I like to read and I like to sew. Some of my favorite books are sewing books, especially vintage ones. So when I saw that Amy Barickman used themes from one of her favorite sewing influences, Mary Brooks Picken, in her new book The Magic Pattern Book, I was intrigued.
Part of the reason I love old sewing books is the wealth of knowledge they contain. For some, flipping through an old book is torture. For me it’s another piece of history to absorb and identify with. The Magic Pattern Book takes the enthusiasm of my favorite vintage sewing books and combines modern looks and updated tools.
Hunting for patterns that extend to my size (BIG) that also flatter my shape (lots of curves, some in the wrong places) is often so frustrating that I end up trying to make my own pattern. While I have access to the tools to draft my own patterns, I’m also impatient. Sometimes a girl just wants to find a pattern that doesn’t require much tweaking. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Amy Barickman’s latest offering includes measurements up to XXL. Be still my heart! As much as I love all things vintage, it always nice to have my modern conveniences. I love the CD included with the book for printing pattern pieces. What’s especially great is that I can isolate the size I need without having to ruin pattern pieces of other sizes. This is definitely an improvement over the tissue patterns of the past. It’s much harder for me to destroy a printed page than tissue paper, that’s for sure.
Here’s the part where I admit defeat: I didn’t sew anything from the book yet. A long scheduled vacation took me out of town in the days between receiving my copy of the book and a post-vacation case of the creeping crud has knocked me flat. However, I have read and enjoyed the upbeat and encouraging tone throughout the book. I absolutely love the fabric swatch ideas posted for each pattern! Sometimes having an extra idea or two can bring me out of a rut. A fabric I may never have considered (a thrifted wool blanket as material for a coat!) took my imagination places it could not have gone on its own. Thrifting is one of my biggest hobbies, so seeing suggestions for upcycling fabric won me over completely.
I really think The Magic Pattern Book is a must have. Each time I go back to a section, I find something I didn’t notice before. The language is easy to understand, the tips and tools explanations are a great refresher for even experienced sewists, and the patterns themselves are classic styles that are easily manipulated for individuality.
Check out the rest of blog tour (links below) and don’t forget to enter to win your very own copy!
October 6 AMYBARICKMAN.COM October 7 WINDY LOU October 8 MELLY SEWS October 9 CRAFT GOSSIP October 10 SEW MAMA SEW October 13 ADVENTURES OF A DIY MOM October 14 LILACS & LACE October 15 FOUR SQUARE WALLS October 16 PINK CHALK STUDIO October 17 CITY STITCHING with CHRISTINE HAYNES October 20 CUT OUT & KEEP October 21 HE SOWED, SHE SEWED October 22 CHIC STEALS October 23 THREADS October 24 INDYGO JUNCTION
This is an sponsored post. I was provided a copy of The Magic Pattern Book to review and keep. All opinions and photographs and mistakes are my own.
School is back in session and I realized that most of my “blogging” these days is on instagram.
I miss my blog sometimes. Something about the writing and trying to figure out what to say. Pictures are so much easier for me. Pictures don’t stretch my brain the way words do.
Happy back to school. Happy new start.
If my poor little blog was a cottage, the front porch would sag, the paint peel and the weeds would be waist high. It would be mournfully gazing over at me holding hands and skipping through the meadow with my new love. I feel guilty for neglecting my former friend, but there’s so much to be done to get things up to speed that I have no idea where to start.
I blame instagram. It’s so damn convenient. Instant gratification has ruined me for stopping to write, edit and format. Not that I enjoy the writing part or am any good a it. Pictures and I are BFFs. We just get each other better. So you’ll have to pardon us while we make out in the corner. We can’t seem to keep our paws off each other.
If you are feeling voyeuristic, come check out my love affair. Unless you are a cat hater, food hater or crafty/quilty hater, you’ll probably find it fun to watch. @wwwindylou on instagram.
Here’s a fluffy kitty to make things better.
It’s been about a million years since I had anything as cool as this going on. In an awesome moment of boredom I discovered NOBUNNY was looking for a driver/road manager. Being the sometimes go-getter that I am, I immediately volunteered. How can you pass up a chance to go on tour with the best bunny in the business?
So here I am, stepmother extraordinaire, taking off from suburban hell for almost a month. And it’s phenomenal. And I miss everyone at home. And I feel like Windy for the first time in a long time.
It is, however, time for our annual trip to the Philadelphia area. This year we will be in a different area than before, one more suburban. I’m already missing my walks through center city and we haven’t even boarded the plane.
Still, it will be nice to escape MI and get away. It’s hard for me to describe what a change of scenery can do for my winter blahs. In a nutshell, it’s amazing. Knowing that I won’t run into anyone I know is such a liberating feeling for me. Every person is new, every place is new. Something about strange and new perks me right up and draws me in. I will have to rely on my wits and GPS to get around, I will be forced to pay attention. There’s no phoning it in when you are in a new place.
I sleepwalk my way through the winters enough as it is. So long, dreamland. Hello, Pennsylvania.
I’m finally using Flickr. Instagram has me sucked in to quilting swaps, and flickr groups for sewists and quilters. So now I am sucked in to making mosaics too. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. mini quilt, 2. Polaris Star, 3. Typewriter mini quilt, 4. FLiQS2 Received, 5. Foxy zip pouch, 6. clutch3, 7. New York Beauty for the Doll Quilt Swap 13 done!, 8. fab little quilt swap 3 – star spotting !, 9. Circus Tent mini quilt, 10. mug rug_cup, 11. Mini Quilt Swap. Dresden, 12. Wannabe Feathers mini (2), 13. Indian Summer Lonestar, 14. Rough draft quilt, 15. Dresden Mug Rug, 16. warm hearts mini quilt
I’ve been sidetracked with *ahem* a little problem stemming from a wrong turn on a road trip. If you’ve been following along the Instagram saga, you’re all caught up. If not, you probably don’t want to hear all my TMI anyway. SO.
Back to binding! (Original post here if you need a refresher)
The swap is still happening if everyone still wants to play. We didn’t have many sign up, so at this point, I don’t think it matters if we do bias binding or straight binding. Just make whatever is easiest for you. The hashtag on IG is #bindingswap I will make updates using the hashtag, and I hope to see some awesome binding pictures too!
- Mailing deadline is October 20 for International swappers and Nov 1 for domestic swappers. Shoot me an email when you’re ready to mail and I will send my mailing address. windylou at gmail dot com
- 5 yards of print binding. Scrappy is fine. (According to the tutorials I’m reading, you should be able to get that much bias binding out of a half yard)
- You’ll mail the bindings to me and then I will redistribute.
- Make sure to include a SASE and any other information you think is vital for me to know. (Like if you despise pink or something like that) If you really can’t stand bias binding or vice versa, let me know and I will do my best to get everyone what they like.
- If ANYONE has suggestions or requests, please ask! This is the first time I’ve hosted a swap. I have no idea what I’m doing.
Refer back to the original post for links to tutorials or email me if you have any further questions that aren’t addressed there.
Here’s my final list of swappers. I only have a few of you that commented on the last post, but I know there were several more on IG that mentioned interest. If you don’t see your name, let me know! We still have plenty of time until the mailing deadline:
LeeAnn Howard @froggylegs IG
Rhonda Laws @gapquilter IG
Fran @Fcarden IG
Kritta22 @kritta22 IG
If you aren’t on the list and can get something in to me by the postmark deadline, go for it. Our numbers are small, so the more the merrier! Just please let me know if you are joining.
*photo by Maureen Cracknell, from her blog
I have to confess, I’m no fashion designer. It’s sort of intimidating to look at the construction of the clothing in my closet and think I could replicate it. Sewing for myself isn’t something I do often, because I rarely find patterns that I fall for. Enter Skirt -A- Day Sewing by Nicole Smith!
This nifty book takes you step-by-step through making your own patterns. Now, this might be old hat for an expert seamstress. For a relative newby, it’s wonderfully written instruction. Aside from detailed instructions on how to take your own measurements, there are useful refreshers on types of fabric and how fabric is “built.” Once you get past the step of making a slope especially with your own measurements, there are instructions for 28 skirts. I love that there are variations of the basic skirt shapes and encouragement to mix and match the details. For a person who doesn’t like to follow all the rules (me!) having a book with so many possibilities is exciting. Normally when sewing for myself, I don’t use a pattern. I just wing it. Often, that doesn’t turn out so well. Now, I can make my own patterns.
I really enjoyed thinking of all the ways to tweak the skirts to suit my own preferences and body. I think Skirt-A-Day Sewing is a great tool for anyone who wants to add fun pieces to their wardrobe. My 14 year old stepdaughter was also intrigued, so the appeal is quite wide! Undoubtedly this would be a great gift for a budding clothing designer.
I had great fun with this chevron print by V & Co. My skirt was immediately put in to action the same night when my band played a show!
My sewing skills aren’t quite ready for detailed photos, but I am very happy with my first attempt at pattern making. I would never have tried making my own pattern if it hadn’t been for Skirt-A-Day, so I’m calling this a win.
Over the next several days, you can follow along with the blog hop to see all the other awesome skirts:
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions and crappy sewing skills are my own.
I saw a picture on instagram the other day of some really cute binding. In fact, I see lots of pictures of cute binding and having just finished a swap of fabric polaroids, it struck me that someone should do a binding swap. As I tried to think of who to ask I decided that would be a silly idea and that I would just host it myself!
Now, I’ve never hosted a swap before. You make a hashtag for instagram, post all the details, and wait for the packages to start rolling in. How hard can it be, right? (Those 5 little words get me in trouble a lot) If any of y’all experienced swappers notice something I’ve forgotten or missed, please let me know. Here goes nothing.
Welcome to my #bindingswap <<<<< That’s the official hashtag to use on instagram!
Here are the details:
- Open to beginners
- International swappers welcome. (I would love some tips on handling SASE for Int’l)
- Entries must be postmarked Oct 20 for International and Nov 1 for domestic.
- We will swap handmade binding made from prints for quilt-y projects
- Binding should be bias cut and have a final length of 5 yards and left flat for recipients to choose single or double fold.
- Maximum of 5 per person.
- When packaging your swap entries, please secure the binding in some way
- Entry packages should include: swap entries, return SASE, and a note of any favorite colors (if you care).
- When you are ready to mail, shoot me a message windylou at gmail for the mailing address.
Leave a comment on this post to enter! Feel free to message any questions you may have, or tips if you see that I am glaringly leaving out a major step. I think this will be a fun, quick swap and am excited to see what y’all come up with. This will be an IG only swap – meaning I haven’t navigated Flickr enough to jump into hosting a group there. Tag all photos related to the swap with #bindingswap – I’m sure everyone will enjoy seeing the progress. Afterwards, we can all show our happy mail.
Let’s get binding! @wwwindylou on IG
*Photo by Leanne of Make It Perfect