Forgotten celebrations (and a giveaway!)

Well we had a bit of excitment here in Wellington yesterday afternoon/evening!


I mean, it snowed the other day, well not really, just in the hills and a little bit on our car when we were driving but I wouldn’t say anything turned white for very long, but tonight it really DID snow! So of course we had to go outside and get quite wet and cold but we got some neat photos. If you’re a little confused let me explain that it doesn’t normally snow in Wellington. Husband and I have been talking about trying snow boarding this season, I wish we’d bought boards, I could have had my first go down our driveway! But perhaps that’s a good thing, there isn’t exactly a soft landing at the bottom.

The scene this morning

Right, back to sewing. I think I may have finished* mucking around with my new blog theme. I can’t justify buying a domain or paying for the flash super-customise-able software and if I did that I’d probably have to give up one of my magazine subscriptions and that’s about as likely to happen as me using up my entire fabric hoard. Still, I think with a little kiwi ingenuity (kiwi readers are smiling and thinking about no. 8 wire) I’ve done ok and I’m pretty proud of the new look. I have a revised header now as well, a background and these neat little menu page things on the right to reduce the clutter. On top of all that I got my pages all fixed up (which was what finally pushed me over the “hrm, shall I have a go at my blog design or not?” edge) see them up the top there? Why don’t you click on over and see what you can learn? 😉


So let’s celebrate shall we? With all the excitement and stress of moving countries I managed to completely miss one exciting event and successfully forget another. The first was my blogging birthday, which I was quite excited about, and the second was my 30th birthday, which I was not so excited about. Actually that’s not entirely true. I love birthdays, just not the idea of hitting such a milestone. But I’ve been 30 now for almost 3 months and nothing bad has happened, I still feel how I felt when I was 29, which is how I felt when I was 28, and 27, and 26 so I guess I’ll cope 😉

This year I wanted to start a new birthday tradition of making a birthday dress each year. Some of the wonderful sewing bloggers that I follow do this and I really like the concept. I started thinking about it 2 months before it was thwarted by my life getting stuffed into some boxes. The plan was to start it in May each year, ready for my birthday in June.

I have plenty of pretty dresses in my “to sew list”. So, what would make a good (if a little belated, ok, a lot belated) birthday dress project?

First up is the everyone-else-has-made-it-but-me Vogue 8280 (aka Rouland Mouret Galaxy Dress) and I even bought fabric for it from Tessuti online and made up a Photoshop image to get me all excited. Also in my queue from Colette Patterns is the Parfait and Rooibos patterns and Simplicity’s 2724 ever since I saw Sunni’s Naughty Secretary Dress version.

Possible "birthday" dresses

My last mega-pattern purchase included Buttericks 5455, because who doesn’t love piping AND pockets? And several Vogues including 1190, 1161 and 1174, the last two because of Tasia’s amazing versions seen here and here.

More possible "birthday" dresses

For all of these dresses I could easily find an appropriate fabric in my stash so I’d still like to start this year but it may end up being a “Welcome Back Summer” or perhaps a Christmas dress instead. Life is busy at the moment so Christmas is an easy goal. Keep your eyes open, a dress labelled “birthday” might appear in a post sometime soon 😉

Now back to my blogoversary…it’s been a fun year and I’ve learnt a lot about my sewing. I’m not going to go over it all since I covered most of my last year in my new years post, but I’ve discovered a heap of new online and offline sewing friends with all their delicious inspirational blogs and knowledge and I’m really glad I started blogging.

So to celebrate just a wee bit and to make my blog feel all grown up I’m going to do a little giveaway. I’ve got something super amazing too, it’s a spare copy of one of my favourite Manequim issues!

Manequim 625

Isn’t that a really cool prize?! If you haven’t seen this incredible  issue then take a look at my post here, you’ll have to scroll down a bit past the Patrones review. But you’re not going to get it easily, you’ll have to work for it 😉 Here’s how:

Patrones 290 - Blouse #9

In my Patrones blouse post I mentioned a few mistakes I made during the sans-instruction construction process, like having to un-pick my topstitching to sew the neck facings. I also have no idea if I finished the arm holes correctly but they work anyway. There was one other mistake, something that I didn’t mention in my post let alone spot until I was all but finished and it embarrasses me that I made it. It’s an elementary super basic mistake that only another seamstress would probably notice. It doesn’t affect me wearing the blouse and indeed I wear this blouse all the time regardless but I know the mistake is there. It’s something technical, maybe even a little old fashioned and I notice it every time I put this blouse on.

Did you spot it?

It’s most visible on the finished item images. The first reader (and this excludes the two sewing friends I have disclosed this sewing secret to, you know who you are) to tell me what my silly little beginner mistake was in the comments on this post will win the super amazing Manequim issue above.

Then we can all giggle (and learn) from my mistake.

Now I think you chickies are all really smart so I’ll give you a week and then I’ll give up a clue if no-one gets. If you are the winner I will contact you for postage details and then let everyone know how lucky you are.

Good luck! 🙂

*That is a complete lie, I’ll probably tweak and re-tweak it forever and ever ad infinitum until I decide change it drastically again

16 thoughts on “Forgotten celebrations (and a giveaway!)

  1. Happy belated birthday Mel! The snow looks amazing – it looks so pretty. And I love the look of the blog. We had a BSC meet yesterday. You are very missed. My vote for the dresses would be the galaxy dress – very glam. Or the Vogue 1190.

  2. I love all your birthday choices, LOL! My Paternal Sewing Aunt (I have two) was the one who started me on the Birthday dress tradition. She used to make a really bright and beautiful dress every Dec. Happens, my birthday is in Dec so I picked up the habit really quickly. I don’t do it every year by have to start doing this again.

    Can’t wait to see what you made, LOVE all those patterns which are either owned by me or on the Wishlist of Death.

    • “Wishlist of Death”, love it, I have one of those too! I’ve boringly called it: “Patterns to buy next” but I think I’ll re-name it now 😀
      I think I’ve decided which dress to start with but I’m keeping it a secret for now xx

  3. “But I’ve been 30 now for almost 3 months and nothing bad has happened, I still feel how I felt when I was 29, which is how I felt when I was 28, and 27, and 26 so I guess I’ll cope” I couldn’t have said that better:)) I told you it won’t hurt, didn’t I?;)

    So fantastic to see know in August! For me it’s been a while…


  4. Aw, well done to Natasha and Tineke – I would have loved to win a copy of Manequim! Congrats on the Blog Birthday – and the big 3-0. I hit that last year…I was dreading it too, but just like you discovered it didn’t actually make any difference to my life! lol.
    And so many gorgeous dress patterns, how will you choose which to make!

    • I know right? The world didn’t end and I didn’t suddenly wake up older – silly age numbers, about as useful as ready-to-wear size numbers aren’t they! 😉 I think I may have chosen which dress to do first, hehe, but I’m keeping it a secret for now xx

  5. I think your buttons and buttonholes are on the wrong sides — traditionally women’s blouses are the opposite. Still a cute blouse, though. I never enter giveaways, but I was just looking on eBay yesterday trying to decide which single issue of Manequim to try, inspired by your reviews. I subscribe to Patrones, but many issues are have gotten very boring for me. It used to be way more fun to receive.

    • Oh wow! I made that waaay to easy didn’t I, can you tell I’m a giveaway n00b? 😉 hehe Tineke beat you to it but you are absolutely correct. However since you posted only 2 hours after her and you’re both first time commentors (therefore your comments went to my moderation box) I’m going to give you a prize too. I have a second Manequim magazine so since you’re thinking about subscribing I’ll help you with your first issue, it’s #624 ( which also an amazing issue and I think you’ll love it! 🙂 I’ll send you an email soon for your postal details

  6. Did you do your buttons the ‘male’ way (left-over-right) instead of the ‘female’ way (right-over-left)? I’m guessing a bit, based on your clues, It’s hard to see since I’m reading on a mobile!

    • Oh wow! I made that waaay to easy didn’t I, can you tell I’m a giveaway n00b? 😉 hehe Congrats Tineke you are absolutely correct. I even double checked before I started my button holes too and still put them on the wrong side. Oh well, no one (other than you and Natasha) have noticed yet so it’s still pretty much a secret. I’ll send you an email soon for your postal details 🙂

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