The Great Big Pattern Swap – window shopping the prizes!

The Great Big Pattern Swap has been running for nearly two weeks now and the uptake has been amazing! The tag #greatbigpatternswap has been shared over 800 times and sewists are joining in from:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Denmark
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • France
  • Singapore
  • Greece
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Malta
  • Hong Kong

…and no doubt more that I’ve missed off!

That’s a lot of sharing! Everyone has been so generous and it’s been amazing to see all the kind notes and goodies posted with the patterns. Although it’s clear already that everyone is a winner by joining in with this challenge (honestly, it was such a great feeling to receive my patterns) there are some fantastic prizes lined up so I’ve been perusing all the sponsors’ sites to see what I’d choose if I won ALL THE PRIZES…


Great Big Pattern Swap Prizes .jpg

Alas I can win none, but you all can enter for a chance to win these amazing prizes:

To be in with a chance of winning you need to have shared an unwanted pattern of yours, then received and made a new-to-you pattern by Saturday 18th August, sharing the photos with #greatbigpatternswap

Each garment made from the swap will be a separate entry, so if you receive three patterns and make two, your name will be put in the draw twice.

Makes are already being shared so please do join in the fun, and if you have any questions please leave a comment or get in touch.

Happy swapping!


The Great Big Pattern Swap: a new challenge for the sewing community

At the beginning of the year, like many others I’m sure, I aimed to get organised! I love a list, so I made one of all my fabric and patterns in an attempt to make a plan for the year ahead. While doing this, I found quite a few patterns that I know I’m never going to make, and it’s a sad thing for them to sit gathering dust when they could get made in to beautiful garments by other sewers. This got me thinking, and an idea for a new sewing challenge brewed in my mind, so now, together with Emma (@thezipperfoot), we’re so excited to launch…The Great Big Pattern Swap!

How does it work?

Have a rummage through your pattern collection, and if there are any that you know you won’t use (that are uncut and in good condition), take a photo and share it on Instagram with a bit of a description and tag it #greatbigpatternswap

In your Instagram post say where you’re happy to send to; you may not want to pay postage abroad, but if you don’t mind then say you’ll post worldwide.

First to comment on the photo gets the pattern! You can then directly message the recipient to get their postage details – please don’t post any personal information or addresses publicly!

The flipside of this (and what makes everyone a winner) is that you can also claim patterns that are listed by others, so make sure you’re following #greatbigpatternswap

What’s the catch?

To claim a pattern from someone else you must give away a pattern of your own!

This is a ‘pay it forward’ style challenge, so if you claim someone else’s unwanted pattern, you must also list one for someone else to have.

When does the challenge start and finish?

The challenge starts today, Saturday 7th July, and the closing date is Saturday 18th August.

To be in the draw to win one of the awesome prizes we’ve got lined up, you need to have shared a pattern, and received a pattern and made it, sharing with the tag #greatbigpatternswap

And most importantly – what are the prizes?

We have some amazing prizes lined up for lucky winners who will be chosen at random after the closing date! Drum roll please….

image_6483441 (16)
£30 Fabric Godmother voucher
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£25 Sew Me Sunshine voucher
Sewalicious logo
£30 Sewalicious voucher
Sew Essential logo
A Mettler thread pack (worth £30!) from Sew Essential
3 winners will each win a digital download of a SMYLY pattern
Make at 140
£40 Make at 140 voucher


A Pink Coat Club pin to choose
£30 voucher for Sew Loco

I’m so looking forward to seeing what everyone shares and makes for the challenge! If you have any questions about it please send me a message either on here or on Instagram and I’ll get back to you asap.

Happy sewing, and happy swapping, everyone!

#SewOutOfThisWorld – Inspiration

Sew Out Of This World is a new sewing challenge from Sewloco inviting sewists to take on one (or more!) of three categories:

  • To Infinity and Beyond
  • Tackling UFOs
  • Stargazer

I’m so excited to have been asked to be the captain of the Stargazer category, so in this blog post I’m looking at couture, the high street and intergalactic films to give some ideas and inspiration for ways to approach the trend – it’s not all star prints and silver lamé…  Continue reading “#SewOutOfThisWorld – Inspiration”

If the boot fits…

I love a car boot sale; like fish and chips and panto (although maybe not together), they’re a British institution that are bloomin awesome. I recently found a huge length of gorgeous floral fabric at a car boot sale for just £3! I dithered for a while about what to make (toyed with making a Vogue V8788 or a Colette Penny dress) but then I came across the New Look K6391, which came free with Sew magazine’s Christmas edition, Sew Christmas.

I keep reading about the big fours’ sewing instructions being difficult to follow but I found this really straight forward, and I put that down to the instructions more than my brain!

For the fully lined bodice I used some leftover fabric from a bed sheet so this really was a super-thrifty make. I’m sewing on borrowed time while the baby is napping so there was no time for faffing, and this dress worked out perfect for straight-forward assembly, which was great; there was no unpicking needed or confusing steps along the way.

New Look K6391 bodice

Since giving birth in October my body is obviously not back to its ‘normal’ size, so I was really careful with measuring myself and checking the sizing given on the pattern instructions. I was trying on the dress as best I could while sewing, but as I’m sure you’ve found if you’ve attempted this yourself, contorting yourself to work out the fit of a back-fastening garment before it’s finished is really hard! So I went ahead and chanced it and put the zip in and finished all my seams – BEFORE CHECKING IF IT DEFINITELY FIT PROPERLY. The end result? It did not fit.

The whole bodice sat completely away from my body, and although the shape was really nice, it was just floating on top of my torso – not the desired look. Even though I was careful with checking my measurements against the instructions, it came up so large and was going to take a lot of adjusting to get right. I just need to recut the pattern and start from scratch, so I asked my sister if she’d like to try it, and it looks great!

Free pattern + car boot sale fabric = bargain!

Sharing for the win. A bit needs taking in at the back and it needs hemming, but other than that this fits and looks so much better on Ellen than it did on me, so I’m glad I was able to make a dress for a loved one, and save myself a load of unpicking and altering!

Breakdown of costs:

Fabric: £2 (only used 2/3 of the total fabric)

Pattern: free with magazine

Zip: from stash

Total: £2