New Mathilde Winner!

Sara didn’t get in touch with me during the last week, so… I generated a new random number to determine the new winner.


I’ve chosen from 87 entries (so, that’s the original 88, less Sara’s non-winning entry) so here’s my new winner of the Mathilde blouse and a bunch of lovely buttons!


Congratulations, Candace!  There’s an email on its way to you right now.

Candace also left a link to her own blog at Sewlseeker.  It looks like she’s waist-deep in muslins at the moment, so go have a look at her fitting processes!

Finally, thanks Karen, for coming up with the original giveaway, and to Jen for participating in the contest too and picking me as her winner (even if the promised buttons never did materialise). I hope Candace is as happy with the Mathilde pattern as I am!

I’m making a bit of fitting progress myself, which I’ll be posting about in the next couple of days.  I hope you’ll look out for that too!


Mathilde winner!

We have a winner!  Of the 93 comments, only 88 of them were entries in the contest.  I asked you all to let me know who you’d make your Mathilde for, and most of you… said you’d make it for yourself.  Lots of selfish sewists out there, but hey, who am I to judge?  The one I made is all for me me me, too.

On to the contest!


The random number generator says: Sara is the winner!


Now, here’s the problem, Sara.  I haven’t got a way to contact you.  I can’t see an email address associated with that Gravatar, and there’s no link to a blog or anything.  I guess… I hope you see this post, and I hope you get in touch with me.  For my email address, look to your right, it’s under my photo.

If I don’t hear back from Sarah by say, a week from the contest close (so, 9:00am on Saturday, July 13) then it looks like I’ll need to draw someone else’s name from the pile.  Get in touch, Sara!

20130708_075613 (1)

AND – I nearly forgot: here are the mystery buttons, a swarm of pink and red aeroplanes on a blue sky background.

I’m done, I’m done, I’m done! (and a giveaway)

I’ve finished my airplanes Mathilde!  (and I’m giving away a copy of the pattern!)


The fabric, as I think I already mentioned, is from Stone Fabrics, but it’s unfortunately no longer on their website.  I dunno if that really means they’ve sold out, but certainly they don’t have it online.  I’d have loved to buy a whole bolt and make an entire wardrobe out of this gorgeous fabric.  I love it!

I used shell buttons, and I even made my own bias tape, using a piecing method.  I’d have tried the method that Claire describes, but that would have meant cutting into the one precious metre of fabric I have left.  Instead, I drew out diagonal lines on the scraps, using the width of my ruler as a guide so as to avoid measuring.  I pieced the strips together, and ended up with several metres of bias tape which I’ll be sure to use in future projects.


The epilogue to my fit fiasco is that I tried the top a second time, and realised that it wasn’t really very much too small.  The bust darts are a touch too high still, and  I did let out the sides just a little.  I was lucky enough to avoid having to cut into my remaining metre of fabric, so I should still have enough to make a sleeveless top.  The Mathilde blouse is super easy to sew,  and it’s a great addition to any wardrobe.

Now that I’ve finished my blouse, I get to host a giveaway of my own!  This is a threeway giveaway, which was started by Karen at Did You Make That to celebrate three years of blogging!  She partnered with Tilly and the Buttons to give away three copies of the Mathilde pattern (with buttons), and her first winner was Jen from Made on the Couch.  Her second winner (via Jen’s give away) was yours truly, and her third winner… could be you!


These could be yours

Not only will you get a .pdf copy of the Mathilde pattern for your very own, but I’ll also send you some buttons which you can attach to the back of your blouse.  You’ll get 6 mystery buttons, plus these 6, which I bought at a little shop in the St. Nicholas Market in Bristol on the weekend.  (I rode there on my bike from Oxford.  That’s 100 miles of sore, sore legs. I can say with certainty that the National Cycle Network is a meandering beauty of a thing, and I definitely want to see more of it!)

To enter my giveaway (to win a Mathilde and two sets of 6 buttons each), please leave a comment, telling me who you’d make a Mathilde for.  Don’t forget to leave me some means of contacting you: an email address or a link to your blog.  I’ll leave a week and a bit to enter – my giveaway closes at 9:00 a.m. GMT on Saturday, July 6.  I’ll choose my winner that morning at random, but I wish you all good luck!


Gratuitous photo of me, as an airplane, wearing a bunch of airplanes.

On my sewing table

Thank-you, everyone, for helping out with my reader survey.  Thanks to you, I ended up buying the gorgeous green airplane print from Stone Fabrics.  It felt like a bit of a risk, leaving the decision up to others.  Lucky for me, you were being asked to choose between three fabrics I knew I liked already, and your impeccable taste nearly unanimously chose my clear favourite.  Sneakily, I also bought some of the taupe floral, with another project in mind.  I’d have loved to get some of the white floral, but when I looked again, it’s a Liberty print, and costs over £20 per metre.  Either I’m tight as heck, or that’s just too steep.  But I will continue to day dream about making it into a top to pair with navy blue trousers.

ImageRight now, though, I have some sweet white airplanes on a green background to think about.  Although this fabric is just described by Stone Fabrics as a cotton lawn, it’s actually a viscose blend, and is pretty slippery and drapey.  I think it’s a good fabric choice for the Mathilde blouse, but it does present a neck facings challenge.  I don’t want the facings to be visible from the outside, but the fabric is so fine that they probably will be.  I’m thinking about bias tape for the neckline, but this presents its own kind of challenge.  Namely, I don’t like the stiffness of bought cotton bias tape, but I’m intimidated to try making my own.  I’ll probably worry about this for about a week before just sucking it up and going for it.  Deep breaths, self-bias binding.  More deep breaths.

With my fabric pre-washed and ironed, I began to tape the .pdf together.  There is a part of me (always wrong, every time) that believes .pdf patterns to be instant gratification.  You download, and BAM there’s your pattern.  Nevermind you have to spend hours lining everything up and taping everything together.  At least the Mathilde is ready to go straight out of the download, with no need to add seam allowances or draft any rectangular bits.  Way to go, Tilly!


I started laying the pattern out on my fabric tonight, but then I have the facings problem to solve, and (here’s me being tight again) I can’t let myself cut into the fabric without first working out the absolute most economical way to lay the pattern out.  Must! Not! Waste! Anyway, I’m still too exhausted from my weekend to try and problem solve, so cutting and stitching will have to wait for another day.

Keep looking though, because when I get this baby finished, there will be another Mathilde giveaway!  With buttons!

I won, I won, I won!

Earlier this week, I won a giveaway at Made on the Couch.  I was so excited to see my crazy mug at the top of her blog that I did a massive, jumping, happy dance!


 I won the Mathilde blouse pattern! What a stroke of luck – I was already planning to buy the pattern, and then, as if by magic, it arrived in an email from a celebrity sewist!  It’s a gorgeous top, and the pattern has become really popular.  You can see lots of different versions in the maker’s gallery, and I hope to add one of my own soon!


There is the small matter of choosing a fabric… but here are a three that I quite like.  I would love to have a bit of reader input!  If you’re one of the (very few) followers of my new little blog, please leave a comment and help me choose from these lightweight cottons.

Gatsby sewing

Later this month, I’m going to go to a 1930s theme party, and I plan to make something to wear.  The Gatsby sewing challenge couldn’t have come along at a more perfect time.  Now, I’m aware that The Great Gatsby is set in 1922, which is different from the 1930s.  However,  the fashion in the early 1930s isn’t remarkably different from that of the 1920s, so I think I can get away with this.  It’s all in the styling, anyway, isn’t it?

International Craft Swap – conclusion

Whoa, I am a little late in posting this one!  The International Craft Swap at House of Pinheiro swapped at the beginning of April, and after I sent my parcel away, I sat on tenterhooks to wait for what would arrive.  A couple of weeks ago, I was put out of my misery.


I had told my swap partner, Taz from Butter and Buntings that I find the make-do and mend attitude of the 1940s really appealing, and that the hobby which consumes most of my time is cycling.  Was I ever excited to see these earrings she bought!

bike earrings

Aren’t they the effing best?

The items she made me are in the nautical theme that House of Pinheiro suggested.  First, there’s these adorable embroidery hoop wall hangings.  I think the granny square is a Taz handmade original, and the bunting and lace one is just so sweet!

Embroidery Hoops

And then there’s a crocheted bow, which I can’t seem to photograph very well.  However, it’s nautical blue, and looks like these ones, which she posted about a few weeks ago.  I’m so pleased with what I received!

It was a huge challenge to try and make something for someone I’ve never met.  I only had a few clues about what she’s interested in – you can only learn so much about a person from a handful of emails.  I took my cues from the name and style of her blog, and sent her a 1950s recipe book which I found in a charity shop.  I made her some bunting out of plain stashed fabric, which I coloured using crayons and an iron.  The results look really sun-faded, and although it’s not quite what I was expecting, I’m still happy with it.


Then, because shrink plastic is one of my favourite materials, I made some buttons out of it.  I had one heck of a time getting a decent photo of them.  Here’s my favourite one:

boat button... boatton?

I also tucked in a 1950s recipe book which I found in a charity shop.  You can read what Taz thought of it here.