Monday, 1 September 2014

How sewing has changed my life, & blogiversary giveaway!

Hello readers! I hope this post finds you well. Can you believe that another year has gone by? This little blog of mine is 3 years old today! 

I've got something different, and something of a tradition for you today. 

Starting with the something different, instead of reflecting on my projects this year, at this 3-year point, I think we are ready to look back and reflect on how sewing has changed my life. Not a grand topic or anything, I know. 

Firstly, sewing has made me realise that I need time to be able to enjoy my life, and amongst other things, this was one of the reasons why I decided to move on in terms of jobs a few months ago. Knowing that I should make time for something that I truly enjoy was liberating, and being able to make this happen was absolutely brilliant. I am much happier with myself as a result. You see, it can be life-changing! 

Secondly, sewing has made me more familiar with my own body shape. Don't get me wrong, I never though I had massive boobs, hips, or legs that went on for miles, but fitting my own clothes had been very helpful in getting to know my own body shape well, and where it might be smaller/shorter/flatter/fatter than the "standard" shape (i.e. where the pattern alterations typically are). 

Following from the second positive change, with clothes that fit better, I feel much more comfortable and confident in my outfits, and in my own skin. I also take pride in what I wear more, and it is a great conversation starter with strangers. 

The next change sewing has made is that I spend less buying clothes, but spend more on fabric/haberdashery/sewing machines. There have been so many times where I'm browsing through shops, and thought to myself, "what a cute dress/top/skirt/trousers/pjs", but then immediately thought "I could make that so easily!" Of course more often than not, I don't then go away and end up making it, but if I don't miss it after a few days, I clearly didn't need it to start with. I often find that when I shop now, I focus more on how complex the construction of the garment is, as opposed to how it looks. Geeky or what?!

The final thing that I want to mention is that sewing made me feel part of a really great community. When I had a quick weekend stop in NYC, what did I do first? I emailed Sonja from Ginger Makes. I've also received emails from readers about nearby fabric shops, or asking for tips on wedding dress makings, and I do love helping out where I can. It really does overwhelm me sometimes, in a great way of course! 

So that's me. How about you? Has sewing changed your life? 

Now that's off my chest, it's time for a great tradition - the blogiversary giveaway


Remember this little project? Yep, I've got some of that lovely fabric left over to give away! 

It measures 1.5m wide and 1.56m long at the shorter end, and approx 2m long. It's funky, it's lightweight, and it's 100% natural cotton. I can confirm that it is very comfortable to wear, and doesn't even wrinkle too much. What more could you possibly want? 

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment below, by Sunday 14th September (closing at midnight BST). I'm happy to post to anywhere in the world, so do feel free to enter wherever you are. The winner will be announced on Monday 15th. Best of luck!  

59 comments:

  1. Happy blogiversary, Alice!
    I haven’t been sewing for as long as you have, but I agree with the changes you describe. I feel a lot prettier and more confident in something I have made myself, even though the garments I make aren’t quite perfect yet. And I’ve learnt a lot about my shape already as well! It’s really funny, but I never realised that I had a curvy derrière before I had to fit clothes to it. I did know that I had a small bust, of course.
    That fabric is so, so beautiful! I just looked at your dress again and I love it! Thanks for the chance to win my own copy (because that’s totally what I would attempt to make from the fabric)! (;

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    1. It's great to read that sewing has had such a positive, confidence-boosting effect on you, too! Good luck :)

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  2. Happy blogiversary! Thank you for hosting the giveaway. I enjoy seeing your finished projects and find your tutorials helpful.

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    1. You are very welcome. It would be great to see it being used in another creative project.

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  3. Happy 3years! I agree sewing is a bit of a game changer - though my problem now is less ooh buy those finished shirts etc its ooh buy those pretty patterns! I seem to like collecting patterns, which isn't the best. I've enjoyed following your blog for the last year or two (I remember your 2yr anniversary). I started following you for your wedding posts but I've really enjoyed all the pattern reviews :-) I hope you keep going strong :-)

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    1. Thank you. I don't "collect" patterns as such, but I tend to buy patterns thinking, yes I could totally see myself in this, and then buy fabric thinking, oh yes I love this - this could work with anything... and then, when the two often don't match perfectly, each would meant that I end up with even bigger piles... I'll share some photos about my (almost finished) sewing room soon, and you'll see how much stuff I've accumulated...

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  4. I love that fabric, and I love the dress you made from it. I would be one happy camper to have a piece to call my own. Happy bolgaversary

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  5. I agree with you - deciding to do things you enjoy in life is a very important step. I, too, am reassessing what and why I do things, and am also moving into deciding that certain areas of my life (most of them) are being done because I think they should be done - not because I get much out of them. Your post has made me realise that I need to reassess my values, my goals and what I want out of life now. We only get one chance. Thank you for your thought provoking post. And if I win, I would like to help with postage :) Mind you, winning was not why I commented :)

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    1. Thank you Sarah, and thanks for your lovely offer :) I can completely understand your feeling -- just a few months ago I was feeling quite disillusioned with what I was doing, but am happy to confirm that the changes have definitely made me a happier, and more positive person. Enjoy your thoughts but keep them light if you can!

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  6. Happy Blogiversary!!!
    I agree with all the points you made especially regarding purchasing RTW. I look at clothes totally different now compared to how I did before & I absolutely feel 100000 times more comfortable in my own. That fabric is beautiful & Id probably make V1247...probably :)

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    1. Thank you, and it's lovely to read that you have also benefited well from the great hobby :D Good luck!

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  7. I think the biggest way it has changed my life is the ability to give to others. Even crafting with my scraps can bless another person. I love your dress! I'm sharing this with my daughter -- I think she just may be making one of these. If I win the fabric I think she may just a make a dress from it.

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    1. Ah yes Cheryl, I do love the whole sharing thing! It's such a wonderful community for this, as there are always giveaways/swapsies going on! Also, how lovely to hear that you both sew!

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  8. Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your blog and that material is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Mary, and best of luck!

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  9. As a newbie to garment sewing, I can already see some of the benefits you mention. The sense of pride and accomplishment amazes me...I didn't expect it!

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    1. It did take me by surprise, too, but I think now I'm a bit more used to it. I feel that a day would have a brighter start when I'm putting on my own home made outfits :)

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  10. Happy Anniversary! I so enjoy hearing of your makes, thank you for sharing and for the giveaway, the fabric is gorgeous.

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  11. Happy anniversary! It's incredible what a difference sewing can make in our lives!

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  12. Congratulations on 3 years of blogging. I don't make clothes, I make quilts. The creative process is fun and can be relaxing. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you. Quilting is something I've thought about doing, but haven't quite got round to it yet... I can see how the fabric would work well in a quilt, too :)

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  13. Congratulations! sarah@forrussia.org

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    1. Thanks Sarah, and best of luck!

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  14. I do the same thing when I'm out shopping! I always say I will just make it myself, but then I never have the time :(

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    1. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one ;)

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  15. Congratulations on the Anniversary! How has sewing changed my life, well it is a wonderful change. I fell ill at the time for unknown reasons. I had to quit working, and stop doing alot of my physically challenging hobbies. I have sewn for a very long time, but this was a hobby I could keep up most of the time. I found out I have Fybromyalgia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, sewing keeps me focused on life again, I went into a very deep depression because of the lack of "life living" I was doing. My wonderful hubby started pushing me to sew again we in the past had sewn Renaissance garb for the whole family, and that is not a easy job to do!
    Like you I go through the stores and love outfits but instead of buying if they stay in my mind I make them. Sewing makes me feel like I am alive again, and I am just so happy that I can do it. With the machines and other little things the arthritis can act up but there are supplies that make it easier on my body!

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    1. Ruth, thank you so much for sharing your story, as I can't imagine that this would be an easy one to share. It sounds like sewing has had a life-changing effect on you, and I'm so glad that you are feeling happy again, after what you had been through! Stay positive and continue sewing :)

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  16. Hi Alice, I found your blog today through PR and am impressed that you made your own wedding gown. I'm looking forward to reading your past posts.

    I'm a beginner sewer, but I'm now less likely to purchase items I see in stores because I think I can learn how to make something similar. Another thing which stops me from purchasing a piece of clothing is that I think I can find a nicer quality fabric than the ones they have used.

    Happy 3rd year!

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    1. That's great, thank you for stopping by. You make a great point about the fabric -- Although I've always been quite picky on the fabric (I have a preference towards natural fabrics), I find that I'm even more fussy with it, too. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I hope you are really enjoying your new hobby.

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  17. Happy blogiversary.
    I love sewing too, I enjoy the process of seeing pieces come together to create a wearable garment. I may not always come up with something wearable, but the entire process from choosing fabric, thread, picking the pattern etc. brings me lots of fulfillment.

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    1. Thank you Njeri. Truth be told, although a lot of satisfaction comes from the final garment for me, I do also enjoy the whole planning process, too :)

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  18. You achieve a lot in the last three years. Thanks for inspiring me to make my own wedding gown. It's a big step up and after the project I feel my skill improves a lot too.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words sweetie :) I hopped over to see your finished wedding dress and it's soooooo AMAZING!! I can't believe you did all that beading. You look so beautiful in it, and I'm sure it felt extra special having made it yourself. That said, you don't need to thank me for it - I think you are really brave and talented to have completed such a wonderful project. Congratulations!

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  19. Sewing totally changed the way I shop for RTW, I try to stop buying fast fashion made in sweatshop on the other side of the globe. Instead I take more care in choosing well made garments (and noticed that not a single garment in h&m is cut on grain, which explains a lot about the lack of durability). I also always think "No, I won't buy that, I can totally make it". I never end up making it, but also realising I didn't need it. Anyway I find your makes inspiring. Happy blogiversary!

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    1. Ah yes, I also notice the imperfections in RTW garments - misaligned stitches, backstitches gone wrong... Thank you for sharing your experience :)

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  20. Happy blogiversary! Sewing has been an important part of my life, because I can make my home (and self) unique, without breaking the bank.

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  21. Thank you! Great point - I was only thinking about dressmaking when I wrote this post, but you are so right about home furnishing sewing. In fact, I have 2 pairs of curtains to make for our new (ish) house, so shall look forward to the sense of achievement soon :D Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Happy Blogiversary!!! I'm new to sewing but I am already addicted lol

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    1. That's great! Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing :D

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  23. Sewing has provided a happy respite to chronic pain I feel. It helps me tunnel my energy to create something with love.

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    1. Heather, that is quiet some power that sewing has, and a great effect on you! I do hope you are not suffering from too much pain.

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  24. Happy blogiversary! You've progressed so much in three years! I never, ever expected sewing to bring me so much joy and community, but it's been such a pleasant surprise! I just wish I'd been able to meet up with you when you visited! Next time. :)

    PS- you can leave me out of the giveaway as I'm drowning in fabric- I just wanted to wish you well!

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    1. Thanks sweetie. That's ok, as I've actually just booked myself another little trip across the Atlantic...!! Will drop you an email, but there's wayyy more notice this time :D

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  25. Happy Blogiversary! I really enjoy following your blog and seeing all the lovely things you make. I have only been sewing for about 6 months but I really enjoy doing something creative that I have to really concentrate on, so it takes my mind off stressful things. I agree with what you said about getting to know your body shape better. I think I am a similar size and shape to you and its good to see the styles that you try and how well they work.

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    1. Thank you Laura! Oh that's great, I've been looking for a body double for a long time!!

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  26. That fabric is so beautiful! I´m just planning to sew some new dresses and would love to use this fabric for one of them!

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  27. I love the fabric you are giving away, and love the dress you made. It is very becoming on you. My mother taught me how to sew Barbie dol clothes by hand, and then once I mastered hand sewing, she taught me how to use the sewing machine. I enjoy sewing dresses for my daughter. She is a true fit to the pattern, so there is little reason for me to alter which is nice. Thank you for the chance to win!

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    1. I learned hand sewing when I was little, too, and didn't really use a machine properly until much later on. That's so lucky about being a true fit to patterns - I'm jealous!

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  28. Please enter me in the contest for the giveaway. That fabric is absolutely gorgeous!

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  30. Congratulations on your blogiversary Alice. Your style is the epitome of the things I choose to sew, fitted, chic and classic. I rarely buy RTW but if I do I totally agree that I'm looking for interesting and complex details. In fact that's often what appeals to me in my pattern choices. I should love to be included in your giveaway of this really lovely fabric please.

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  31. Your blog is so great, and great to get to enter a giveaway. I think we are all the same in shops, immediately snooping the inside of a jacket lining etc to see how it was done. I'd love to enter the giveaway.. xx

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