The Refashioners 2015 – Enter to win a HUGE prize package!!!

The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

Well…..I promised prizes for the community challenge element of The Refashioners 2015….and BOY do we have some prizes for you! This is ONE prize package that will be awarded to ONE lucky winner . Details on how to enter can be found here. But suffice to say, get a shirt, refashion it, SHARE it, and you will automatically be in with a chance of winning this PHENOMENAL prize package. It’s actually now worth over £600! The challenge is open internationally and the deadline for entry is being extended to Sunday 27th September. Because lets face it. Not a great deal of sewing gets done until the kids go back to school!! So without further ado…here’s the lowdown on what you could win…just for refashioning a shirt! I know!! Right?!

Megan Nielsen is adding print copies of her Darling Ranges, Brumby and Tania patterns into the mix…

The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Sally is taking part in this years Blogger Challenge but also has her own pattern line over at Capital Chic Patterns; and is gifting a PDF copy of her super cute Bellini shirt pattern. Gotta be a perfect partner for a shirt refashion, right?!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Dixie is also one of the awesome line up of bloggers taking part in The Refashioners 2015. (She’s a veteran you know! Having taken part in the first two series as well!) She’s donating a PDF copy of the gorgeous Bonnell Dress from her pattern line at Dixie DIY

The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Lisa and the team at Sew Over It are giving away a PDF copy of their gorgeous Vintage Shirt Dress pattern and taking part in the blogger challenge to boot…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

By Hand London will let the lucky winner select any 3 PDF patterns of their choice from their fantastic pattern line. Here’s just a selection….but head over and have a browse and start planning what you would choose! Their very own Elisalex is part of this years blogger line up too!bhl

 

Tessuti Fabrics are offering the lucky winner two of their printed patterns. I’m currently crushing on their Sydney Jacket and have just completed my first (yet to be blogged) Suzy Pants; but head over and check out the rest of their line to see what else you could choose…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Closet Case Files are adding your choice of PDF pattern to this fantastic package. I keep thinking a shorty version of the Carolyn Pajamas would be an awesome shirt refashion! But there are so many gems to choose from! Take a look! Heather Lou is another of this years participants…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Grainline Studio are also adding in a PDF pattern of your choice! I want ALL the patterns! Jen Beeman is one of my style and sewing crushes. Love the simplicity of her designs. I have the Alder Shirtdress and keep meaning to try out a shirt refashion with that too…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Zoe, another veteran who’s been a part of The Refashioners journey right from the outset is throwing in a copy of her Dolores Batwing Pattern. This is one of those patterns I suspect you will end up making over and over again. I really must get round to making this!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Burdastyle UK are donating a FIVE pattern bundle from their huge range of digital patterns. (over 2500!) You could seriously lose half a day just browsing and picking the ones you want!!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package The Refashioners 2015

 

Marilla Walker is also taking part in this years challenge and offering up a PDF copy of her Maya Pattern (one of my TNT patterns. I have six to date!)  from her pattern line PLUS 1m of hand painted fabric to the lucky winner…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

DIY Couture – A signed copy of this fantastic book from the author herself Rosie Martin. Rosie couldn’t take part in this years challenge because she is busy writing her next book! If it’s anything like as good as this one…I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for that one!!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Wendy Ward is not only part of this year’s line up, but she is also throwing in a signed copy of her brilliant book The Beginners Guide to DressmakingThe Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Simply Sewing Magazine are gifting a 1 year subscription to the magazine!! (Print if you are UK based and digital if not). I write a refashioning piece for the magazine every month; and guess who’s shirt refashion is gracing the front cover there? 😉  Just another possible way to go about your shirt refashion…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Craftsy are giving one lucky winner their choice of online class from their huge range. I’m intrigued by this pattern drafting one, but you could pick ANY class you like. Go browse!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Tilly is offering a place on her new online workshop. So if jersey is your nemesis…that’s you sorted! (Did you know Tilly took part in the very first series of The Refashioners back in 2011?) Taught through videos, the workshop shows you stress-free tips and techniques for sewing stretchy jersey on a regular sewing machine – no overlocker or serger required! AND it includes a free digital copy of the new Agnes pattern 😉The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Sew Crafty are donating this sewing essentials toolkit plus a bonus suprise gift…(a yet to be released new product 😉 Keep an eye on their IG feed for deets!)The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Fabric Godmother is gifting TEN spools of Gutermann thread. Your choice of colours from their online stock PLUS this super cute Lace Collar Kit PLUS a £25 gift voucher to spend in their online store! Wow!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Sewbox are donating……TWO metres of your choice of Liberty fabric from their online range!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Minerva Crafts are giving the lucky winner a £20 gift card to spend in their huge online store!main-header

 

Greys Fabric…as well as lending us Sarah to participate in the blogger challenge…are giving the winner $25 to spend in store or online…if the amount of underwear popping up on my IG feed is anything to go by, then these Watson Kits are worth a look!The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

 

The Village Haberdashery is gifting a £25 gift voucher to spend in store or online too, courtesy of the lovely Annie..

The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

Cashmerette (Jenny is among the line up too!) is offering the winner a copy of her newly released Curvy Sketchbook.  A book of fashion Croqui customised to your  exact silhouette, the Cashmerette Curvy Sketchbook line was designed to help you design and plan your wardrobe on a figure that looks like yours! The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

 

The Personal touch!

Wanting to add a little gift of their own, a number of this year’s line up have delved into their own stashes or made something with their own hands to add to the prize pool…

Tasha is gifting a vintage pattern and notions from her personal collection…The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

Marie is adding these beautiful reproduction patterns from her personal stash of vintage and vintage inspired patterns (which I’m reliably informed is somewhat impressive!)The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

Jenna is another vintage devotee and is adding these two vintage patterns into the mix…Jenna

Ingrid  sells her handmade accessorieson Etsy; and she’s used the leftover scraps from her shirt refashion to make these zippered pouches to add to the prize package!Refash results 5

 

and finally…Erin made these indigo shibori bandanas!calivintage_com_indigo

 

Update 08/082015  – Just Added!!! These 3 amazing titles courtesy of Quadrille Craft!!quadrille prizes

And there we have it!!

Now tell me….isn’t that a good reason to raid your men’s wardrobes and get refashioning?!!

The Refashioners 2015 Awesome Prize Package

Full details on how to enter can be found in this post. UPDATE/REMINDER: for those of you who have already read that post…I am extending the entry deadline to Sunday 27th of September. So the Community challenge will continue past the blogger challenge and into September 🙂

The Refashioners 2015 starts on Monday 3rd August. Oh, and it’s gonna be AWESOME!! 😉

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Can’t have it all…

In my last post I alluded to some changes that were afoot. Well if you follow me on instagram you’ll understand why sewing (and this blog) has been completely on the back foot of late. Aside from going from stay at home Mum to working full time for the past year, on 25th August, a soggy bank holiday, we moved house. So every spare moment or day off in the run up to “the move” was spent decluttering, organising, packing and cleaning. Every spare moment or day off since has been spent unpacking, organising, planning, decorating and gardening. All against the backdrop of some health issues that meant my energy levels were at an all time low.

When I was younger I moved alot. My parents were in the RAF and in my teens and twenties I’d move from one short term rental to another without so much as a second thought. A house was just a place to lay my head, get changed and keep my stuff. Didn’t phase me at all. But for some reason this particular move sent me into a bit of a spin. Perhaps because I was already exhausted before we even started. Perhaps because the house we moved from had just got to a point where it worked and flowed perfectly for us. (At least before my OH’s teen moved in and space became an issue). Perhaps it’s because it’s the longest I’d lived anywhere and I’d subconsciously put down roots for the first time in life. Perhaps, and most likely, because it was the house where Elliott reached all of his major milestones. First words. First steps. First everything really. It was the house where we went from being in pretty dire straits to being fully back on our feet. I’d never really experienced being attached to a home before. And it didn’t really dawn on me until the night before moving day that that was what I was feeling. A wrenching feeling. A feeling of being dragged away from somewhere I didn’t want to leave to somewhere I didn’t want to go. (The move was a purely practical one and I bore no feeling of excitement about the property we were moving to. It’s bigger…that’s all).  So I spent the first few weeks here fluctuating between melancholy, irritability and feeling a bit out of control….

My way of processing this was to throw myself into physical activity. I have a mentality where, in times of emotional stress, I just stick my head down, stay busy and plough forward until I come out the other side. We always come out the other side eventually, and for me, the “waiting it out” phase goes alot quicker when I pack my days so much that I have less time to wallow or give in to negative feelings. It helps me feel like I’m grabbing those feelings by the horns and wrestling them. Controlling them rather than having them control me.  If this house wasn’t what I wanted, then I sure as hell am not going to stop until I make it loveable. So this is what the last couple of months has looked like on days off….

I’ve been a bit of a thing possessed. And while I have been physically exhausted for weeks, mentally I’m getting back to my usual upbeat, optimistic self. I detest being negative as it really isn’t my natural state.

Undoubtedly, a contributing factor to my low mood, has been the lack of time to fit it all in. Time to spend with Elliott without being cranky because I’m exhausted and then feeling  like crap because I snapped at him over something trivial, and then seeing the look of hurt on his face. Awful. Just awful.  I haven’t been able to indulge my creative passions as much as I did. Having space to sew is somewhat of a factor when you’re living amongst boxes without even a table. But the biggest factor is time. Time to fit it all in. Work. Conscious parenting. Relationships. Housework. Oh yeah, and at the end of that list…me time. Maybe it’s selfish, but I can’t indefinately sustain any of those other things unless I have time to do the things that bring me pleasure and feed my soul. I’ve tried, and I can’t. I literally cannot do all of those things. Hats off to those that can. But I can’t. I cannot do it all. There. I said it!


 Time has been a factor for the past year due to my job and more recently the move as well.  Trying to do it all isn’t working. It just isn’t. So recently J and I have been reviewing our work/life balance. J is struggling too. What was meant to be a part time position to supplement my full time wage and allow J to be available for childcare, has turned into a full time job for him too. He’s currently juggling business calls and paperwork with a 5 year old tugging at his shirt and wanting attention. So now we’re both working full time, financially better off,  but both trying to fit everything in on our days off (which are rarely together) and not really managing to stay on top of everything without being constantly on the verge of exhaustion. And my little Tornado? He’s confronted with two cranky parents who just need him to play on his own for a bit so they can sit at opposite ends of the sofa and not say anything!

It’s by no means a special situation. And it’s not a “poor us”. I know families across the country/world struggle with the same issues. I think for us, we have to make a change. We can’t have it all, and it’s a question of deciding what our priorities are. Financial comfort and a watered down family life OR less (but enough) money, and TIME. Time to shape and improve our quality of life. After all, that’s what money buys you. Time. It’s actually such a precious commodity. It’s finite, Once it’s used, it’s gone. You can’t buy it back further down the line. That particular moment, day, week…well it’s gone.
So I’ve decided I’m going to be more picky with how much of my time I “sell”. An opportunity arose in my job where cutting my hours back would solve their problem and mine. So I took it. And as of the end of this month I am officially part time and no longer working weekends.

More time for family at the weekends. And some time for me to make a return to some creativity and blogging 🙂 And I can’t wait! For the first time in months I’m feeling excited about the future again. I lost that for a while and it’s essential to me for my happiness. I guess my point is, life’s too short. If the status quo isn’t making you and yours happy, then it isn’t working and something has to give. Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile…

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Instagram Crush…

I’ve recently discovered a bit of a love affair with instagram. Why it’s taken me so long, I don’t know! But it kinda suits me. Every day there are the little things that I see that I think are cute, funny, interesting, joyous, or that sum up a moment, a day, a feeling….

and for me instagram is proving a perfect way to capture little snapshots of daily life that collectively form a photographic patchwork that I can look back on and go “oh yeah! that was cool/lovely/beautiful/funny! I remember that day :)”…

…anyway, I haven’t been able to post to this blog as much as I used to since I started full time gainful employment .That’s not to say there aren’t several posts in the works! Snapshots of them appear daily on my instagram account and will eventually appear on here once I get to writing them up…

But in the meantime, if you fancy stopping by and saying hi on instagram (missing you guys!) then you can find me here

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Are you your own worst critic?

I came across this unfinished sketch last night while rummaging through a box looking for something else completely…and it made me think….

When I drew this over a year ago (I haven’t drawn anything since), I wasn’t particularly happy with it. Whilst I was drawing it I was so intensely focussed on it that all I could see were the parts that were unfinished or not quite there yet. Looking at it now, I take a different view. Dare I say it, I think it’s just lovely as it is.

I have a tendency to over analyse, over criticise everything I do. Work, home, hobbies, parenting, everything. While all those around me are telling me, “that’s amazing” I am telling myself  “that’s not good enough”. I instinctively dismiss compliments from loved ones as ” just being kind” or coming from a place of bias. I’m harsher on myself than I would EVER be on anyone else. For the longest time, I felt this was an admirable trait. Always pushing myself to do better. But there’s a negative side to that too. If you can never allow yourself to be happy with what you’ve achieved, then when will you ever feel that sense of fulfilment and achievement that is surely the end goal of any pursuit?

I’m not saying I’ve found the answer, and I don’t think the answer is to stop pushing myself to do better. But maybe I….maybe you too…maybe we need to give ourselves a break now and then. Just allow ourselves to believe what others our telling us. That actually, what we do, whether that be sewing, sketching, work, parenting…whatever…is actually pretty ok. And we are allowed to feel a bit proud of what we do now and then…?

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