The Eliza M Alma Wiggle Skirt

Happy weekend, dolls!

Thanks to a long weekend here in the UK, I’ve managed to invest some time back in my sewing projects. And I FINALLY managed to finish my Eliza M Alma Wiggle Skirt!*

I have to be honest, my hopes weren’t high for this skirt. As long-time readers of Sew for Victory are already aware, I am the lucky owner of some serious hips. And I’m not being entirely sarcastic here, because hips are pretty fabulous. That said, I generally avoid wearing anything that makes them look 50% larger than the rest of my body. So pencil skirts are typically a no-go. But Eliza M’s pattern was shapely in all the right places and I ended up producing a skirt that I would be happy to wear any time.

The pattern itself was super simple to follow and, despite taking about a month for me to finish, can be sewn up in just a couple of hours. So this would be an absolutely perfect pattern for a beginner sewist. It includes a couple of skill-building details – waist darts and a cute back split are great introductions to producing more tailored garments.

It helped enormously that I made this skirt up in a thick tweed (bought during my Twenty-Something Sewers trip to Walthamstow market). Such an easy fabric to sew with. And after my disastrous attempt to sew with silk, I needed this victory! My experience with this pattern (and fabric) is a definite testimony to the best way of overcoming a dip in motivation. It really is ok to put complicated and frustrating projects to the side and spend some time working on a pattern that boosts your confidence and reminds you why you love to sew. Self-care must always be #1 priority.

So there you have it. A simple, but effective, pencil skirt, courtesy of Eliza M Patterns. Perfect as work wear but, I think, also totally suitable for everyday. I’ll definitely be whipping this one out as part of my regular wardrobe rotation!

*The Eliza M website is still putting up a malware warning, so I haven’t linked to it in this post. But the pattern is available via Fabric Godmother, and can be found here.

 

It’s OK to Have a Bad Day

Hello poppets!

Two posts in one day – I’m clearly on a roll! As you may have noticed, I’ve been away from the blog for a little while. This definitely wasn’t intentional. I found myself falling into a hole of ‘well, I haven’t got anything to show, so why post?’ I wouldn’t be surprised if this was something felt by a lot of crafty bloggers, making it all the more difficult when life’s events stop you from making any real progress on your craft projects.

I made a promise to myself when I started Sew for Victory that I wouldn’t let it become a source of stress or pressure. Unless your blog is your main source of income, you will, like me, have a life outside of the blogosphere. I have a PhD to contend with, as well as family and friends to spend time with, and sewing/blogging often takes a backseat to this. This hasn’t been a problem for me – I sew when I’m in the mood and choose projects based on what I want to make (rather than what I think I can whip up most quickly). But the success of this strategy was challenged last week when one of my current makes went totally to hell.

You might remember my post a few weeks ago, spotlighting the blouse and skirt that I had decided to make. My first stop was the blouse – a gorgeous pattern that I decided to make up in a deep blue silk. Perfect, right? Wrong. As soon as I started cutting out the pattern pieces, I just had a feeling that this pattern was going to be a MASSIVE challenge. This was largely to do with the fabric choice – silk is slippery. This is no newsflash. But for some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me. When I finally got it onto the machine, it slipped around, messing up my darts. I unpicked and unpicked again, leaving small holes all over the place. At this point, my spirits were totally depleted. I cried, I cursed, I shouted ‘I’ll never sew again!’ at my lovely, understanding fiancé. An overreaction perhaps but the only thought swirling around my mind was ‘what kind of sewing blogger can’t sew?’

Fortunately, being English, a cup of tea solves a plethora of problems. After calming down, I realised that I was departing from the original purpose of Sew for Victory. I started the blog to document both my successes and failures with sewing – a blog written by an amateur seamstress with a passion for vintage. As the blog has expanded, it’s content has grown. I write about style idols who inspire me, vintage magazines with their ridiculous advice, and replicating vintage style through sewing projects. It’s as much a blog about my life as about my sewing endeavours.

I decided today that I needed to write an honest post about the difficulty of the past couple of weeks. Because this is as honest an insight into my life as the posts of me wearing successful sewing products. It really is ok to have a bad day (or few days). It’s ok to feel undermined by an attempt to sew flimsy silk. And it’s ok to question your progress at your craft. But, at a certain point, you pick yourself up, put things in perspective, and move on. I decided to put my blouse to the side for a while and get to work on my skirt instead. And my motivation (or ‘sewjo’, if you will) has totally returned.

So remember that whether you’re just starting out or have been in the sewing game for years, it’s ok to have a bad day. Half the battle is in picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting over.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and being the most fantastic blog readers in existence.

Laura x

The Big Vintage Giveaway: Winner!

Happy Tuesday, darlings!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the Big Vintage Sewalong Giveaway! I loved reading through your answers and truly appreciate you all putting in such thought to your answers.

Without further ado, I’m happy to announce that the winner of the Giveaway is … Megan from Pigeon Wishes! Congratulations! What stuck out to me about Meg’s answer was that, in just one sentence, she perfectly captured exactly why I, and so many vintage lovers, adore the style:

“I love vintage style because, at least in my mind, I can become an old hollywood actress. Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt…lets share a dressing room together :p”

See my various Inspire A Style posts to understand why this sentiment rings so true with me. Meg, please send an email to sewforvictoryblog@gmail.com and I will arrange to have the pattern sent out to you!

Thanks again to everyone who entered. You are all an inspiration and remind me of exactly why I started Sew for Victory. I’m planning a post on ‘Reasons We Love Vintage Style’ and would love to include your various entries – if you are happy for me to do so, please send me an email (along with links to any blogs/social media accounts that you would like me to provide links to). And keep an eye on Sew for Victory for the final Big Vintage Sewalong product!

Laura x

Big Vintage Sew-Along and A Giveaway!

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That’s right! I’m one of 22 sewing bloggers participating in McCall’s BIG Vintage Sew-Along. This sew-along is being run in support of The Eve Appeal, an organisation that aims to raise awareness of, and funds for, gynaecological cancers. Find out more about The Eve Appeal here.

The Big Vintage Sew-Along offers up a choice of 20 vintage patterns – each purchase directly supports the work of The Eve Appeal. Over the course of the summer, myself – and 21 other bloggers – will be posting on our chosen makes, taken from the fantastic selection of ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s patterns available. Watch this space on 5th August to find out what I’ve made!

A SECRET GIVEAWAY!

As part of The Big Vintage Sew-Along, Butterick are supporting a pattern giveaway on Sew For Victory! One lucky winner will receive a copy of the pattern that I’m making. I won’t be revealing my chosen pattern until my blog post on 5th August – the winner of this giveaway will be the first person to find out what’s to come!

So which pattern will it be?

Or could it be another pattern from the selection on offer? Enter to find out!

To enter the Big Vintage Giveaway:

  • Comment on this post or tweet @sewforvictoryuk and complete this sentence: ‘I love vintage style because….’
  • Deadline for entries is Friday 11th March at 6pm GMT.
  • The giveaway is open only to UK residents.
  • Once the competition ends, I will choose my favourite answer from the entries!

So make sure to enter by the deadline and, in the meantime, follow McCall’s (@McCallPatternUK) and The Fold Line (@thefoldline) for updates on The BIG Vintage Sew-Along.