Sew Grateful Giveaway!! How about some Red and some Threads?

SewGrateful3xlI’m so delighted to participate in Sew Grateful Week hosted by My Happy Sewing Place!  I truly feel blessed to have found a past-time that I love, that relaxes me, that challenges my brain, that allows me to be creative and that’s resulted in so many new friendships and connections both online and in the real world.  And, at the end of it all, a new garment or accessory is the result.  Win-win!

So, Monday’s task for Sew Grateful Week is a crowd favourite:  A Giveaway!  I’m so grateful for all of you and I would like to give you something.  Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundle

The Goods

  • Threads Magazine, July 2013   Threads Magazine, July 2013 #167
  • Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern, Simplicity 4275   Simplicity 4275 front
  • Three different red themed Fabrics   Three Fabrics
  • Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman   Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets
  • Coats & Clark Totebag to carry everything   Coats and Clark Totebag

The Deets

Threads Magazine July 2013

Threads Magazine July 2013, Number 167

Simplicity 4275, Threads Sewing Pattern.  Includes: 2 styles of jacket, 2 styles of trouser and a short sleeve top.

Simplicity 4275, Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern. Includes: 2 styles of jacket / blazer, 2 styles of trouser, a short sleeve top and a belt.

Three Red Themed Fabrics

Fabric: 1. Silky smooth, lightweight and very drapey poly blend in a solid red colour: 2.5 yards (2.3 m). It could be used for a dress or blouse but would also make terrific lining fabric. 2. Black, grey, white and red striped fabric, lightweight and floaty poly blend: 2 yards (1.8 m). 3. Red, black, white stars and stripes Scooby Doo Hanna Barbara medium weight 100% cotton: 0.7 yards (0.6 m)

Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets

Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman, Booklet #510, to help you sew your Simplicity 4275 Threads jacket.

The Fabric In Action

Yoke and Pockets Lining

Red and White Stars Cotton Pajama Bottoms

The first two fabrics played centre stage in a Red themed outfit I sewed for Sew Red October.  The solid red fabric and the striped fabric were used to colour block my By Hand London Polly Top and the striped fabric was also used to line the yoke and make pockets for my wide legged culottes.  The stars and stripes fabric was used to make men’s pyjamas for my dad.

The Entry

Entries close on Saturday, March 8, 2014 (eastern standard time) which also happens to be International Women’s Day.  Happy Women’s Day!  In honour of this day, please leave a comment below telling us about a woman you find inspirational (real, fictional, dead or alive).  And, if you enjoy my blog, don’t forget to follow it!  Giveaway is open to everybody worldwide.

Kitty will, once again, officiate the draw and select a winner so you can look forward to antics such as this or this or better still, this!

Good Luck Everybody and Thank You.  I Really Am Sew Grateful.

Edit:  Giveaway is now closed and the winner is posted here.

Army Fatigue Jacket Made Cozy, Cozy, Cozy.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Army Fatigue Coat Front Zipped and OpenThis month’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was to sew something from a sewing book.  I have SO many sewing books, where to start?  Actually, I began with Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, and am at work on a project from it as well as a review.  Next, I also have the sewing book, Twinkle Sews and began work on a project from there, in addition to a review of the book.Army Fatigue Jacket Hands in Pockets

Sew Stylish Magazine Front and Back

Sew Stylish Magazine, Fall 2013

But then, the latest issue of Sew Stylish came out (Fall, 2013) and right on the back cover was a photo of an army fatigue jacket with the pattern and instructions included in the magazine.  So, since it is officially snowing here and I happened to be VERY cold at the time of purchase, I immediately went to work making the jacket out of a cozy wool blend, that feels soft, like a sweater blanket.

Army Fatigue Jacket Front and BackI opted not to add the inner drawstring channel and cord, since I thought it looked crisper and more tailored without it.Army Fatigue Jacket Front collar down"Model Pose"....or something....Work with me

“Model Pose”….or something….Work with me

I wanted to bind all the edges in the fuchsia pink, but this type of fabric has thick woolen threads weaved into it in order to create the flecks of colour and it raveled as the long threads separated from the raw edges almost immediately. Jacket Fabric and Separating ZipperSewing on the bias tape then resulted in many failed attempts as the threads pulled from the edges of the fabric, taking the bias tape with them.

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

But, I did manage to attach the bias binding to the edges that mattered, ie, the facing and hem, areas that you would see easily if the jacket were unzipped.  The remaining raw edges were over-locked.

Bam!  Fuchsia binding.

Bam! Fuchsia bias binding

The jacket has a long two-way separating zipper, (i.e., it can unzip from the bottom and the top) and deeeeeeeep patch pockets.

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Some notes on enlarging pattern pieces:  First, number both the sides and top and bottom of the grid on each pattern piece.  Next, photocopy each pattern piece separately, then trim around the outside of the piece.

Fatigue Jacket Pattern PiecesThis way, when you go to enlarge the pieces and need to tape the multiple pages together, you can easily match the corresponding numbers on the top and sides of the grid.  You can also opt to copy the pieces either bigger or smaller than the intended size.  I photocopied mine so that each square was 6/8″ instead of the intended 1″ square, in order to shrink the overall size of the pattern.

Snow.  Wheeee!!!!

Snow. Wheeee!!!!

Snow WheeeeAre free magazine sewing patterns recommended?  It depends on what you are attempting to make.  Simple items, where little can go wrong are likely better than something with more complicated pieces.  Also, I don’t think the same amount of editing, thought and care goes into the instructions and pattern drafting for the free magazine patterns as there would be for independent or larger pattern company patterns, and therefore errors can definitely result.  For this jacket, one of the diagrams was wrong, causing me to insert the zipper backwards.  (I had to re-do the whole thing and it’s a 32″ zip!)  I also made my cape out of a free magazine pattern and found that the instructions to enlarge it were wrong.  I would recommend that you not be a complete beginner and have some sewing experience before you use one of the free magazine patterns.  That way, you can tell beforehand if/when there is an error and correct it.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Hello Kitty!  In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Hello Kitty! In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Stay tuned for Blogpost Part 2, which I will post next week, where I will have, hopefully, completed the two projects from Gertie’s and Twinkle’s sewing books.  Edit:  Both completed and blogged here!

Kitty Photobombed

Sweater-Kitty Photo-bombed

Superhero Checklist: Cape…check. Pantone Fall 2013 Colours…check

Cape and Collar Scarf TieThose wonderful and talented kids from Wellington have done it again and now Kat, Mel and Juliet have created The Monthly Stitch where a new sewing challenge is issued monthly.  The August 2013 Challenge was to sew a cape!  I have always, always, always wanted a cape.  I’ve never sewn one, never worn one, never owned one.  So, this was the perfect opportunity to Make It So.  There have already been some fantastic makes in this challenge, it was very inspiring to see the cape in all its forms.Cape Front View CollageI used a pattern by Christine Haynes from a Quick Stuff to Sew, Winter 2011 magazine that I had. Quick Stuff To Sew Magazine ArticleI loved the deep side slits as they allow for range of motion, i.e., you can actually move about and DO things while wearing your cape.  There were some issues with enlarging the pattern.  If you followed the 980% instructions, then the 1 inch squares became too big.  So, I wasn’t sure which was correct, enlarging to 980% or having the squares measure to 1″.  In the end, I tried on the ‘paper muslin’ and enlarged it to a size that worked for me.Collar Tie and Cape ViewAnd, more exciting news, the Sew Weekly Challenge has returned!  I had not even begun sewing yet when they were blogging and issuing sewing challenges the first time around, so I’m delighted to be able to participate now.  The August 2013 Sew Weekly Challenge was to make something out of the Pantone Fall 2013 Colours. 2013-Fall-Color-Trend-PantoneThe colour I chose for the cape is called Vivacious and the fabric is a medium/heavy wool blend.  According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report, Fall, 2013:

Vivacious is an unruly and wildly deep fuchsia, and adds an ebullient sensuality to the palette.

Sounds too fabulous, yes?  How could I possibly resist the lure of that?!Cape BackCape and Collar Tie Side View I underlined each cape piece in a deep navy/indigo bemberg lining fabric and finished off all raw edges with navy bias tape.

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Cape Open CollageI was originally going to make 1″ bias tape for the necktie, as the pattern called for, out of navy fabric to match the lining, but being part of a Pantone Colour Challenge, it began to feel a bit one-dimensional.  So, I chose this lovely silky smooth cotton which incorporated the Pantone colours: Vivacious Pink, Acai Purple, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green and Carafe, all together.  Cape Collar Tie FabricThe colour combination of pinks/purples/greens and olive-brown complement each other so beautifully.  Pantone Fall 2013 Colours UsedColour Theory:

On the colour wheel, the Vivacious shade of pink (red/violet) is opposite the Linden green-yellow shade and is ‘complementary’.  Side ViewThis pairing creates contrast and keeps things lively and animated.  The acai purple (violet) is adjacent to the pink on the colour wheel, (these are called ‘analogous’ colours), which creates harmony and mellows things out.  The two greens are also analogous to one another, lending a calming effect.  ColourWheelThere is a mix of warm and cool colours which ensure the palette doesn’t become too one-dimensional.  The olive-brown colour is actually what you would get if you ‘mixed’ all these colours together and, therefore, fits effortlessly into the colour scheme.  The indigo/navy lining has enough purple in it to coordinate with these colours, and is also analogous to the acai purple/violet colour.  It is a very deep and dark shade, and so creates a grounding effect and provides a good backdrop for the other colours. This is what I’m hoping, anyway.  It all sounds good.  ;)

One Tie Over Shoulder Collage

One Tie Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

For the collar/tie piece, I wanted something more lush than bias tape, so I interfaced the fabric with a fleece, to make it thick and cozy and similar in weight and thickness to the cape fabric.  I then cut and sewed two rectangles together with angled ends and just sewed it to the cape, all the way around the top.  Cape Closures and Collar Tie 2I had no idea how to make a collar/tie like this, just had a vision of what I hoped it to look like, but it did seem to work out well!  By adding this style of tie, it creates different options for wearing it and is also warmer.  I also wanted the cape to stay closed so sewed on some metal closures down the front.  And, what do these metal closures look like?  Little capes!  :)

Cat Bombed On the PhotoSet Collage

Who Let The Cat On the Set?? CAT ON THE PHOTO SET!!!

No Treats?  I'm Gone....

No Treats? I’m Gone….

And, the very best part of having a cape instead of a form-fitting jacket??  There’s always room for one more…  Always Room For One More

So…..Many…..Thank Yous…..

thank-you-languagesI am very excited and privileged to be amongst such generous and inspiring company.  Over the last few months, I have won several giveaways, received some gifts AND have also been honoured with some awards.  I wanted to post the ‘goods’ with a link to all those who were so kind as to offer up gifts and bestow awards.  I am humbled by your fabulous, creative company.  So…Thank You.

GIFTS and GIVEAWAY WINS

  • A lovely rayon/linen blend ecru coloured fabric with matching thread and buttons and a McCalls summer top pattern from Dale at Finished Threads McCalls Pattern and Fabric
  • A cute and ’70s looking poufy sleeved Simplicity Dress pattern from Denise at Dottie DoodleIMG_3624
  • Fun retro top and shorts Simplicity Pattern, Project Runway Blouse Pattern and a luxurious brown silky satin stretch fabric  from Kristin at Sew ClassicIMG_3621
  • A small piece of very cute Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric and an Amy Butler pillow pattern from Kerry at VeryKerryBerryIMG_3623
  • A retro, frilly ’70’s blouse pattern from Carmen at Carmencitab IMG_3427
  • A vintage sewing book on CD:  Practical Dress Design – principles of fitting and pattern making.  Author, Mabel Deane Erwin. From Deborah at GraceDressmaking Vintage Sewing Book
  • Lovely winter weight plaid fabric and a whole slew of notions to match from Gillian over at Gilly MakesIMG_3622

Thank you so much everybody!  Cannot wait to sew up some fabulousness with these lovely items.

BLOGGING AWARDS

veryinspiringbloggeraward

  • Very Inspiring Blogger Award:  Bestowed on me by the experienced and always helpful, Brooke at CustomStyle She’s always ‘game’ for answering my questions or some wonderful sewcialist chat on Twitter.  Her blog is rife with sewing information.

I was blessed to have received the Leibster Award by four (FOUR!!) extremely fantastic and talented bloggers. This award requires that you answer 11 questions given to you by the presenter.  For purposes of brevity, I have opted to answer 3 of each person’s questions.

I did not make any nominations as I was recently nominated for 3 blog awards here and nominated some wonderful folks at that time.   liebster-award-elephants-picturebook

  • Sarah at Sarahmshultz.  Sarah hosts some fun blogging parties on her blog and is also adept at organizing as well as sewing.

1. What made you start blogging?  My new-found love for sewing and my desire to record my journey and be able to interact with others.

2. If there were to be a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?  My wits.

3. Do you actually have that weapon easily accessible?  Sometimes, depends on the day :P.the-liebster-award

  • Cherry Pix from Cherry Pix.  She makes some super fabulous things for her cat, including a matching mom and cat outfit!  Kitty is already in love with her.  She has also made some simply lovely garments and her blog is so much fun to read.

1.  What is your number-one favourite sewing gadget?  My rulers.  I have many, different styles, lengths, curves, squares, triangles, metric, inches, see-thru.  Bliss!  Going to do a blogpost on them in the future.

2.  Are you a pattern tracer or a pattern cutter?  I trace, trace, trace.  Often while utilizing my rulers. :)

3.  Which of your own sewing creations are you most pleased with?  My Ikea Butterick 5285 Skirt.the-liebster-award

  • Amber at Miss Parayim.  Amber makes beautiful outfits and may, indeed have a fabric fetish.  (Don’t we all?)  She always seems to find JUST the right fabric for JUST the right outfit.  Note to self:  I must go fabric shopping with her one day!

1.  What kind of machine do you use?  A Janome My Lock overlocker / serger and currently borrowing my mum’s Kenmore sewing machine.  I’m in the market for a new sewing machine.  Any opinions or advice would be much appreciated, feel free to comment! 

2.  What inspires you?  A fantastic book or a terrific song with lyrics that amaze.  A spectacular warm, sunny day by the water.  Selflessness in others.  And, the underdog.  Always, the underdog.  

3.  What do you want to make next?  Summer dresses!  A long, flowy halter style made of silk and a shift dress made with cotton. 

the-liebster-award

  • Kacie at Thimble and Cork.  Kacie calls herself a beginner sewist, but I don’t think she can be!  She must be practicing on the fly, when she is supposed to be sleeping because her stuff is top-quality.  She also has the kindest things to say to my Twitter posts.

1.  Do you do most of your fabric shopping in local stores or online?  Local stores.  I have only just VERY recently (this week) ordered my very first ever mail-order purchase!!  There is likely to be more of that.  I was warned…

2.  Which new sewing skill are you most excited to learn or perfect?  Tailoring and altering clothes and patterns to fit properly.

3.  Is there a movie or TV show that you think has particularly inspiring costumes?  Well, my answer is not theatrical and dramatic nor overly technically complex, but, for outfits that I would actually wear, I rather  like Mary and Rhoda’s wardrobe on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  And, it hasn’t opened yet, but I’m fairly confident that The Great Gatsby is going to have some stunners. 

Leilande and Millicent Thank You

Sewing With Heart

Sew RedRecently, I was contacted by Jimmy Beans Wool, to explore the book Sew Red by Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool.  I was enthusiastic about the prospect as it is a sewing and quilting book dedicated to raising awareness of Women’s Heart Health.  Approximately 5% of the proceeds from Sew Red will be donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) in support of The Heart Truth.

“Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women.” (Women’s Heart Foundation).

The Hearth Truth

heart health graph

Leading Causes of Death for American Women
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/about/index.htm

The book includes sewing project contributions from 27 different designers, fabric designers, sewists and fashion designers, including Amy Butler, Brett Bara, Ty Pennington, Tula Pink, Nancy Zieman (from Sewing with Nancy) and Suede (from Project Runway).

sew red toc

Sew Red Table of Contents Page

The table of contents excited me (and I mean, really, who gets excited over a table of contents??) because it listed a picture of every complete project.

Sweet Sixteen Skirt

Kay Whitt’s Sweet Sixteen Skirt

The book includes a little blurb about the contributing author and instructions, diagrams, patterns and photographs of a sewing or quilting project they have created.  Most of the projects have you draft your own pattern, such as Kay Whitt’s Sweet Sixteen Skirt, named for the 16 panels sewn around the skirt.   Step-by-step instructions are included along with numerous diagrams to help you with your self-drafting endeavours.

Amy Butler Drawstring Dress

Amy Butler’s Drawstring Dress

Patterns are also included with the book for some of the projects, such as Amy Butler’s cute and flirty Drawstring Dress.

anna cohen petal dress

Anna Cohen’s Petal Dress

A pattern and instructions for a gorgeous evening Petal Dress, aptly named for the undulating ‘petals’ that make up the entire skirt of the dress, by Anna Cohen is also included.

For Project Runway fans, the full Simplicity Suede Says Pattern for Suede’s Kimono Sleeve Tunic is also included in sizes XS to XL.

Simplicity Suede Says Kimono Sleeve Tunic

Simplicity Suede Says Kimono Sleeve Tunic

This one is in my sewing queue!

Quilters will also be excited with the patterns included for the beautiful pieced quilts as well as the quilted applique motifs.

Marcia Harmening Queen of Hearts Quilt

Marcia Harmening Queen of Hearts Quilt http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/details/sewRed/

Quilted pillows, bags and pouches are also featured.

There are also contributions from folks who have created their own fabric lines, such as Ty Pennington.  Remember him from Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?  He has designed a fabric line for Westminster Fibers called Impressions, “inspired by the resilience he witnessed in our [USA] nation’s…communities when filming his shows.” (Sew Red, p.74).  He includes instructions for a practical yet stylish backpack.

One fun thing about the book is that every single project was sewn in red coloured themed fabric.  No matter the pattern or style, all the beautiful fabrics featured were dominantly red, which nicely reinforced the reason for the book, heart health.

For more book reviews, go to the Book Review section, here.

Update:  This book review/preview has been featured in Stitching the Night Away Craft Daily, issue: April 21, 2013.

Equinox Giveaway Winner! And, Your Favourite Season.

Update – April 15:  Christine Haynes, the author of the book, tweeted today to thank me for hosting this giveaway of her book!  She was excited about it and I added her tweet into the comments section.

We had a total of 70 entrants for the Equinox Celebration Sewing Book Giveaway!  The book is Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes,ChicSimpleSewing and is divided up into sewing projects designed for the four different seasons.

The entrants were from all across the globe and were asked to tell us their favourite season.  It was so exciting to find out where everybody was from and why they chose their season.  I compiled the information into a chart.  CHART!!  (The science and math geeks just perked up :)).  Some people chose all the seasons as their favourite.  D’oh!  Way to skew a chart! LOL.

Favourite Seasons Pie ChartSpring was the clear winner with autumn/fall and summer (the dry season in the tropics) practically tying for second and third place and winter (the wet/monsoon season in the tropics) coming in a distant fourth.

The following are a few of the simply beautiful and poetic quotes for each season, written by YOU!  The comments really allow everyone to see why you love your favourite season and made me appreciate seasons that may not be my favourites, by being able to see them through your eyes.  I was right there with you!  I thank you for that.  Your thoughts were truly lovely, you poets you!  A book or song should really be written; read on to see what I mean. (Can you find your comment?)

WINTER – Wet / Monsoon SeasonWinter Scene 2

The storms are so wild and huge and you feel so small in a good way.  The monsoon, it’s hard to comprehend.  There is just so much water in the world, all raining down on you at once!

I love the look and the sound of snow.

I love when you’re all warm and cozy next to a fire with a nice hot cuppa and u can hear pitta patter on the window.Winter_wallpaper 2In the tropics, the monsoon is in full swing. Nothing like falling asleep to the rain on your roof and the sounds of distant thunder!

I like the beautiful view after a snow storm, when everything is blanketed in pure white.

SUMMER – Dry Season

summer_sunflowers 2It feels like the climax to my year…. I adore the long evenings and early morning sunshine, I can walk the dog and have had my breath of fresh air by 6am… wonderful stuff!!

If I had to pick, I’d go for the last days of summer, with the plentiful fruit, the somewhat tired heat, the foreboding of darker days.

It’s warm and sunny and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it peaks in mid-July.  We cycle and swim outdoors, we go mad because winter will begin again in November.

I love hot and humid weather, iced tea, pools and ocean time.summer_landscape 2

I get to sleep in as much as I’d like and my children are all home with me. What could be better?

I love sitting in the garden sewing. We live beside a river, so a glass of wine outside as the sun goes down is just lovely.

The rains stop for a while and we get to have sunshine.

Lucky for me I live in the desert, constant summer!

It means BBQs, hikes, camping and swims.

AUTUMN / FALL

I think, it’s the most beautiful time of year, full of colour and charmFall 2.

I love that it’s still warm but the colours are changing.  It often brings the best of the weather.  It also feels ‘new’ to me; a hangover of the new school year starting, I guess!

I love the trees shedding their leaves not to mention the beautiful warm colours that are associated with autumn- orange, chocolate, tan, coral, khaki, cream and cinnamon.

I love the change, the drama, the unpredictable weather.

I love Autumn, the crisp air and the changing colours of the leaves. The chilly mornings where fog lies low in valleys and the smell of woodfires is on the breeze.

My favourite season is early autumn, where it is still warm but not too hot, and late flowers are still blooming but the air is already getting an earthly smell. It just gives me a happy warm feeling.

Cool nights for snuggling.autumn 2

Perfect weather for watching the amazing sunsets over the ocean!

The smell of autumn leaves is delicious.

Autumn always feels like a big relief that the heat is over.

The hot winds of the desert blow through the basin. The air is clear and the heat is sharp and by this time the garden is bursting with color and fragrance.

 SPRING

I love the freshness.. the new growth… planting a garden… daffodils…Spring Kitty

I’m big on light layering and I love to see the new growth appear.

I love that it’s hot and sunny, and seeing all of the flowers blooming after a dreary winter.

Cherry blossoms in the spring. That is what I’m waiting for.

I love spring because it’s fresh, new, and hope for what’s to come!

The days are getting longer, and everything is still green from the winter rain.

The grass starts to turn green, the leaves begin to bud, flowers start to bloom. Bliss.spring - baby animals 2Spring is so full of new beginnings for so many things. There’s always new baby birds flying around and all the plants come to life and are blossoming everywhere, I just love it.Everything is bright and beautiful and it leads to summer.

Cool crisp mornings and evenings and the newness of Spring with leaves emerging on trees & flowers blossoming everywhere.

I love spring, when all that has been sleeping in winter comes back to life. Warm days and cool nights that usher in refreshed fields of color and the wonderful perfume that springs from it.spring flowers 2

Days are getting longer, but it’s not too hot yet.

I love Spring the most because the newly appearing rays of sunlight after a long winter make me happy and make me feel alive.

After a cold, wet & snowy winter, the flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are turning green and the birds begin to sing. The temperature is not too hot & not too cold and it is so nice to be able to go out and get my garden started. I love the colors of spring as well, the yellow daffodils, the red tulips and purple pansy. I love to get inspiration for my sewing from the flowers.  You can see many colors in one flower.

The transition from cold grey wet days into slightly less cold, occasionally blue wet days here in Manchester is always welcome.

And, something to be said for the beauty of ALL seasons:

There’s something grand about the circle of life, and the different feelings the change of seasons evoke that I enjoy more than “just” a single season.

I love every season, especially when they are beginning.  The blooming flowers in spring, the warm summer nights, putting on the first cozy sweater in fall and I love a good snow fall.  By the time the seasons are changing, I’m ready for the new one.

In NZ, colours are so much greener all year round, so these wonderful changes are a little more muted.

Missjoiedevivre from A Charm of Magpies, also shared an interesting seasonal factoid for us:

“Here in New Zealand, we mark the turning of the seasons on the first of the month, not the equinox/solstice. So it has been autumn since March the first!”

I had no idea!!  Does anybody know why?  Please, do share.

Because this Giveaway induced a very contemplative, calming and thoughtful vibe, Kitty thought that he would take his initial draw officiating ceremony idea, down a notch and also relate it to the seasons.  (However, do not fret, Kitty fans, I have just won the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at miymdiary, so for the winner of that draw, Kitty is going to put his original plan into action and let loose his boisterous side).

The Draw

spring buds 3

Inspecting Spring Flower Buds

I listed numbers from 1 to 70 on tiny bits of paper, that looked like hopeful spring flower buds.Spring flower buds  Kitty inspects the flower bud numbers, and they are then placed at the beginning of the Kitty Tunnel, which depicts the hot yellow sun, clear blue sky and calm blue water of a gorgeous summer day.  names in tube, blow dryer set up 2

A blow dryer was then set up and aimed at the flower bud numbers.  The blow dryer was turned on and Kitty delighted in watching as the flower buds create a lovely winter storm and swirled around frantically and hypnotically inside the windy tunnel.

Tunnel Eye View

Tunnel Eye View

Kitty then bravely enters the eye of the hurricane.  Oh, our gallant and fuzzy beast.  Will he persevere over natures elements?

Kitty stands strong, never taking his eyes off the prize.

He grabs fruitlessly in the air, on the ground, in the tunnel; so many paws, so much paper, such wind.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

Kitty Tasting Names

Kitty tasting the paper numbers

Kitty Inspects Names 2Kitty leaves no sense underutilized and even tastes the spring flower buds, to ascertain which paper holds the possibility of being the winning entrant.  Kitty then exits the tunnel, patiently watching his targets fly out of the tunnel and flutter delicately to the ground.  Like gentle autumn leaves, departing their spring and summer homes on the trees, they fall softly to the ground. Kitty Emerging from Tube to Capture Winning Name of Fallen Autumn Leaves

Kitty waits for the bewitching autumn leaves to land while contemplating his next move. Whcih Name Will Kitty Select He inspects the items, never quite pinpointing just one, moving effortlessly between all the spring buds/fallen leaves, until…..his eye sees what it wants.

Kitty does it!! He hones in on, and dutifully captures a solitary flower bud/autumn leaf!  He gets his paws on the winner!!!Kitty Captures the Winning Flower Bud Name

The paper is unfurled like a beautiful tulip in Spring,

Name Unfurled Like a Spring Tulipand……

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

A Spring Tulip

Ah, Sweet Smells of Tulips

Ah, the Sweet Smell of a Lovely Spring Tulip

…the winner is…..Entrant Number has Been RevealedNumber 33!!  Which corresponds to……Elise Lin from What the Dormouse Sews, whose favourite season happens to be:  Autumn.

Elise LinCongratulations Elise!! Kitty and I are both so happy for you.  Please email me with your specs so that I can mail/post you, your brand new sewing book!

-Thank you to everybody for stopping by the blog and entering the giveaway, and for your engaging commentary on nature’s finest hours.- 

I will leave you with Nick Drake, metaphoring on the seasons with the hauntingly beautiful, The Time of No Reply.  You’ll thank me (after you’ve finished rocking back and forth in the fetal position, while weeping gently.)  You’re welcome. (click on the song title to view it, you won’t regret it).

Kitty retiring to his tunnel tube with the winning number to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kitty retiring to his tunnel, with the winning number, to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness…….and Tuna.

photo and comment credits:  Giveaway entrants favourite season comments, quoted in this blogpost, have been edited, by me, for grammar and spelling as well as for brevity and are the sole property of the authors.  The original comments and their corresponding authors can be found on the Giveaway sign-up post, here, in the comments section.

Photograph of the four seasons courtesy of:  winter, summer, autumn, spring Photograph of Kitty in Spring courtesy of Halo Pets.

Pattern Pyramid COMBINED with Sew Grateful Week Giveaway!

Oooooooh!  Yes, indeed.  Pattern Pyramid arrived yesterday from the lovely and talented Amanda at Symon Sez, so exciting!  This pattern pyramid was originally started by the charismatic bundle of joy, Anne at Pretty Grievances.  It has been quite the world traveller, visiting various continents and countries, enjoying cocktails, romps on the beach, did some shopping and even bought some cute souvenirs for the little pyramids, at home.pyramidsThe Pyramid began with Velosewer, as the first winner.  It then went on to The Material Lady and next to Mrs. Mole at Fit for a Queen.  After this, Pattern Pyramid enjoyed it’s journey to Tulle and Tweed and straight on to my predecessor, the previously mentioned Symon Sez.  Fabulous!

Now, I also wanted to participate in Sew Grateful Weekhosted by My Happy Sewing Place, where bloggers can take the time to thank their readership and other bloggers for their ideas, comments, inspiration, humour, support, shares, insanity, mild profanity and many other things you can think of that put a smile on your face and make you feel loved.  So, with both events looming and with the addition of recently hosting a Pay It Forward event on my blog just 5 days ago, I realized I can’t do it all!!! I’m not a machine!!!!  :).

So, I decided to combine the two events and I am going to add a gift for Sew Grateful Week to the Pattern Pyramid for the next winner to keep.  I racked my brain to try to discover ‘what does an experienced sewist that has everything, need?’  I came up with the answer “I don’t know”.  Yes, a long, hard contemplative second that was.

So, I thought since many experienced sewers have so much, and they are constantly trying to just work through their stashes,  and also because I am a new sewer, I wanted to give a shout out to other newbies and try to light the fire of sewing and crafting inspiration!  So, I chose a book called:  I Made it Myself.  9781407553641_439_480  It is the absolute perfect gift for a brand new sewer.  Some of you must have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, younger siblings, neighbours, that you would like to inspire to learn to sew and create.  This book includes: a sewing kit, a variety of projects to complete, tonnes of pictures, instructions, a fabric and stitches glossary and templates to use to create a variety of fashion and accessory items.  (FYI, on the back it says, suitable for ages 7+ years, and I can see it working all the way up to a teenager, or even older!  Hey, we’re all kids at heart).

Ok, now on to the Pattern Pyramid Specs.  This is how it arrived, all tan and rested, a lovely globe spanning holiday it’s having, for sure.

Top Row:  Small Sizes, Middle Row:  Medium to X-Large Sizes, Bottom Row: Plus Sizes

Top Row: Small Sizes, Middle Row: Medium to X-Large Sizes, Bottom Row: Plus Sizes

Kitty went in to thoroughly peruse Pattern Pyramid. Kitty Peruses Pattern Pyramid 2 He investigated, he took his time, but finally, he selected the winning Pattern.  Note:  Kitty’s tail points directly at the winning pattern selection.  Clever Kitty!Kitty Chooses a Pattern

Pattern to Take Out

Pattern Removed to Keep

To the left is the pattern that I removed to keep for myself.  I will sew and eventually blog this item.  Stay tuned for that fun!

And below, is the pattern I chose to add back into the Pyramid.  It is a top and pants set, and the top has princess seams up the front and back, it is lined and has a front button closure.

Pattern Replaced Back into Pyramid

Pattern Replaced Back into Pyramid

The pattern was purchased before I had ever sewn anything.  I got it home, THEN checked the size….not even close.  So, hopefully somebody who is this size will be able to enjoy it.  Here is a more detailed breakdown of what is in the Pyramid:

Small Size Patterns:  clothing 8-12;  bra 32 A,B,C,D

Small Size Patterns: clothing US 8 – 12 (Eur.34-38); bra 32 A to D (Eur.70 B to E)

Medium to X-Large Patterns

Medium to X-Large Patterns: US 14 to 22 (Eur. 40 to 48)

Plus Size Patterns: XXL to 6X; 18 to 28 (Eur. 44 to 54)

Plus Size Patterns: XXL to 6X; US 18 to 28 (Eur. 44 to 54)

New Pattern Pyramid

New Pattern Pyramid

A quick synopsis of the RULES of Pattern Pyramid for those who are not familiar:

  1. Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by Sunday February 17, 2013.
  2. You must have an active blog.
  3. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted.  I will then post (mail) the pyramid to you, plus the Sew Grateful Week gift (I Made It Myself book).  Oh, how will Kitty top the last giveaway draw officiating tactics???  He is confident he can.  Don’t worry.
  4. The winner will then select a pattern to keep, add a pattern of their own back into the Pyramid and host their own giveaway. They will randomly select another winner and post (mail) the remaining patterns to that person, and etc.

Yippee!!  Good luck everybody!!  And Thank You to everyone for stopping by my blog to say hi!  I AM sew grateful.  :)  Feel free to follow my blog and/or my facebook page, as well, if you don’t already.  And let me know where I can follow yours!