jean will of course be the red and white tweed pencil. A perfect dress for a Melbourne winter. 

Head on over to Elizabeth's blog for more sewing goodness sewnbyelizabeth.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Winifred - A Collarless Variation...

Hello everyone, I hope you are have a great time finishing up your Winifred dresses after sewing along with us. Can't wait to see all your pictures.

Spring is still dragging her feet about arriving in my parts, so it seemed like the time to make a seasonal appropriate Winifred. For this version I was thinking about making a neutral base piece that would be easy to layer.  I'd also been watching a lot of episodes of "Longmire," which happens to be set in Wyoming.  All the women on that show have kind of a "cowgirl chic" style with lots of denim, leather jackets and big necklaces. It makes me want to move to the mid west and learn to ride a horse.  Instead I rustled up my pattern cutting scissors, some chambray and then got to work making a collarless Winifred.
"Hi Y'all, seen any cowboys around these parts? I might need some help cause this wind is about to blow me over."  Alas no cowboys appeared and I had to save my camera tripod myself.  But enough about that, let's talk about dresses instead.
Like my previous Winifred I used smocking on the back and added the Billie Jean pockets to the side seams. The big change was cutting off the collar section, leaving a curved neckline with a notch.  The neckline is finished with facings and understitched. It's hard to see in these pictures, but I've also added a little sewn on cuff to the sleeves.

All of these pattern changes are easy and I'll show you how to do them.  Are you really to get cutting?

Collarless Neckline Instructions
You'll need a traced copy of your front, back and facing pieces, a straight ruler, a french curve and a pen/pencil.  You can always tweak the measurements I use to suit your own preferences/size.  I'll be using the size 10 in all these examples.

1. On the front measure up 4" from the joint point and mark.
2. On the shoulder measure 3/4" away from the collar and mark.
3. Use these two marked points and a french curve to draw a new neckline.
4. New front neckline will look like this. Now you can cut it out and continue on to the back.
5. On the back the neckline needs to be widened to match the front.  Lay your new front on top of the back, matching the shoulder seams on the sleeves.  Mark the new width of the neckline on the back.
6. Use a french curve to draw the new neckline.
7. New back neckline will look like this, cut it out on the new lines.

To finish the neckline we'll need to modify the front facing and draft a back facing. Let's start with the front.

8. Place the new front over top the front facing and trace off the new neckline.  Then cut off the collar so that they match.
9. The facing is now a little to small to sew so we'll add onto it.  Tape paper to the shoulder side and extend out the shoulder  1 1/2".
10. Use a french curve to blend the shoulder area into the bottom of the facing.
Finished front facing looks like this.
11. To draft the back facing place a scrap of paper over the back pattern piece.  Trace off the neckline, some of the shoulder and CB.
12. First take off the seam allowance on the CB and mark the facing as being on the fold.
13. Then draw in the seam allowance on the shoulder seam.  Grab your front facing and do the same.
 Place the two facings on top of each other on the seam line.  Use the front facing shoulder to mark the correct width of the back facing.
14.  Use a french curve to draw the curve on the bottom of the facing.
Finished back facing looks like this.
To draft a cuff simply measure the circumference of your sleeve hem and draw a rectangle with that length.  For the cuff pattern width decide how wide you want the cuff to be and double it.  Example, my pattern is 3" wide for a finished 1 1/2" cuff. Add seam allowances to all sides and the cuff pattern is done.
Happy sewing everyone, if you need me I'll be down at the rodeo. Yee Ha!

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Winifred sew-along # 8 - Attach the slide belt buckle & hemming

Woo hoo lovely sew-alonger's today is the final post for the Winifred sew-along! I'm so excited to get to the fun part of seeing all of your gorgeous Winifred dresses all sewn up and being worn with pride.. and of course have a bit of a drool over all the amazing fabric that's been chosen. I've had some sneaky peeks of so far and there are some AMAZING Winifred dresses coming along.

Before we begin,  i kindly put ALL the Winifred sew-along post in the one, little handy spot for you all so you don't have to waste valuable sewing time trying to find the info you need. 

 So let's get started for the last time together and finish our Winifred dresses! Yay!

First up we will begin with attaching the slide belt buckle, which is super easy and looks cute than cuter when all sewn on.


 Slip the end of the left belt over the buckle's middle bar and fold the excess fabric over approx 2'' past the centre bar. 

Temporarily just pin in place for the moment.

To make sure the slide buckle sits in the perfect center position when wearing your Winifred dress, check the position before sewing it down. Try on your Winifred dress and position the buckle so that its  in line with the center back seam ( You may need a helping hand with this). Then pin it in place.

  Stitch the slide buckle in place and make sure to back stitch to keep it secure.

Slip the right belt through the slide buckle over the middle bar and back under and your belt is complete! Optional: You can add some snap on's to hold the belt end in place if you desire.

I have recommended a 2'' slide buckle, but there is no issue in going a tad bigger with the size of the slide buckle for more effect on the back of the dress or even making your belt tabs a little smaller in width so you can fit it into your perfect slide buckle.

 I've also been asked where are the best places to start in the search for a slide belt buckle and a few places you can find really cool slide buckles are on Etsy ( below are a few cool vintage pieces. Ebay also is a good place to have a hunt for them. I have also been told they may be hiding in the button or craft section of your local sewing shop too.

Vintage buckles - lot of 3 slide buckles on original cards, 2 are bakelite, 1930's

1 large Vintage Bakelite scarf holder, ribbon slide.1.15" across.  Red. UNK10.00-12.2-26.1

Cue awesome, excitement music and 'I'm so awesome' dance moves because we are up to the final step... hemming our Winifred dress!


Try on your Winifred dress and mark you preferred hem length. The finished hem length of the Winifred dress is roughly 23''.

Fold up 1/2'' on the hem edge to the inside of the dress and press it down. Fold this hem edge up again another 1''  to form the hem. Stitch in place.

Give your Winifred a really good press all over and you're finished!

You now have a gorgeous Winifred dress you have sewn up with your own two hands! You should be extremely proud of yourself! 

If you're still stitching away on your Winifred dresses feel free to continue to ask questions, post in the Facebook sew-along to get yourself the help you need, so you can get yourself a finished Winifred dress too.
Just to recap if you're entering the competition to win the awesome prizes, take note of the below dates:

Final date to upload your Winifred photos : 10th of April to the Flickr group.

Make sure to join the Flickr group sooner rather than later, if you're planning on entering the sew-along competition.

 The couple of days following the 10th of April  i will be collating all the entries, getting them  ready to be voted on by you.

Voting will begin : 14th of April and run through to the 20th of April. This is your chance to vote on your favorite Winifred dresses!

Once I've tallied all the votes i will be announcing the 3 winners here on the blog roughly around the 23rd of April.

I can't to see all the Winifred's pop up out there in the wild. I hope you all enjoyed the sew along and especially sewing up the Winifred pattern. I cant thank you all  enough for all the lovely words of support, as well the massive amount of support from all of you for  kindly ordering the pattern,  supporting me in this crazy journey as well as  allowing me to continue doing what i love, designing and creating sewing patterns.  

So I hope you love your Winifred dresses and feel absolutely gorgeous when you wear them!

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