Monday, February 25, 2013

The Toronto Sewing Blog Meet Up

The first Toronto Sewing Blog Meet Up took place on Saturday and it was a resounding success. Thanks to Gillian and Adrienne for all the organizing!

Vicky, Kristin, Andi and Tracey

I took the train in from the 'burbs and then got my exercise for the day by walking up to La Gourmand cafe on Spadina at Queen Street West. We were greeted like old friends even though most had never met each other in person.

We were given name tags with our blog addresses to we could figure out who was who. Then Catja spoiled us with decadent Cake Pops. Yummy!

Because we were 17 people, after the first store we split up into smaller groups and meandered along Queens Street West. It was such fun to look at what other people were buying and hearing their sewing plans. I was remarkably restrained, I only purchased one piece of fabric, a black and white polka dot cotton.

Vicky picked up this Mandela print Shweshwe fabric on a trip to South Africa

We shopped for a couple of hours before heading to the Tequila Bookworm (how cute a name is that!) where we had the upstairs reserved just for us. Our server was on his first day on the job and here he landed up with 17 ladies all talking non stop and of course he was also asked to take several group photos!!

Moi, with Adrienne and Seraphinalina
Gillian, Kay, Chloe, Anastasia, Dana, Vicki, Catja, Jagoda, Moi, Adrienne

Chloe, Reethi, Sarah and Anastasia
(I think that piece of fabric is going to grow up in to a pair of pants)
We then proceeded on to the second part of our day which was the fabric and pattern swap. That was great fun.

All in all a wonderful afternoon and I for one am looking forward to a summer one as well.

There are more photos up on Flickr.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shopping Bag

One of my goals this year was to start making some of my hostess gifts. So this is the first one, a reusable shopping bag. I used a twill fabric for the bag and then wide double fold bias tape for the edging and blue webbing for the handles.

I used Simplicity 2806, and made view E. I liked the 6 big pockets, 3 on either side. Perfect for 2L pop bottles, or bottles of wine.

I didn't line the bag as I felt the fabric was thick enough and instead of the long and short handles, I made just medium length handles. I did triple stitch the seams and also overlocked (serged) the edges.

I think the hostess really liked her bag and we had a really great dinner on Saturday night!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And the Winners are......

I have done the random draws for the Pattern Pyramid and for the Sew Grateful Giveaway. I decided to go very low tech with the draw. I printed and cut out the comments and then interrupted a rugby game on TV to ask for help from other members of the household with the draw.

The winner of the Pattern Pyramid is Lisa who blogs over at Poldapot. So the pyramid is off back to the US

The winner of the Sew Grateful Giveaway is Jacqueline who blogs over at The Cutie kipepeo and lives in Kenya. Jaqueline says that it is nearly impossible to get sewing books and patterns in Kenya so she was super excited to win the Singer sewing book and 1970s jumpsuit or dress pattern.

That was my first two giveaways and that was such fun. I’ll have to do this more often!!!

In case you were wondering what I used to draw the names out of, it is a record bowl. I recently did a 1970’s Disco themed birthday party for my husband, and I softened records in the oven and moulded them into chip bowls. All records used were bought from charity shops and were very scratched, no priceless classics were ruined in the making of these bowls!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sew Grateful Project Day

I was recently selected to test a bag for Sara, who blogs over at Sew Sweetness. It was a wonderful opportunity as I sew mainly clothes, but have enjoyed the few bags that I have made.

Sara designs and sells bag patterns.

I am “sew” grateful to have had the opportunity to assist someone start up their small business, by testing and commenting on the instructions on a pattern before they start selling them. I am now busy with another bag, but have to keep it secret until it is released!!

This bag was called the Accordion Bag. I decided to use black twill for the body of the bag and use scraps of silky type fabrics for the flap. I was going through the de-cluttering of my sewing room and clearing the junk, I had two bags of scraps to throw out, but rescued enough to stitch together and pleat for the flap. I then used black leather like fabric for the piping. I had used this for the edging of the corset I made in December.

As most of the fabric was used for various dresses and tops that I have made for myself, I call this bag my Memory bag!

Because of the fabric on the flap, I see this as a bag I will use in the evenings.

Previously I have been a tester for a Sewaholic pattern. I tested the Alma blouse in summer last year. Again, this to me shows how the sewing community assists each other. We help new independent designers with their businesses.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Grateful Reflection

One of my sewing room companions. From my bear sewing years!
As part of Debi's Sew Grateful Sewing Week, she asked anyone taking part to reflect on what the are sewing means to us and what we are grateful for.

So what am I sew grateful for?

I am  "sew" grateful that I learnt how to sew when I was young. My maternal grandmother was the sewer in the family. Every year she would buy several different fabrics and a pattern and make my sisters and I four summer dresses each. I loved watching her do this and learnt to sew from her.

My first attempt on my own was an outfit for a doll, this was then followed by my first fashion piece, a mauve gingham skirt, all sewn by hand; I must have been around 9 years old.

Over the years I have sewn on an off.  I also tried other hobbies; scrapbooking and beading come to mind, but I always came back to sewing.

I originally started a blog just for myself, to keep me on track with some of my sewing goals, and then soon realized what a supportive group the on-line sewing community is. I have learnt so much, whether it is reading tutorials, taking part in Sew Alongs or just generally reading blogs and getting ideas, tips and hints. As I gradually got a few  followers I was grateful that people actually read what I had written, so I hope I am able to inspire, or at least give a tip or an idea to someone as well!!

My day job is not creative and can be very stressful at times, so I am grateful that I have a creative outlet that is also relaxing (most of the time!!!)

I am also very grateful that I have the time and the means to sew, I am sure there are many people out there who don't have either. So I try to keep that in mind as well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Grateful Giveaway

My second giveaway in a week. My leg of the Pattern Pyramid still has a few days to go!!!

I have decided to take part in My Happy Sewing Place’s  Sew Grateful Week. Of course, as usual I am a few days late!!! But there are so many wonderful Giveaways, I am entering them all, so want to give back something as well!!

But one of my goals this year is to start working towards minimalism. Getting rid of things I don't use, so in that spirit, as well gratitude, I have the following: 

The Giveaway is a Singer Sewing Book and a 1970s Jumpsuit pattern.

The book is great, but my "go to" sewing reference book is my Reader's Digest Complete guide to sewing. And there is a long story attached to the pattern, which will be another blog posting!!

  • Anyone from anywhere can enter, just leave a comment on this post.  
  • For an extra entry, be a follower of by blog and a comment saying that you are a follower!
  • I’ll announce the winner on Monday February 11.
  • Be sure to leave me your e-mail if your profile is not connected to your blog, so that I can contact you if you win!