Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Sewing Contest!

Hey, I just read about another great sewing contest being held over at Ellison Lane Quilts!  Check out the scoop on her Summer Sewing Contest.  

I plan on entering something in both the Clothing and Bags/Accessories categories.  How about you?  
The winner of each category gets a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Head on over to Ellison Lane Quilts to find out all the details on how to enter!  Can't wait to see what everyone sews up this summer!  See you there!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Purse Palooza

I can't wait to enter Purse Palooza over at Sew Sweetness.  Looks like so much fun!

For the entire month of June, Sara at Sew Sweetness will have guests bloggers review a purse pattern.  You'll also be able to upload pictures of purses you make to her Flickr group and have a chance to win some awesome prizes.  Here are the specifics directly from Sew Sweetness:

1. Every weekday in June, I have 2 amazing guest bloggers scheduled to share with you a purse sewing pattern review. The review will contain detailed information about what they thought about the sewing pattern, modifications they made, what kind of interfacing they used, and more! Get inspired!

2. Even more exciting...THERE WILL BE A GIVEAWAY EVERY WEEKDAY IN JUNE! That's right, 20 GIVEAWAYS! Your Giveaway Fairy Godmother is Kim from My Go-Go Life - she has some unbelievable giveaways planned!

3. At the end of the event, you will get a chance to show me your purse in order to win some amazing prizes!

Contest Rules

1. Check out all the purse pattern reviews throughout the month and get inspired to sew up a purse of your own!

2. Join the Purse Palooza 2012 Flickr Group.

3. Link up your completed purse to the Flickr Group BETWEEN JUNE 4th and JULY 11th. Your purse must be created and photographed between those dates; purses made prior to June 4, 2012 will be disqualified. The purse may be of your own design, or made from a sewing pattern.

4. You may link up to 2 views of the same purse. More than 2 photos of the same purse will be removed from the group.

5. There is no limit to how many purses you may enter, as long as they were made between June 4th and July 11th, 2012.

Head over to Purse Palooza to check out all the amazing guest bloggers and the great list of prizes!  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Winners Announced!

Thanks to everyone for entering my contests and became a new follower!  I was overwhelmed by the number of entries!  I had 334 for the international giveaway and 137 for the US giveaway. The winners have been announced and contacted already.  In fact, I mailed their packages just before lunch today!

To see who won the Cute Little Pouch, check out the original post here and scroll to the bottom of the post.

And to see who won the purse pattern, fabric, and buttons, go here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Emmaline Bag

Several weeks ago, I was fortunate to win a purse pattern from Janelle over at Emmaline Bags & Patterns blog.  The pattern I won was her Emmaline Bag pattern found for sale here on her website.  I was absolutely excited to get the chance to make this purse!  I had had every intention of making it right away, but I couldn't make up my mind about the fabric I wanted to use.  And quite honestly, I was feeling a little intimidated by the interior zipper pocket!

Fast forward to this past week, and I decided I was up for a challenge.  I picked out my fabrics, finally choosing to go with Amy Butler's Lark collection. I used Floral Couture in Berry for the exterior shell, Souvenir in Persimmon for the lining, and River Shine in Charcoal for the straps.  I just love these bold colors for summer!  Don't you?

Janelle advertises the pattern for the intermediate to advanced sewer, and I would definitely agree!  Compared to all the other purses/bags I've made, this one has more features that are reminiscent of a store-bought bag which make it appear very professional looking.  For instance, it has a gusseted bottom, pleated sides at the bottom, lots of curves, metal hardware, and an interior zipper pocket!

I don't consider myself an advanced sewer, and although the bag is full of details making it a more challenging project, I really didn't find it difficult to make.  But it did take me a lot of time, especially since this was my first attempt at making it!  I worked on the Emmaline Bag over the course of at least three days for a total of 8 to 10 hours in all.  That may seem like a lot of time, and it is, but I worked slowly and carefully because I really wanted this bag to turn out well, and I think it did.

And to think that I was afraid of attempting that zipper pocket!  Ha!  Janelle's pattern has so many pictures and such well written descriptions of each and every step that I had absolutely no problem making it!  The zipper pocket is perfect if I must say so myself!  In fact, the pocket was so easy to make following her instructions that I actually had fun making it!  Janelle even offers on her website two tutorials on how to make a zipper pocket.  Plus, she has several other useful tutorials for making other bag components.  You can find her tutorials here.

If you look at the bags Janelle has made on her blog, you'll see she used some lovely rectangular rings and O-rings to add a more decorative touch to the straps.  I searched everywhere locally for these to use on my bag and couldn't find any large enough.  The largest rectangular rings I could find were only 1" and the largest O-rings were only 1.25".  I finally decided to use some 1.5" D-rings that I came across at one store, but honestly, they just aren't thick enough to stand out like they should.  I've seen a couple of Etsy stores that sell purse supplies, so I suppose I'll have to just order them online if they have them!  If anyone knows of a good source for such things, please let me know!

Janelle recommended using template plastic for the bottom support.  I found it in the quilting supplies at Joann's.  I guess I expected it to be something more rigid like a thin plexiglass, but it's not.  I doubled the template plastic, so I'll see how well that works for now.

And finally, to me the most difficult part of sewing this bag was top stitching the two rows around the top of the finished bag.  I didn't use my seam ripper until this part--the next to last step in making the bag--because I just had a hard time getting the rows evenly spaced around those curves!  If I knew how to use a double needle, maybe that wouldn't have been an issue!  Anyway, after a couple of attempts, I did get it right!

In all, I am so happy with how the Emmaline Bag turned out.  It is so spacious and modern looking!  I can't wait to start using it.  And I'm already thinking about making another one in a solid color.  I'm pretty sure the second bag will be even easier to make than the first!

If you like this bag, I hope you'll visit Janelle at Emmaline Bags and Patterns and consider purchasing the Emmaline Bag pattern or perhaps the Teardrop Bag pattern.  Oh, and she is working on a new bag pattern, called the Steph in the City Bag, that is to be released very soon (update:  it's available for sale).  Thanks again for the pattern, Janelle!  It's one of the best detailed patterns I've ever seen!  (Update:  For a limited time, you can use coupon code Palooza on her website to get 20% pattern orders!  I just purchased the Teardrop Bag and Steph in the City Bag patterns, too!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giveaway Prize #2 - US Residents Only

And the winner is (drum roll, please)...

Ryan Gosling--all the way! ;-) I've made a couple bags, and definitely have plans for more-- your prize pack is wonderful! Hope I get lucky! :-)

Gwen, I've already sent you an email, so please respond ASAP with your mailing address!  I'll get your prize in the mail right away so you can start making a new bag soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered and a big welcome to the many new followers that have decided to hang around!  This has been so much fun!  I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments, and it was a very close race, but Matt Damon (my favorite) won by 6 votes over Ryan Gosling!

I decided to put together another giveaway prize for Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day event.  Yay!  I know you are excited.  I'll keep this short and sweet because I know you just want to get to the good stuff.

Since I started sewing for fun almost a year ago, I have made several purses and bags.  They really are a lot of fun to make and most are not difficult to put together.  So, I found a purse pattern that I bought a few months back that I haven't attempted yet, and I've decided to share it and some other goodies with one lucky winner.

The pattern is Simplicity 2685 and it offers patterns for four different purses, and just by glancing at the instructions, I feel they are pretty simple to make.  Along with the Simplicity pattern, the winner will receive 3/4 of a yard of Amy Butler's Midwest Modern, 3/4 of a yard of coordinating vintage polyester/cotton blend gingham, and a package of matching vintage buttons from my grandmother's button stash!

This fabric looks great sewn into a purse, if the winner chooses to use it for that purpose.  I made a couple of bags using this fabric a while back, and you can read about them here.  In fact, there should be enough of these fabrics to make either Bag B or C (bottom right and top left in the pattern picture above).

Again, here's a picture of what you can win.

All you have to do to enter is be a resident of the US and leave me a comment telling me who you like better:  Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, or Ryan Gosling.

For a second entry, become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

I'll accept entries until 10 p.m. CST on May 25th and then choose a winner using Random.org.  To enter my other contest which IS open to everyone (not just US residents), click here.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back again real soon!  Maybe even check out some of my other blog posts where I've made lots of cute outfits for my 3 year old daughter and several purses and bags.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Day - International Entries Allowed!

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by and entering my contest to win this cute little ear bud or coin/jewelry pouch that I've made.  It really has a lot of uses!  For this contest, I will ship internationally, so if you live in or out of the US, be sure to keep reading to learn how to enter!

Last November, I started my blog, sewVery, in order to share my sewing creations mainly with family and friends that live out of town.  However, after a few weeks and several link up parties later, I had branched out and made new friends all over the world!  Sewing and blogging have truly become an everyday part of my life.

I started out sewing clothes mainly for my daughter, Ella, who is now three years old, but after building up my confidence, I decided to try my hand at making purses and accessories.  I had always thought that it would be incredibly difficult to sew a purse or a wallet, but I soon discovered (with the help of an abundance of tutorials on the world wide web) that there are wise people out there eager to share their patterns and sewing tips for making just about anything!  I've even come up with a few such tutorials of my own.

Anyway, I hope that after you enter the contest you'll decide to check out a few of my other posts and maybe even become a new follower.  Now onto the rules for my contest which is open to international entries to win a cute little zipper pouch I made using this great tutorial!


Front and Inside

To enter the contest, please leave a comment telling me your favorite vacation spot or place to visit.  For a second entry, tell me your favorite thing to eat while at that vacation spot.  I can't wait to read your entries!

The place I enjoyed visiting most was Germany back in the late 90's.  We visited the Neuschwanstein Castle, Rothenburg, as well as other small towns along the Romantic Road.  Everything was just beautiful!  My favorite thing to eat while I was there was the fresh bread and treats from all the bakeries.

The contest will be open until 10 p.m. CST on May 25th at which time I will choose a winner at random using Random.org.  Please make sure to leave your email in the comment so that I can contact you if you win.

That's it!  Thanks again for stopping by and please be sure to head over to Sew Mama Sew to check out all the other great giveaways going on.  I hope you find a new blog or two that you love along the way!

And the winner is...

Fav thing to eat on a weekend awy in the UK is victoria sponge cake with cream and a cup of tea, of course!!!

Amy, I've already emailed you, so please respond ASAP with your mailing address.  As soon as I hear back from you, I'll get the cute little pouch in the mail right away!

Thanks again to everyone who entered my contest.  I had so much fun reading all your answers about favorite places to visit and things to eat there. I definitely added a few more destinations to my list of places I hope to visit someday.  I ready to head to Australia, the beach, and back to Europe now!
Please come back and visit my blog again soon!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reversible Halter Top Shirt

Hello?!  Anybody out there?  Oh, hi!  Sorry I haven't been blogging lately, but I'm back now.  Hope everyone is doing well and busy making something sewVery fun this week!

In fact, I made this Reversible Halter Top Shirt a couple of weeks ago, but I just had not gotten around to making some decent photos of my daughter wearing it.  Finally, she decided she wanted to wear it today and was agreeable (just barely) to a photo shoot!  I love this next picture.  This one's for you, Daddy!  War Eagle!

If you've read my blog before, you may already know that I am an Auburn University graduate and fan.  My entire family, except for my dear husband, graduated from Auburn.  As for my husband, he went to that other school in Alabama!  Anyway, I've been wanting to make Ella something using this Auburn University licensed fabric for a while, but I never could think of a way to use it that I would like.  That is until now!

This is the perfect top to play (or watch) a little football in!

After making the retro halter top a few weeks ago using my original 1975 version as a go-by, I decided to make the top a little less revealing and add a skirted bottom to it.  To make it even more interesting, I decided to make the entire top reversible!  I am in love with it, and apparently so are a few of my Facebook friends.  I posted pictures of it there the night I made it and had several friends immediately say they would love to have one.  I'm even trying to alter the halter top part to fit a grown up, which is more difficult to do than I thought it might be.  Little girls are so much easier to sew for!

Oh, no!  Grass in her shoe!

See, this shirt is great for doing heavy lifting and yard work, too!

Anyway, here it is!  Ella's Reversible Halter Top Shirt!  I love both sides, and Ella just happened to already have a pair of navy gingham capri pants that match it perfectly.  I made the flower barrette using my Felt Fabric Flower tutorial found here.  Ella has a matching flower pin that I thought would be cute on the waistband of the shirt on the navy side, but she wouldn't let me put it on there today.  Oh, well!

This picture pretty much sums up her attitude about switching the top around mid-photo shoot!  You gotta love her though, and I wouldn't trade her for a thing in the world.

Hope you like this top as much as I do!  If so, let me know and leave a comment.  I love hearing from you all!