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#TheBigStitch campaign.

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During the month of July, the British Heart Foundation are running a fun challenge where you can pop over to your local BHF shop, purchase an item of clothing, therefore supporting their charity, and then have a bit of fun altering it and adding your own fashion flair to it!

Off I went to my local BHF shop in Silver Street, Leicester, and selected a white top with black spots for the bargain price of £2.79.

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After running it through the wash, I took a good look at it and decided what I wanted to do.

I knew I needed to take it in at the sides, shorten the sleeves, and maybe take a strip from around the bottom and gather it before sewing it back on. I also knew that I wanted to use some pretty floral bias tape from my sewing stash that I had made some time ago.

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This was ‘before’

First things first, and this was brutal, was to work out how much I needed to take in from the sides and pin and mark it and simply cut the excess away! I also measured how much I wanted to take off the length of the sleeves and cut those to length too. At the same time I removed a strip from around the bottom edge and gave that the chop too!

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After all that cutting, I re-pinned the side seams and simply sewed them back together again. It really was that easy.

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I did not need the sleeve or side seam offcuts, so these were discarded.

Next task was to overlock the bottom edge of the top. I also overlocked was the raw edge of the band that I had cut from around the bottom. Because the top was now a little narrower, this gave me a little length in this strip to gather it slightly and re-attach it, making a gentle ruffle around the bottom edge.

Finally, to finish off the neckline, I chose to edge it with some pink floral bias tape. I made this using scrap fabric from my stash using this tutorial.

Whilst I was at it, I thought I might as well edge the sleeves with the bias tape too!

Simple, quick and easy, the whole thing took me about 45 mins.

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This was ‘after’

This has been a fun way of taking a pre-loved item and making it your own. I am pleased that a top that I would have previously passed by, is now something that I can reach for and feel confident in.

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Have you taken part in the #TheBigStitch challenge? Or perhaps re-fashioned an old item of clothing?

As always it would be lovely to hear from you.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Dressmaker of the Year – Winner for the ‘Ready to Wear’ Category.

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I’m still pinching myself.

A few months ago, I decided to enter The Dressmaker of the Year competition. Not because I thought I had any chance of coming anywhere, but because I noticed that if you entered you would receive a free sewing pattern.

I wasn’t sure which garment to enter, but in the end chose my Joni Dress by The Fold Line. My reasons for choosing this dress was that it had attracted several comments when I had worn it, so thought it might be a good one to choose, I also had no time to make up something new. Decision made. I put in an online entry, attached a photo of the dress, and chose the free pattern that I wanted to receive.

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The Joni Dress by The Fold Line

You could have knocked me over with a feather when, in March, I heard that I had been shortlisted as a finalist. No way!

The next thing to do was to send off my dress to London so that it could be examined by the panel of judges. It was at this point that I wished I had maybe made a garment specifically for this competition, rather that choosing something that I had made not knowing that it would be looked at in detail by a panel of sewing experts! Oh dear – too late now! I’m usually pretty careful with how my garment looks inside as well as out so kept my fingers crossed that it would be up to their standard too!

After a nail biting wait, I was (and still am) over the moon to hear that I had won first place in the ‘Ready to Wear’ category. Little old me, who would ever have thought!

This was such a wonderful surprise for me, especially as the competition had more than 1,200 entries from all over the world!

My prize was a sweet sewing basket from Korbond which will come in useful for all the little bits and bobs in my sewing space that currently don’t have a home.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed reading some lovely articles in Make it Today Dressmaker magazine and Sew magazine too. All very exciting! Thank you to these publications for organising such a fun competition! Thank you also to Brother, Create and Craft and Korbond for their generous prizes.

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The well deserved overall winner for her ‘Customising’ enry is Portia Lawrie. Her quilted upcycled denim jacket is superb and inspirational. I think you would love Portia’s website linked above, particularly at the moment as she is organising a huge huge raffle to support those affected by the Grenfell disaster, head on over to find out how you can join in!

The other three talented and creative sewists that are winners in their category are

  • Angela Green in the ‘vintage’ category
  • Georgia Marshall-Brown in the ‘children’s wear’ category
  • Harriet Johnson in the ‘reader’s choice’ category with her amazing Party Rings two-piece! Love this one!

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Thank you so much for all the sweet comments that so many of you have sent via social media when the winners were announced. I am so grateful for your support, and it means so much to me.

What I have learned from this whole experience, and what I am sharing with you today, is that we should just ‘go for it’ – you never know what might happen!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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‘Dressmaker of the year’ Finalist!

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Hi friends,

I recently had the amazing news that I had been shortlisted to be a finalist in the Make it Today Dressmaker Of The Year Awards. Yes, little old me.

This is a huge shock and I was totally blown away by this honour. The dress that I submitted was the Joni dress by The Fold Line.

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I loved making this dress, and the fabric was a particular favourite of mine too. If you are interested in reading the full review then you can do so here.

The dress has been sent off for judging in London, which I believe took place yesterday. I feel pretty nervous that such esteemed judges have been examining my dress in close detail!

Whilst the overall winners will be chosen by the judging panel, there is the opportunity for anyone to vote in the ‘Readers Choice’ category. If you take the time to vote you are automatically entered into a competition to win some great sewing prizes – a lovely sewing book bundle and a years subscription to either ‘Sew’ or ‘Make it Today’ magazine. These prizes are worth £230!

If you would like to have the chance to win these prizes, I will leave a link here, I think you will be impressed by the variety of entries – there is a childrens category, vintage, ready to wear and customising category, so why not take a look, have a little vote and give yourself a chance to win a great sewing prize at the same time!

Don’t hang about though! The entries for this will close on the 25th April!

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Whilst I am here, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support and encouragement that you have given me since I started this little blog last October. Yesterday I received a notification that 100 people are now following me, so if you are one of them, I would like to say a very big thank you, it means the world to me.

The good news is I have lots of sewing plans lined up, and I look forward to sharing these all with you!

Thank you all, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x