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.

number2

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!

winner2

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!

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!)

20130623_163122

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.

20130623_163135 

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!

20130625_083214

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!

20130623_163143

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

Mathilde Roadblock and a pressie

Alternate title: Damn you, .pdf. patterns!

When I printed my Mathilde pattern, the test square measured only 95% of what it should have.  I did some crazy maths on the measurements, which led me to believe I should cut a size larger than normal, and it would probably be alright.  This, because a 5% size difference is not much of a size difference at all.

In the stolen moments between work and my busy life, I’ve managed to get most of the construction finished.  Before finishing the neckline or the hem, I tried the top on to check the fit.  And wouldn’t you know it… that missing 5% is big enough to matter.

The armholes are too tight, and there’s pulling across the shoulder and the bust.  The bust dart is way too high (although I think that’s more than 5% too high, so I’ll watch out for it if I make this pattern again).  Now I need to unpick, and unpick some more.  I think my best option is to cut a new, slightly larger and definitely longer yoke, to let out the tucks just a little bit, and to do a minor alteration on the armscye.  I am not a fan of this option, because I have never messed with an armscye, and because I currently have enough left over fabric for another little sleeveless top.  If I cut the new yoke, I risk using too much of my remaining fabric.  Another possibility is to narrow the seam allowances, but I think that’s going to be a lot of work for a very dismal result.  I’ve done french seams and all of the associated trimming, so I will get no more than an additional one or two eighths of an inch out of this method, and I’ll need to zigzag everything.  I hate a zigzagged seam finish.  Plus, it won’t do anything for that annoyingly high bust dart.

In other news, and to give you something pleasant to look at, look at this!Image

This is a magazine that my colleague surprised me with.  One afternoon, he plopped two 1941 issues of Stitch Craft onto my desk, and I let out a yelp of excitement, even though I work in a library.  Yelps of excitement are not welcome in libraries, but I just couldn’t help myself.  He’d bought two – one for himself, to check out the wartime-era advertisements, and one for me, just because.

Image

There’s a lot more than wartime-era ads in this mag!

The most exciting thing about this magazine is that it contains iron-on transfers which, from the looks of it, have never been used.  What gorgeous kitchen accessories I could make!

Image

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!

Image

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!