Sew Over It winners and dream patterns from Miss Betty’s Attic

Thanks to everyone who entered the Sew Over It Giveaway! I have the winners here – drumroll please….

Sew Over It Giveaway winnersKat, Jana, and Liz A, you have all won a shiny new Sew Over It pattern! Check your inboxes for details.

Thank you for all the entries, it was certainly enlightening reading about everybody’s dream pattern. I particularly liked all the requests for a pattern that fits right out of the envelope. I dream about this too, but sadly, I don’t think it’s going to happen in this world (maybe in the next one, where we’ll also get assistance from good-looking angels to cut out our patterns and hand-sew our hems).

Sorry for the delay in posting this giveaway. As a consolation prize, please accept the news that Miss Betty’s Attic, one of the best vintage pattern sellers on Etsy, is currently giving a 50% discount on all her stock. I have a horrible feeling this means she’s shutting up shop, so take advantage while you can!

Here are my dream pattern picks:

Gorgeous 1940s dress pattern with built-in boob pockets!
Gorgeous 1940s dress pattern with built-in boob pockets! Those ladies are giving somebody serious side-eye.
I know it's a bit Star Trek esque (down to the strange communicator brooch) but that's why I love it.
I know it’s a bit Star Trek (down to the strange communicator brooch) but that’s why I love it
Man tailored 50s jacket
‘Man-tailored’ boxy 50s jacket – I would buy this in a heartbeat if it wasn’t a size 30

Here’s the link to Miss Betty’s Attic – the code for 50% off is ‘TAKE50’


Sew Over It Giveaway! Ultimate Shift Dress, Ultimate Wrap Dress, 1940s Tea Dress

STOP PRESS – I’ve just added the 1940’s Tea Dress pattern to the giveaway too! So all three dresses from the new Sew Over It line of patterns are now on offer. Hooray!

New pattern company alert! Sew Over It (a sewing cafe in Clapham) have just released the first three dresses in their new line of patterns.

They’re all drafted by Lisa Comfort, who runs the cafe, and they’re all BEAUTIFUL. Previously they’ve only been available to people taking classes at the cafe, but now you can buy them here!

I have long coveted the 1940s tea dress, ever since I saw Zoe’s amazing version, so I ordered one within seconds of seeing it released. Ah, I love it.

photo (18)

The wonderful Lisa saw me gloating over my new purchase on Instagram, and kindly offered to send me the other patterns in the range.

And because it’s nearly my birthday and I’m feeling generous, I’m going to give them both away!

I’ve only just started fitting the tea dress pattern, but here’s what I love about this range so far:

  • Beautiful packaging, with a little booklet telling you how to make each dress, and an envelope style that means you can tuck the pattern pieces right back inside.
  • Comprehensive instructions with clear illustrations, AND the reminder to finish your seams at each step. It took me so long to get used to the fact that commercial sewing patterns don’t include this, which I think is very unhelpful for beginners. So hooray for Sew Over It for putting this step in.
  • These patterns couldn’t be any more reliable! They’ve already been tested and tested again on people taking the classes at the sewing cafe.

Here’s the two patterns I’m giving away:

Ultimate Shift Dress

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This would be the perfect dress for a beginner – it doesn’t even need a zip. It’s a versatile one to have in your stash, as it includes long sleeves, cute cap sleeves and a deliciously 60s neck ruffle. I would make it in this bonkers Multicoloured Hippie Floral Print cotton from Minerva Crafts.

Ultimate Wrap Dress

photoGridImageI have to say, it really hurts me to give away this pattern, I am greedy and want to keep it, but I’m going to do it anyway just because I love you all. This is the perfect, simple wrap dress pattern for jersey fabric. I would sew it in this galaxy print jersey from Stone Fabrics that I have been coveting for ages.

NEW – 1940’s Tea Dress

Because I am the owner of the smallest letterbox ever (only bills fit through), I didn’t realise Lisa had also sent me another copy of the 1940s tea dress which was languishing in the post office. So I’ve now added that to the giveaway too!

Here’s the back of the tea dress pattern, which I think is my favourite of the three:

Sew Over It Tea DRess

How to enter the giveaway

I’m going to give away each of the three patterns to a different person, chosen at random.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me what your dream sewing pattern would be. A pattern you’ve been coveting for ever but just can’t find anywhere – it could be something you’ve thought up yourself, or an item you’ve seen in RTW and really want to copy. Or if you’ve already found your dream pattern, tell us what it is!

Leave a comment by Monday 18th November, midnight GMT, to enter. Open worldwide.

(You can buy all the patterns on the Sew Over It Shop here. You can also visit their sewing cafe in Clapham, which I fully intend on doing the next time I venture down to the wilds of South London. Huge thank you to Lisa Comfort for this giveaway!)

Giveaway winner – Victoria Blazer

Hello! Just popping in to say thanks to everyone who entered the Victoria Blazer giveaway.

I counted 52 comments who wanted to win the pattern. I put that number in the handy Random Number Generator, and here’s what I came up with:

random number

The third comment was from Giddy Aunt Lola of A Saucy Stitch – congrats! I couldn’t find your email address on your blog, if you drop me a line with your address I will post the pattern to you.

If you haven’t read the comments, have a squiz – there are some great tales of fabric/pattern mismatching which certainly made me feel better about all my failures.

In other news – I am married!!!!! It feels quite surreal.

The wedding was completely amazing, we had such a fun day. We won’t get the official photos back for a few weeks, but the lovely photographer has sent me a sneak peek, look:


I can’t wait to get the rest of the pictures! Warning – I will bore you all to tears with them when we get back from honeymoon. Thanks so much for all your congratulations and kind messages, I’ll see you in a week or so.

Thoughts on the V+A Hollywood exhibition, plus giveaway

I’ve been looking forward to this exhibition for at least a year. Did it live up to the hype?

YES is the short answer. It’s a blockbuster, alright. Stupidly I went during half-term and it was the busiest I’ve ever seen the V&A. We had to queue for 30 minutes even with my members card.

But it was worth waiting for, although equally packed inside (I skipped most of the first room as it was just too rammed).

The first impression you get is of the digital set-dressing. Most of the mannequins have the wearer’s face projected above, moving and looking alive (think Harry Potter style). In the second room, you get to meet costume designers and actors, virtually – they’re projected onto chairs and seem to be talking to each other. As well as this there’s a virtual sketchbook that flip pages as you watch, and digital 3D ‘props’. It’s very impressive.

You can see the digital faces in this pic. Side note: Daniel Craig’s costume was disappointingly short in real life.

The costumes are spectacular, and there’s something for every film lover (Bruce Willis’s sweaty vest from Die Hard, anyone?). My highlight was seeing one of the suits the character Rachel wears in Bladerunner. It’s got bands of graduating fabric running up the jacket, massive 80s-meets-40s shoulder pads, and a tiny bow at the neck. I wish it were mine.

A sketch of Rachel’s Bladerunner costume by the designer Michael Kaplan

Another highlight was this bias-cut, beaded crimson gown, Joan Crawford’s va-va-voom signature dress from The Bride Wore Red. This was a black and white movie, and cleverly they’ve set up a spotlight that fades in and out, so you can see it in full-colour, and then in monochrome as it appeared on film. (Apparently this dress had 2 million bugle beads hand-attached!)

There were a few things that I didn’t love:

  • It’s incredibly dark. I know this is probably for conservation reasons but it makes it frustratingly difficult to see any detail.
  • The digital faces are a decent solution to a tricky problem (identifying the actor/character without going all Madam Tussauds) but the overall impression was a bit cartoonish.
  • You’re very far away from some of the costumes, especially in the third room.
  • The constant swelling music was atmospheric, like sitting in a darkened cinema before a film, but after half an hour it began to grate heavily on my nerves.

Despite this, it’s an amazing exhibition and I’m definitely going back for another look. Does anyone else want to come? Maybe we could do a little meet-up in December or January? Let me know if you’re interested dudes!

I also have a V&A related GIVEAWAY to offer! Well, less of a giveaway, and more of a ‘please take me’.

It’s two tickets to a members talk on Jazz Age fashion at the V&A on the 9th NovVirginia Bates (who owns a famous vintage boutique) will be showing some 20s clothes and talking about her new book – Dressed to Kill: Jazz Age Fashion.

I bought these tickets as a birthday present for a friend and was really looking forward to it, but my friend has had to go to Rio unexpectedly (oh for such a glamorous life) and I have rather predictably double-booked myself on the same night.

Rather than try and off-load them on Gumtree, I thought someone who reads my blog might appreciate this talk. You need to be free on the 9th (this Friday!) and able to get to the V&A by 7pm. Here’s all the info about the event.

If anyone can make it and is interested, just leave a comment below saying that you’d like the tickets, by Wednesday at 10am. If more than one person wants them I’ll pick someone at random.

If no-one wants them then I will have to look into cloning myself by Friday so I can attend both events.