Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sew Grateful Giveaway Winner(s)! Plus: Project Progress (or Lack Thereof)

Giveaway Winner 1

OK, first the good news! We have a Sew Grateful vintage pattern giveaway winner... or two! Yes, I cheated--I was only going to give away one lot out of the seven, but after getting 73 fabulous comments, I was feeling extra grateful.

First prize: Our first lucky vintage giveaway winner was commenter #4...

...who hails from Canada and goes by the screen name dotted lines. Ms. Lines wins a lot of five vintage 1970s and 1980s mail-order dress and separates patterns from the "A Life in Mail Order Patterns" collection in bust sizes 39-42, including the one at the top of this post and these four lovelies:


She commented:

Oh, this is awesome! I love Mail Order 8250, especially the sleeveless version! I'd make it up in a soft bamboo jersey (without the zip!) for PJs, and possibly a nice linen (again, without that centre front zip) for any warm and sunny days that we might get this year. That the set is more my size range is an absolute bonus.

Random arbitrary maternity prize: Two commenters entered to win a lot of three adorable vintage smock-style maternity dress, top and skirt patterns, one from the 1950s and the others from the 1960s, in bust sizes 32 or 34:


So I arbitrarily decided to award a second giveaway prize. Why? Because I love babies. Do I need another reason? Babies! BABIES. BABIES!

The winner was the second maternity pattern commenter, Ginnie, who blogs at Underneath the Willows. Ginnie commented:

Goodness, what a gracious giveaway! As I found out just before Christmas that I'm expecting bundle #3, I could sure use some patterns that could translate to maternity wear. That vintage Butterick 3832 [Mikhaela note: I assume she means Butterick 3826 in bust size 32] would be perfect! I'm in love with the dress version and in something with a bit of stretch, it would be exactly what I need to get a jump on my already growing mid-section! :)

Congratulations dotted lines and Ginnie! I'll be contacting both of you later for your mailing addresses.

Finally, on a less cheerful note... ... I've been exeperiencing some serious sewing setbacks lately and it's really bumming me out. I was actually (well, not quite but ALMOST) crying last night as I attempted to carefully seam-rip out MILES of rippled wavy unprofessional looking stitching from the waistband of my color blocked Sew Grateful skirt... all while trying not to tear holes in the thin delicate wool jersey.

8-Gored Skirt 7 Colorblocked Ways

This project was supposed to be a nice quick win, an easy break from my troubled trousers and their too-large waistband I still need to attach. After all, it is an elastic-waist knit skirt WITH ONE PATTERN PIECE (repeated eight times). And I generally pride myself on my professional-looking clean-finished knit projects with lovely smooth twin-needle hems... It should have been a one-hour project.

Except that in the last two years I somehow forgot how to thread and adjust tension on my serger properly and had to relearn. And somehow I was so sleep-deprived I serged some seams on the outside and had to unpick them. And somehow no amount of delicate knit interfacing or seam guides or careful pressing will make the waistband casing top-stitching come out right--it's either wavy, too far from the elastic, or on the elastic itself...

Oh, and the elastic waistband feels SLIGHTLY tighter than I like and the skirt will be about an inch too short once I hem it. AND the fabric is super-thin and will require some kind of slip to wear. SO MUCH FOR EASY.

Seriously. You all are sewing up amazing tailored wool coats and fancy boned bodice dresses and here I am STRUGGLING with a one-hour knit skirt. I really do feel like crying in shame. I hope the good vibes from this giveaway will help me get my sewing mojo back!

So tell me--what embarrassing sewing mistakes have you made lately? The sillier the better, please....


  1. Congratulations to your winners!

    As for the skirt---hugs! I have a horrible tendency to refuse to un-pick serging---I am more likely to just slice the damn seam off and hope that the few mm of difference won't matter too much in the finished object (sometimes I am lucky...) Lucky for me I can blame most of my tension problems on my stone age (ok, 80s) serger. Hang in there. Do you need to hem it? What about a hem facing if you absolutely must?

    As for braindead sewing, there's a reason most of my projects in the last few months have been simple knit tops in TNT patterns... And I still manage to mess up necklines and put sleeves on inside out. If it's not a glaring mistake, I tend to leave it...

  2. Well, this weekend, my sewing of Butterick "simple" culottes - not altering, just sewing - was a total ridiculousness. 13 hours to sew them up. Everything that could have gone wrong did and they look bizarre in the end. I almost cry regularly when I sew. But more often I just get super hostile. :-)

  3. Oh no! Sorry to hear about the colourblock skirt nightmare! If it makes you feel any better..I've spent about 4 hours hemming a pair of PJ bottoms for David and no matter what I do...it's all wonky. I must have cut the fabric weird or something. I literally want to hurl the PJs out the window and go buy some.hahahahaha. But that's not in the spirit of giving (or is it?) lol. Hang in there--we all have our days and it is in no way a reflection of your sewing ability! I was just over at the Crafty Traveller's blog (a lovely lady from Edinburgh: http://crafty-traveller.blogspot.com/) swapping stories of sewing in sleeves on the wrong arms (i.e. backwards). Big hugs!

  4. Girl, if it makes you feel any better - I completely demolished that Amy Butler purse I was sewing up. I mean, I guess I'd classify it as more of a Monet (please tell me you get this reference!). My fabric/interfacing combo was NOT ideal for such a structured purse, and I started getting ansty & bored with the pattern toward the end, which means horrible looking, rumply seams. The bag kind of caves in at the middle - it just looks homeade lol.

    I guess I should take a picture of it just so I can make fun of myself :B

  5. oh you ladies are awesome--thank you! that totally cheered me up.

  6. YAY! Patterns! Thank you SO much. :)

    I have to say that your story of sewing angst resonates. Things like this occur frequently in my house, which is why I don't sew when cranky or tired (or while drinking!) anymore. The simplest things end up taking hours and hours, and never turn out right. I have had more than a few wadders, "just because".

  7. Thank you so much, Mikhaela! You're right, I did put the wrong pattern number on there... D'oh! That's exactly the one I wanted and I'm so excited to make up that dress. Thanks for a great giveaway. :)

    Don't worry about silly mistakes either. We all make our fair share. I once put a skirt on inside out and didn't even realize it until the bodice was attached and I was ready to top stitch. So dumb. But, hey, ya live and ya learn, right?

  8. I once sewed the wrong sides of a bodice together (both sides and shoulders)... twice in a row. ::headdesk::


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