Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Impromptu button hole gauge... and a giveaway!

Visiting my parents on the weekend was looking a bit tricky because I had a lot of Tulip Dress sewing to do. Solution: do both. I can talk and sew, and drink tea and sew. No problem.

While two of my older sisters sat neatly with their embroidery, I spread out with sewing machine, a pile of dresses and bags of buttons and threads. (In other words, assumed the position of my 16-year-old self on the kitchen table). The one thing I forgot was a tape-measure.

..but placing buttonholes is not a problem when there are paper napkins around!


Who needs a button hole gauge...? (...well, actually, that's the next gadget on my list!).
The Tulip Dress is in its final stages. See my Flickr page for a few more pics. You might also start to see some pattern testing pics popping up on a few blogs. Here it is at Matching Pegs and two versions at Thornberry. It's also here at My Black Cardigan.

If you'd like to go into a draw to win a pattern for yourself, leave a comment here. I'll draw the prize when the pattern is ready to go up on the website. For a second chance at the pattern and a chance to win a yard/metre of fabric from my stash AS WELL, you can blog about it and leave another comment to tell me you've linked....


If you have any stories about improvised sewing gadgets, I'd love to hear them, too (not a rule of the giveaway.... just for fun!).


Which brings me to the monthly spend-over $50 prize. This month's prize will be ALSO be a copy of the Tulip Dress pattern - hot off the press! All invoices over $50 for the month of January will be going into the draw. So... a few chances to WIN WIN WIN!
EDITED TO ADD - Thank you - the draw is now closed!!

73 comments:

Becky said...

I would love to win this pattern. Have loved seeing it at Lara's.

I don't have an improvised sewing story, but my husband did just have to make me some 5.5mm double pointed needles by chopping up a standard pair of needles and carving points on the ends for me. Worked a treat!

JodieMo said...

What a sweet dress! My little redhead would look adorable in one! Thanks for the opportunity!

You know those wooden iron things? They are perfect for pushing down the backs of magnetic snaps!

Handmade said...

Great improv! Cute dress - are you sure you're willing to part with some of your stash?

Tawny said...

That's awesome. Those dresses are adorable.

My sewing improvisation comes from my brother. Growing up with a seamstress mom, he learned how to sew alongside me and my sister. So when he couldn't find any car seat covers that he liked, he decided to make his own. But they needed to be manly (even though he was hand sewing them himself), so he used washers instead of grommets hehehe. Pretty much the same thing I guess. He sewed them in securely and they looked cool and worked properly to attach the covers onto the seats. Nice!

Anita said...

I would love a chance to win a copy of the dress pattern. Very cute and summery!

Jodie said...

This dress is absolutely gorgeous. I can definitely see my 2 year old in one (or two or three) of these!

Amanda said...

Love the little girl dress, have blogged the give away to all my cyber friends. What size will the pattern go up to?

our shabby cottage said...

It looks great Nikki. Well done on the improvisation too!

Sally said...

That is a really beautiful dress. I am so looking forward to the pattern being released.
You're a very talented person Nikki - I hope you are thrilled with yourself and can find some time to enjoy your success.

KathyB said...

Lovely pattern Nikki, Would really enjoy sewing it for my granddaughters. Good luck with the success of it!!

ambette said...

Cute dress, Nikki!

I'm usually always improvising when it comes to most things (I think it comes from growing up on a farm), but I can't for the life of me think of a sewing improv story!

Lara said...

That's lovely. I'd love to try to make one for my niece.

Tania - Jet Designs said...

Hi Nikki - long time between posts for me - glad to see you doing really well - love the new dress pattern - would love to make one for Ella - haven't been doing much sewing lately mainly making beads

Tania - Jet Designs said...

Just linked your giveaway on my blog

Lady Bug Cat said...

Lovely dress!
I use pegs when sewing curtain backing, so I dont put holes in it.

nicp42 said...

I'd love to have a go at making the dress. Very sweet and would delicious on friends' little girl.

Karen said...

Would love to bein the running to win Nikki - and a new gadeget - had never heard of a button-hole guage!
I've often done the 'use a piece of string' measuring trick when I have left my tape measure lying around in the bottom of the girls dress-up box - yeah sure it was me that left it there!

Handmade said...

I've blogged about your giveaway ..... www.handmade-andsewitseams.blogspot.com

thewinkingfrog said...

Count me in, please!

Your improvisation shows true ingenuity and creativity.

I once wanted to make myself a shopping bag, but had run out of boning, so I grabbed some plastic cable ties out of the garage and used those. Worked a treat!

Fiona

tea and cake said...

Ooh, I have a dark-haired, curley grand-daughter who would suit this, perfectly! My improv is similar to yours in fact, but not for sewing. It's when you have to hang something on the wall that needs two or more pins - use a piece of cardboard to mark out the holes on the item - I find it's more accurate than the tape measure!

amy said...

Hi Nikki...can't think of any good examples except using paper clips as knitting stitch markers........the dress pattern looks really sweet!

Tanya said...

This is a very lovely giveaway, thanks Nicole! sorry about the very boring comment, no more brain for tonight!

prashant said...

What a sweet dress! My little redhead would look adorable in one! Thanks for the opportunity!

Work from home India

Posie Patchwork said...

Absolutely, i take my small back up sewing machine to my parents & simple sewing projects cut & ready to be sewing in straight lines. I have to say, i've used paper napkins as well, hilarious, i'm not weird, or maybe we both are?? Beautiful work, love Posie

eeloh said...

Hello Nikki,
I'd love to try the tulip dress pattern. It looks nice and simple, and I'd probably do it in a very plain fabric, say linen (or similar), with maybe some applique or grosgrain above the hem for interest.
I also like the idea of doing what seems to be - correct me if I'm wrong - a kind of bubble effect at the bottom? I also like the bias finish on the sleeves.
And I know I would especially like it if it didn't have a bodice lining! But that would be greedy... maybe?

laura said...

Love Love love Tulips...and in the shape of a Dress....beautiful

I would love to win a copy and some inpsiring fabric from the stash!!

My sewing improvisation is also my motto...'creative' sewing is great sewing and even better when nobody can tell!!

eeloh said...

Damn... I took a second bite of that cherry and have linked to your giveaway on my blog:
http://eeloh.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/look-what-i-made/

Kate said...

The tulip dress looks gorgeous and I'd love to sew up some for my girls. As a 'dress maker' with no training I feel like I am constantly improvising techniques and gadets but right nthis second I can't even think of one example. It'll all come flooding back the second I press publish.

Leisurely Lesley said...

Wow, lovely pattern and gorgeous use of fabric. Beautifully made as well. Would love to be able to make the same for my two granddaughters.

rachelmp said...

Just love the tulip dress pattern Nikki! I do have three boys who are well trained sewing unpickers.

Bec @ honi design said...

Oh I LOVE buying new tools, but I also like improvising. For button hole spacing I use a compass with an erasable marker in the pencil slot. Works a treat :)

beccasauras said...

Ooh, I'd love a pttern, i'm trying to get your whole collection. remeber I asked you about a boxed set? haha The girl would wear it becausr you designed it :)

debbiekl said...

What a cute dress! I like the different variations the pattern testers did. Thanks for the chance!

Stephanie and Carlos said...

How generous are you!!?? I would love this pattern to make for a few little girls I know... oh and my little girl too!!

xo Steph

Tas said...

Oooh, I'd love to win a pattern.

méri said...

I almost forget your giveaway!!!
Count with me. Despite I'm not a sewing "girl" I would try this for my two grand daughters... :)

stacysews said...

You know I'm sure I have a story on an impromptu sewing gadget, but I can't think of one off hand. Of course, I will remember one after I send in this comment - because that's the way it always seems to work! Thanks for the chance at a giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Hallo from snowy SWEDEN. What a nice summery dress!! My little granddaughters would look lovely in theese! It would be nice to win a pattern at your giveaway.But if I do not,I just HAVE to get it as soon as it is for sale.
Elna Gustavsson elnagustavsson@yahoo.se

ChickieChirps said...

What a cute dress! Would love to win the pattern!
Can't think of any impromptu sewing gadgets just now... when I head up to my Mum's to go sewing I tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink!

Jots Mum said...

Love the pattern nikki. would be great to win.

I don't really improvise when sewing - I am still so new to it I am scared to do anything that I'm not told to :)

fionasfolly said...

Super pattern, reminds me of when my girls were little, still hoping for a grand daughter one day that I could make your tulip dress, heaps of improvising in my time, but can't think of one right now. I'm now on the nicolemdesigns addiction list.

ange_moore said...

Just popped over here from CurlyPops - I have a nearly 4 year old girl who is in the midst of her "twirly girly dress" phase so perhaps a tulip dress or two may suit her!

Fer said...

Aw gorgeous!!

SuBoo said...

My niece would love a dress like that!

skinnyknatter said...

I would love love love to be in the draw for this. I have a daughter who would look adorable in this dress, and it is my goal to getting seriously sewing this year. thanks, great blog! Beaut pattern!

chantalsews said...

Thank you for this giveaway, I would love to win this pattern, and also the fabric.

For a button spacing guide, I use my computer! I use Adobe Illustrator, I make a rectangle with the right measurements, then add as many lines as I need for buttons, and then I used the Align feature, that evenly spaces out the lines, so then I print this and use it to mark my buttons...all this takes me less then a minute.
http://chantalsews.wordpress.com/

Andrea said...

love love love me a good giveaway...!

Meredith Morgans said...

How lovely! I am a new sewer and would love a chance to try something so cute! Thank you for the opportunity.
Meredith

Dawn said...

Gorgeous dress and Model... would love to be in the draw.... I've not made any clothes for a little while and not a dress... my two precious DD would love it..
Hugs Dawn x x x

Tania said...

A Tulip Dress Pattern Giveaway, huh? I'm forgetting any lottery ticket I was thinking about purchasing and pinning my hopes on this! No pressure or anything.

Caryn said...

Count me in for the giveaway.
Thanks

Caryn said...

I've blogged about the giveaway for a second entry and change to win a piece of fabric too.

http://karunui.blogspot.com/2010/01/nicole-mallalieu-giveaway.html

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I would have never thought about that! Such a smart girl!

Teegs said...

Hi Nikki,
Would love the chance to win your new pattern, really appreciate all your tips and thorough explanations - I am learning so many new things with each pattern! x

Little Munchkins said...

I would love to be in for a chance to win the pattern. In fact, I already know which fabric to use!

méri said...

Thanks for the photo! I've blogged about the giveaway :)

Jes said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you develop this pattern and all the little sneak peeks. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to try it out for my daughter.

fethiye said...

Cute dress! I think my girlfriends 3 girls would get one of those if I had a pattern. :)

Little Miss Flossy said...

Oh I'd love a chance at the new pattern, it's so sweet!

trash said...

Have I not entered this already??!?!

Julie said...

I love this pattern-just the thing for my two lovely nieces!
I have a sewing tip: never cut your pattern. Trace it onto lightweight interfacing. That way you have a strong reusuable pattern plus the original pattern untouched. Handy if you need to trace out another pattern.

Christine said...

I love to sew and with 4 little granddaughters I am sure this pattern would be well used.

NotSewShabby said...

OOOOhhh I love that pretty little dress, and your photoshoot is perfect! Would love to have a copy of your pattern and I have also blogged about it :)
notsewshabby.blogspot.com

Tara

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

Very sweet dress! I have used paper items to measure many times. Plus, I think everyone needs to know how long their fingers are in inches and how big their palm is, etc. It helps when you need a quick measurement and forget a tape measure/ruler.

Lulu said...

What a lovely pattern. And I love little girls arms in dresses. Please put me in the draw.

Umma crafty squirrel said...

Love, the dress and your impromtu button hole guage. Can't wait to check out the dress pattern. yeah, beautiful fabric you're offering too.

Umma crafty squirrel said...

Blogged about your give away here

http://crankystitches.blogspot.com/2010/01/giveaway-win-free-tulip-dress-pattern.html

byebyebirdie said...

Would love to enter your giveaway. The dress pattern is very cute & I'm sure would look great on one of my four girls, or maybe all of them!

Helen said...

blogging and commenting is very new to me (dont know if it will work!) but here goes...the final dresses look great, the headless chick obviously has a great eye for designer fabric and i dont know what the sewing world would do without you. plus i think my charlie-girl would look lovely in your design!

Tammy said...

Wow what a cute as dress I would love to win the pattern. I could see my daughter owning one dress for each day of the week....Tammy

Tammy said...

Great idea with the napkin, I have just posted a like to your giveaway on my blog. Fingers crossed I love the pattern.

amummy said...

THis dres is gorgeors.

Liz said...

I think my whole sewing journey is improvised :) Gorgeous dress!