Archive for the ‘Giveaway’ Category

On mother’s day, I had a sick child and a sick husband.  So I spend the morning cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking.  Dreamy, right!?!  WRONG!

It was also our 12th wedding anniversary, so Jonathan was working as hard as he could to get better by the evening.  We had a date planned, and he really hates missing out on babysitting.  Lucky me!

Soooo, while he napped in the afternoon, I have no shame in announcing that I put my children in front of the television so that I could enjoy some ME time.  Yes, this is also known as “sewing time” around the rest of the world.  Don’t worry, I’m sure the television program was completely educational and changed their life in a millions ways for the better.

I knew I only had about an hour or two, so I hurriedly shuffled through my pattern stash to see what I could come up with in time for our date.  I wanted a dress pattern, of course.  It had to be casual, fast and festive.  Also, in honor of my 95 year old Memaw passing away this week, I wanted to use a fun vintage-inspired floral print for the fabric.

I chose Very Easy Vogue 8684. I have been dreaming of that awesome drop-waist silhouette since I first saw it on the runways a few months ago.

As luck would have it, this was the only day ever in the history of me having children that they did NOT want to watch television!!!  Curses.  Why can’t I have one great day of bad mothering???  Anyhoo, I somehow managed to whip out the dress, and this was with a 6 year old standing on my fabric asking me questions every two minutes, and with a 5 year old pulling out all my fabric from my fabric armoire.  Happy Mother’s Day to me – I really WILL miss these days, right!?

I bought the pattern for the modernized drop-waist … but I love how just by using a vintagey floral, the dress transformed into a very vintage vogue!

I really love these easy breezy sleeves – can you see the slight gathering there? I also LOVE that the pattern calls for bias binding along the neckline instead of a neck facing. I loathe facings so I almost always make that substitution myself, so it’s nice to see it actually called-for in the instructions. I chose to use a bright binding so it will stand out. (PS: my husband commented on how much he liked the bias binding – SCORE! )

Here you can see the drop-waist … have I mentioned that about this pattern yet?! You can also see how simple the sleeve hem is – I just serged and sewed up a very narrow hem.

And here it is on a living, breathing person. Super simple and easy to wear. I wore it that night with some oxford shoes (Fitting for our anniversary because that’s my Maiden name!). I am wearing it again today with some two-toned shoes that are brown linen with blue toes. I also wore it part of the day with wellies. SOOOO fun!

So, now for the little “review” part of the post – How do I feel about this pattern?

I really LOVE it.  It’s super easy and fast.  It only takes just a little bit over 2 yards of fabric.  The look of the dress can easily be transformed by whichever fabric/print you choose.  In fact, I’m looking forward to making this again in a solid so that I can have a more modern representation.

NOTE: the dress has a 22″ zipper in the back.  Don’t let this scare you – you can do it!!  I would really recommend this pattern for someone who wants to up their skills with zippers because the rest of the construction is so easy.  You can really focus your attention on the zipper and not get worried about the rest of the dress.  GO FOR IT!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: This took me somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.  Since I had those lovely distractions, I can’t really say the true time frame.  I know I started at 3pm and was finished/wearing it by 5pm.  For those of you who are newer to sewing, I think you can really  make this dress in under 3 hours, including cutting out the pattern.  Let me know if you try it!

COST: This dress cost me…. $5.50!  I found the fabric for $1.50/yd at Walmart, and I needed about 2.5 yards.  Then I needed a zipper.  That’s it.  I had the thread on hand.  Oh, I suppose I should add $3.99 for the pattern that I got onsale at Joann’s.

This is me saying to you – MAKE THIS DRESS AND SEND ME A PHOTO!!! please, ma’ams.

Okay y’all – continuing my desire to be more generous in 2012 …. I will send everyone who sends me a photo of your own version of this pattern a set of embellished bobby pins!  (tutorial coming tomorrow!)

…(sorry, I have to have a cutoff date, so free bobby pin offer expires in one month – June 15th.  Send me your address along with your photo … I’ll compile the photos and do a blog post, how fun, right!?! )


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Greetings friends and sewing fans!!!

As I was finally rounding out the race known to me as my first Dress Revolution, my husband and whisked ourselves off to New York City for six days…without kids…SIX DAYS!!!  (read: six gloriously wonderful exciting fun-filled days to do whatever we want with absolutely no chocolate milk anywhere to be found!)

So, of course, I visited Bryant Park. A girl can dream, right!?!

MOOD FABRICS!!!! The dream continued!

One of those six days consisted of a whole day for me BY. MY. SELF. in the the city.  It was wonderful!  I love a great party and I love people…but I have this weird reclusive tendency in me that likes to hide away and be completely anonymous.  This happened wonderfully in my day away as I was able to spend THREE HOURS in Mood Fabrics.  It was dreamy (except for the high prices, cough cough).  Can you imagine if I had taken Jonathan there for three hours?  We’d certainly have ended up in the emergency room trying to diagnose a never-before-seen fabric rash that creeped up all over his body.  Anyway, where was I?  oh yes…

Lots of y'all out there are addicted to chevron patterns, and I totally get it. I, however, am addicted to houndstooth ... and this place had the most wonderful stash ... look at the scale on those teeth...DREAMY!!! At $30 a yard, I decided to just appreciate the fabric as I would the Mona Lisa.

Here's a very friendly sales associate cutting my first bolt ... this is just the softest cotton in the world, I love it!

Yes it was expensive ... but even for this annoyingly frugal girl, It was worth it! I got a free tote bag after all. Thanks Mood! (please tell me you read this using your best Tim Gunn voice!)

Well, let’s move along.  While enjoying my day away, I also strolled around SOHO.  They have some the cutest and most fabulous boutiques you can imagine.  I didn’t get a photo, but in one of the windows was this most darling dress.  Very simple.  Navy blue mostly with an emerald green skirt front.  In other words, a simple navy and green color blocked dress.  Their cost: $800.

My cost ... are you ready for this ... $7.50! (confession: found the fabric on ridiculous sale!) Oh, and someone please pressure me into using my "real" camera, this is getting stupid!

Well, that’s it.  That’s a quick synopsis of my time in NYC – atleast the fabric portion.  I’m sure I’ll be showing you projects made with the fabric I purchased.  For now… since you read all the way down …. Let’s do a Giveway!


First one to comment with the correct answer wins a ZIPPER POUCH!

I thought you might like to see a photo of my hubs ... he's so hot! Here we are at a coffee shop on the upper west side. I think it was called Cafe LaLa. SO YUMMY!

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Oh my goodness … the last few days (and by few, I mean like a TON of a few!) have been hectic.  I told y’all that I’d pick a winner for the Boo Boo Bags giveaway two weeks ago … shocker!  I did not.  But I haven’t forgotten!!!!

I’ve been having a blast making dresses from my flash sale a few weeks ago AND >>> I’ve been coming up with a couple of new pieces to offer in my shop AND >>> I’ve been making aprons!

Here is my new Caftan Tunic (also available as a dress and a maxi dress) .. I'll be offering this in lots of different fabric combinations.

Just in case you'd like to see what it looks like on a real live person ... although, I've not had any coffee so I'm not technically "real live" yet! (sorry mom, I keep taking photos of myself without makeup!)

And this is my new Moonview Dress ... available in any color combination - great for those color blocking dreams of yours!

And finally - today's tutorial project : an apron made from a man's XXL button-up shirt. (which was thrifted for $2.50!)

Just like last week’s project, I saw this in a book somewhere … I would LOVE for you to believe that I can look at a shirt and say to myself “hey you, turn this into an apron!” … but I’m a horrible liar!  So settle for knowing that I didn’t create this idea, I’ve simply just executed it.  Just in case you don’t have a bookstore nearby that’s filled with lots of crafting books to read aimlessly, here’s a tutorial for How To Turn a Man’s Shirt into a Woman’s Apron!

Start by raiding your husband's or your father's side of the closet (or a thrift store) for a size XL or bigger button-up shirt. I got mine for $2.50 at Savers.

To make the bodice of the apron, unbutton the shirt, and cut off the lower half of the shirt. I cut up the righthand side to the armhole, then across to the button holes. (Here is the first of several gratuitous blurry photos! Hey, it's a FREE tutorial!)

Now cut off the rounded part at the bottom so you have a square or a rectangle, whichever shape makes more sense for your apron. NOTE: keep the button hole placket in tact.

You'll end up with something like this.

Now go to the back of the shirt - to make the skirt of the apron: cut up the left side to the armhole, then around the armhole to the upper back, cut across the upper back to the other armhole and straight down. Here you can see half of what you end up with.

Then cut a straight line from armhole to armhole. (Yes, you can skip this step if you're good eyeballing a straighline across.)


I put a couple of small pleats just off the center of the skirt portion, then I sewed the two pieces together.

If you have a serger, you're back side should look like this.

Now, cut yourself a long strip of contrasting/coordinating fabric to become the tie of the apron. Cut it twice the width you desire + seam allowances.

Sew the tube right sides together, then turn right side out and press.

Center the tube on the apron, and carefully sew it along the upper edge of the skirt - all the way across the seam of the bodice and the skirt - and continuing to the other side.

Tuck in the ends of the strip, press and stitch closed.

Form a casing at the top of the bodice to thread ribbon through. Then, duh, thread your ribbon. You're done! Bam!

Here's your cute little homemaker ditty. So fun, huh!?!

I chose to keep the bottom of the shirt in tact, so it's rounded at the bottom and not straight across. Why reinvent the seam!?!

So there you go … an easy repurpose project for cheap.  Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: If you have scrap fabric on  hand for the tie, then all you’ll pay for is a shirt.  Go cheap – you might be tempted to pay $8 for a nicer shirt but DON’T!  It’s an apron… the fun of this project is not the fabric but the fact that it used to be a man’s shirt … and now you have that shirt cooking in the kitchen!  Ha!

Time: If you are privileged enough to get to do this at one sitting, I think you can easily do this in one hour.  (unless you’ve got Parenthood on in the background)

Are you going to make one???

I know, I didn’t forget!!!

The winner of the giveaway for a set of Boo Boo Bags … is …. SUZANNA!

(Now, usually I’ll choose winners at random, but I feel obligated to choose Suzanna because she was able to identify the book that came up with the project!  This makes me soooo happy because let’s face it – good people give props to good people.  I’m working on being that good people kind of thing!)

Congratulations Suzanna.  I’ll get to work on your set of Boo Boo Bags this weekend!  Send me your address!

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Yes, I’m afraid you did, in fact, read the title correctly.  This here post will in fact most certainly be a project that is … oh gosh..this is hard for me to say … er, um … HAND SEWN.  Yes.  The hands that did the hand sewing were my own.  I’m simultaneously so proud and yet so ashamed of this.  (I apologize to you meticulous types out there but I am NOT a gal who loves to do things the slow way!)

These are Hand Sewn Rice Therapy Bags!

I’ve been intrigued by rice bags ever since I bought these for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  They’re simply nice rectangles of fabric stuffed with rice instead of pillows.  You simply heat up or freeze the bags – then place over your eyes to soothe or over your “boo-boo” to comfort.  I saw this handmade project (almost exactly) in a book at Barnes & Noble, and I just HAD to make a set.

Thanks to Thimble Times for recalling the name of the book - and thank you SEWN BY HAND for such an approachable book on hand sewing!

Here’s how you make these fun Boo-Boo bags:

Choose your fabric - you don't need much. Depending upon how large or small you want your bags to be...I'd suggest between 1/3 and 1/2 a yard. I chose a linen cotton blend for sturdiness and coordinated with a quilting weight cotton (top fabric). HINT: use scraps, like I did, so your project is just about FREE.

Cut out 3 sets of rectangles from 1 each of both fabrics. For this project, I knew I wanted to stack them on top of each other, so I cut them in 3 different sizes. You can, of course, do them all the same size if you like.

Before I started sewing, I stacked them on top of each other just to make sure I was happy with the sizes.

Then, for each bag, sew a running stitch all the way around - leaving a hole on one side for turning. Oh, and you can see how I tripled the thread so that I could have a sturdier stitch. I almost never sew by hand, so I have no idea if this is a necessary step. Anyone out there agree or disagree with loading up the thread?

When you finish, your bags will look like this. Be sure to get those corners really closed up or else they'll pop out when you turn the fabric.

Turn each bag right side out, fill with rice, then whipstitch closed.

The book where I saw this suggested adding a topstitch along each bag. I decided I don't really like that look, so I only did the small one.

As much as I loathe hand sewing - I still really love this set! I mean really, who could resist such darling "ice packs" and "heat packs"..??!!! I'm almost hoping my kids bang their heads on something today!

I love this little set!  I am going to keep it safe and sound until someone I know gets sick … what a fun Get Well Soon present!  Here’s the breakdown:

Time: Okay….sooooo…. this is NOT a fast project – but only because it’s sewn by hand.  If you machine stitch these, you’re done in about 30 minutes TOPS!  Hand stitching is going to run you about 1 1/2 hours.  I’ll let you guess which way I’ll create the next set!

Cost: Rice will cost you about 80 cents per bag.  I used 2 bags.  Since I used scrap fabric and have embroidery thread on hand, this project cost $1.60!  YOWZA!  If you pay for everything, you’re still looking at only paying about $5!

So there you go.  A darling little project … so so cheap … not so quick … but really worth it!  Send me photos if you make one!

Oh…and since you read all the way down … I’ll make a set of these* for on of YOU….IFF: you leave me a comment about why or why you do not enjoy hand sewing!  I’ll choose a winner Saturday night, 1/28/12.

****Here’s the fine print: I am most certainly going to sew these with a machine.  Also, I’ll need to send them without rice so that they’ll fit in the shipping envelope.  All you’ll need is rice and the ability to sew them up.  Sound fair?

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Well HELLLOOOOOO fellow sewing and fabric addicts!  This is my first post of 2012 – it’s good to be typing after all these days away!

I hope you all had a ridiculously wonderful Holiday Season – I’d love to hear about all the handmade gifts you receive…and, if you read all the way down, you’ll see that you just might get rewarded for sharing…. oohh, how enticing right!?!

Well for me, I’ve been thinking.  (well, sewing is more accurate but thinking happens during sewing so it counts!)  Every year I make a big fuss with myself to figure out what should my New Years’ Resolution be.  I am opposed to weight loss resolutions and clean house resolutions.  I mean come on, we only live once.  My resolutions are never earth shaking but I do try to make them thoughtful and serious.

Oh, are you just so totally hooked…dying to hear what I’ve come up with for this year????

This year I decided that the worst thing I can do is try to change something about myself.  I’m not really capable of doing that and, furthermore, I just don’t like to think about things of that nature for too long.  My three lovely offspring keep hijacking my thoughts so it’s pretty futile to think too deeply at any given time!

What I CAN do, however, is improve something for other people.  I’m not talking about changing the world – although that would be awesome once I’m able to think deeply again.  I’m talking about spreading more joy and being more generous.  I was inspired by Ginger Nixon’s guest blog post about GIVING.  I was inspired by Tiffany Schwedland who often shows up at my house with a fun yard of fabric for me.  I was inspired by the truth that it’s better to give than to receive.

Sooooooo….in 2012 … it is my hope and intention to GIVE MORE AWAY!!  And this applies to my blogosphere pals just as much as to my family, friends, neighborhood and city.  I’ll try to keep you posted on what that looks like. ..but for today, for my Generosity 2012 hopes, I’ll start with you lovely people!

Generosity in 2012 Giveaway #1

One of these bookmarks...

...these fun kitty cat bobbies ...

...and this Strapless dress! (Size M/L - fits 10-14)

I have these lovely pieces in my possession right now.  I decided that I’d much rather have one of you lovelies wearing them than I would rather just having them sit around and collect dust!

How to win this set?

Tell me about the best handmade gift(s) you received for Christmas/Holidays.

I’ll pick a winner on Friday night, January 13, 2012.

Oh…I’m getting excited about the new year already!!!

(Oh, and yes – this generosity thing WILL INCLUDE lots of new free tutorials!!!)

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WOWzers!  Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day was a smashing success – I have really enjoyed reading your comments (almost 300 of them!) and visiting your blogs.  It will take me a while to visit each blog, but I’m on my way and enjoying the process.  Plus, I even WON a giveaway, too!  I won a journal cover from PSPHYLLISSEWS – hollah!  AND, as I am typing this I learned that I have also won a darling clutch!!!

Like I said, I had almost 300 entries on my blog and over 150 entries in my Etsy shop.  So, in total, everyone had about a 2 in 450 chance of winning a dress.  Not too bad!

Before I announce the winner, I wanted to let you in on a little secret …..

Are you being quiet?

Do you have your library voice on?

From now through Sunday night, I’m offering anyone who participated in the Giveaway but DID NOT win….

20% OFF any STRAPLESS DRESS in my shop.

(My shop is on vacation for a few days, so contact me for details and photos!)

And now for the winner…………….


as in lgiesting17

(I used a random number generator from the internet, and it led me to Lisa. Congratulations!  I’ve sent you an email…please respond by tomorrow afternoon, or I’ll need to select another winner)

I would also like to welcome my new subscribers …HEY Y’ALL!

Okay, coming up soon – more tutorials … still working on the placemat tutorial, slipcover tutorial, and the reverse applique tutorial.  Those will all be out in a few days.  Yummy, I can’t wait!

Oh wait…I need to post a photo, don’t I???

How about a picture of another strapless dress?

Again, feel free to take 20% off until Sunday!

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Today, Sew, Mama, Sew is sponsoring/hosting “GiveAway Day” and I’m participating – woot, woot, hollah, hollah, let me hear you say YAY!!!

Leave me a comment below between now and 11:59pm May 25th – and you could win a FREE STRAPLESS DRESS!

Here’s how it works: simply leave a comment below.  On May 26th, I’ll tally up everyone who commented between the hours mentioned above, and I’ll randomly draw a winner.  (you’ll need to check back to see who won, or leave me your email address to contact you if you win.)

***If you are the winner, we’ll chat about your sizing.  I’ll give you a few fabric options.  Then I’ll make your dress and ship it within a week of us chatting.  Easy as PIE!  (actually, pies aren’t easy for me, but you get the point!)

Here are some samples of what you could win:

****You can enter to win a SECOND TIME by visiting Parsimony, my Etsy shop.  I’ll be giving away another strapless there, too.  The same time frame applies!

***Also, you don’t have to be a subscriber to win.  However, you might note that I post a lot of sales and give aways here on my blog, so feel free to come on board!

Good luck – and visit Sew, Mama, Sew’s blog to find tons more blogs doing giveaways!  That’s what I’m doing right now!

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