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.

Claiming Your Space

Hi chickadees and chickadudes!

I hope that this week has been treating you well. I’ve been poorly – explaining my brief disappearance from the site. It also means that the long awaited Joan dress is a little more delayed. Fortunately, it’s pretty much done and I should have pics for you soon!

A couple of weeks ago I answered some questions for the awesome sewing social site, The Fold Line (if you haven’t checked it out – you must. It is the home for my group of 20-something sewers and lots of other cool ways to connect with fellow sewers). The fabulous Kate and Rachel who run The Fold Line wanted some info on Sew for Victory to preview on the site. One particular thing they asked for was a picture of my sewing space. Well, it suddenly occurred to me that – as the creative centre for sewers of all levels – the sewing space is a hugely under-celebrated component of the whole sewing process.

I live in a tiny terraced house – about as narrow as a house comes. So creating a space specifically for my sewing was a challenge. Fortunately, a little creative furniture movement and a cool IKEA craft table left me with a perfect area for all of my sewing needs!

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Obviously the ability to develop a designated sewing space depends totally on what you’ve got available. But even if you’re making do with a corner of the dining room table, there are a few essential things that you can do to make sure that the space is your own:

  1. Get good storage for sewing supplies – My IKEA table has a couple of compartments in the legs that I use to store my patterns. But I use second-hand plastic boxes for everything else – mostly for my fabric stash. Just make sure that you’ve got easy access to everything you could need. There’s nothing worse than taking time out of sewing to hunt for your carbon paper/tracing wheel/thread etc.
  2. Sewing books/magazines – I’m always referring to my various instructional books when I need a bit of guidance. So having them on hand is a must. I also have a kindle station set up if I need to Youtube anything (or, more likely, watch Midsomer Murders while I sew).
  3. Inspiration – For me, this is probably the most important thing (other than a sewing machine, of course). I keep my vintage magazines nearby, plus a couple of quirky bits-and-pieces that always cheer me up. Whether it’s sewing-specific inspiration, or simply something to make you smile on a rainy day, it will totally amplify your sewing experience. Trust.

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Whatever you decide to do – and whatever you have to work with – your sewing space should be an area that you love to be. And an area where you feel as awesome as you are!

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Love you all x

Walthamstow Market: A Fabric Lover’s Paradise!

Happy Monday, my lovelies!

I’ve had a fantastic weekend of sewing. My Belle Curve dress is almost finished and it is easily the most gorgeous thing I’ve made so far. I can’t wait to share it with you later this week!

Before I get round to that, I wanted to share some details about my recent fabric shopping trip to Walthamstow market! After joining The Fold Line (a fantastic online sewing community), I managed to connect with an amazing group of fellow 20-something sewers. With a few of us in easy distance of London, I thought that a meet-up was in order! Last weekend, 5 of us got together in Walthamstow for a trip to this totally fabric-oriented market.

Walthamstow Market map

As far as fabric shopping at Walthamstow goes, I have some advice for fellow market adventurers! The first tip is all about the weather. As much as possible, try to plan your trip for a reasonably good weather day (or at least one where it isn’t pouring with rain). We did not. Although there are a large number of shops lining both sides of the market, all stalls are open-air. We got totally drenched moving from stall to stall. It was completely worth it – but, if you have some flexibility in planning a fabric shopping trip, try to account for the fact that Walthamstow isn’t an all-weather friendly market. Otherwise, make sure to take some waterproof bags for all of that fabric!

The market itself is so well laid out. Most of the stalls are fabric sellers, so it isn’t hard to know where you’re going. Just be sure to keep an eye on the shops on both sides of the street. There are some amazing (and cheap) fabric stores, with plenty of selection. One of the great things about the fabrics on offer is that there are a huge number of choices from all over the world. Lots of Indian and African inspired fabrics – making this a perfect destination if you want a to try something a little bolder than run-of-the-mill cottons and patterning.

Be sure to take plenty of money with you – you’ll need it. The fabrics are extremely reasonably priced (averaging about £3 per metre), but you’ll find that the cheap prices simply encourage you to buy a LOT. My haul was quite impressive and I think the group collectively agreed that we would need to avoid fabric purchasing for a while.

Fabric Haul

So if you are within a good distance of London – or are paying a special visit – I would definitely suggest stopping at Walthamstow. I tried to search out a stall map to link to here – but no such luck. For more information on the market (hours, area maps etc), Walthamstow Council has a great guide on their website.

Hopefully it won’t be long until we arrange our next meet-up and investigate some more fabric hot-spots around London. If you fancy joining us on our next outing, send me an email – sewforvictoryblog@gmail.com – and I’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.

I’ll be back later this week with some pics of my 1940s-inspired dress. Have a fabulous Monday!

Laura x