Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sewing serendipity and a giveaway

Talk about fate...

I have been reading Lazy Daisy Jones’ Sew-a-Long posts with interest and admiration. I would love to sew my own clothes; the skirts she has been making are simply fab.

When I was younger and single, my grandma made me loads of clothes...skirts, dresses, all beautifully tailored just for me in the fabrics of my choosing. Then I moved far away, was married, and it just wasn’t so easy to pop over to have a dress fitted.

I sewed a teensy bit with grandma when I was a little girl, a few basic techniques were learned in Home Economics class as a teen, then I pushed all the knowledge to the back of my mind. I figured I’d re-learn when I had a granddaughter who needed a skirt hemmed. Little did I realise that as an adult I would develop this love of craft and creativity, and seeing others around me making lovely garments has left me searching the outer reaches of my brain to find those long-lost skills.

But still I don’t feel confident enough to join Daisy’s sew-a-long. Someone obviously feels differently...

This arrived in the post three days ago. See the name scribbled on the front?

My grandma is enjoying the Mand-A-Long that I'm hosting with Daisy, and in her browsing she clicked over to Daisy’s blog (she is the tech-savviest 89-year-old around!). When she saw the sew-a-long pattern, she went rummaging around her pattern drawer and found the very same one!

Unbeknownst to me, at least four of the skirts in my wardrobe were made by Grandma using this pattern! A long black skirt for choir concerts, a suede-y camel basic skirt, a casual denim, and a fun cherry print I chose when Bunny was small.

Grandma sees no reason why I can’t join the sewing party, because she’s already done the tricky work of cutting the pattern to my size. How can I argue? Serendipity has given me the opportunity to make a new skirt. So it is with a bit of trepidation that I join the sew-a-long, but I’m going to Skype my grandma when I hit the tricky bits. And now I get to buy some new pretty fabric!

In other sewing news, a short while back I mentioned a new stitching project:

I have made a WIP bag

Large enough to store a current work-in-progress

I’m quite pleased with how this turned out, I made it up myself, you see...and I’d like to give it to you!

To celebrate my one-year blogiversary, I’m giving away this WIP bag to a lucky reader. I enjoyed making it so much, I’m going to make more; I have more pink fabrics, I'd like some violet shades, and I’m playing around with combinations of blue...

So to enter, please leave a comment below, and tell me which colour combo you prefer, pink or blue!

Entries will close on Saturday, 12 April, at midday, and the winner will be announced after. I am so grateful for all the comments and support I’ve received from all of you during my first year of blogging, I want to give something back!

Now I must get out the skirt pattern and start figuring out how to make a garment...

Happy crafting!

Chrissie x


  1. Thanks Chrissie. I love the pink one.
    Goodness I wish I could sew - but it's a big expense to buy a machine to find I'm as useless as I was when I was at school! I'm not sure I've got any spare time either! x

  2. Chrissie....

    I cannot stop laughing, your grandma is the bestest...I love her already! how wonderful...and no excuses now...hahaha giggle giggle
    This is the first thing I sat down to read as we have just got back from our stay 'up northish' and it has made my day...what a lovely lady do say hello to her, she sounds amazing...d xx

    ps you can ring me too if you get stuck...just cut it out and get it ready for next week when we start sewing!!

  3. PPS.. I prefer blue..!!

  4. Lovely bag,perfect for spring.Love it,thank you for the chance to win it.Have a great new week.

  5. This is so gorgeous! I love your fonts on the lettering! Happy 1-year - here is to many many more. I love the blues you have picked.

  6. Good for your Grandma...looking forward to seeing your skirt! :)
    Love your WIP bag...would love blue, if I should be so lucky!!!!
    V xx

  7. The pink bag is beautiful, but blue is my favorite color, so I would have to go with blue.

    Isn't life strange, your grandma having used the exact same pattern as the sew-a-long? My mom used to sew for me, but I too only have basic sewing skills. I would love to learn more, but with two kids, I find it hard to find the time. Good luck with your skirt!

    lisejackson000 at gmail dot com

  8. It was meant to be ! How exciting Chrissie, I think you'll take to it like a duck to water and then there'll be no stopping you. The possibilities are endless.
    You are so clever to have made such a beautiful bag, and such a lovely Giveaway to celebrate your Anniversary. Love the pink !
    Have a great week,
    Kate x

  9. how amazing she had the pattern and sent it to you! how sweet and no excuses now (actually I can't talk, my finger has hovered over buying the pattern a couple of times now! .....oh and blue, blue, blue! a very sweet bag for little projects on the go. Heather x

  10. Amazing how fate gets involved.....The bag is amazing, brilliant for taking a project along with you. I would love to be entered in you anniversary draw and like both colour options.

  11. wow!! Chrissie!! that is so beautiful!!! very neatly done!! thanks for the giveaway!! and I would prefer pink.. it is sooo lovely :)
    Moxie Craftie

  12. Good for you for joining. If I didn't have so many things going at the moment I would also, but I got to learn my limits. Isn't it amazing how many things we learn from our granny's. Mine loved to sew as well and passed on her knowledge, for which I am very grateful. Yours sounds like a lot of fun and still very active. That's just wonderful. And she skype's too. How amazing is that. Looking forward to seeing your finished skirt. Have lots of fun with it.
    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday!
    Please come and join my Link-Yourself Monday party:

  13. I also would love to join Lazy Daisy's sew-a-long, but unfortunately I don't have a grandma to help me :-), and my sewing machine skills are terrible (well, to be honest, I don't have any skills in that department...)
    Can't you borrow me your grandma for a while ;-) ? Just long enough to make the skirt ? ;-)
    PS your bag is w├│nderful !!!

  14. That's really neat. I know you'll be able to make a beautiful skirt all by yourself. I'd love to be entered, thank you for the chance to win.

  15. Brilliant that your Grandma did this. Was too scared to become involved in the sew a long. Fab idea for the WIP bag, it's very pretty. My preference would be blue :) x

  16. Both blue and pink are gorgeous! I would love either. And don't get too worried about the skirt, I made it last year at a beginners sewing class and it was great-if I can do it you definitely can!:0) xx

  17. What a lovely Grandma you have to send the pattern over to you!! I hope that you are able to make a skirt and that you enjoy doing it!!! xx

  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your grandma ..... she is the sweetest and loveliest lady!
    (if you read this Chrissie's Grandma ..... I am sending you a BIG hug and a kiss ;o)
    I know you can do it Chrissie just look at the beautiful bag you just whipped up and your embroidery panel is wonderful! please pop my name into your hat x
    Happy sewing!
    love Jooles x x x

  19. Nice bag ! Perfect for your creations !
    Have a nice and creative week !

  20. Go Grandma!!
    I love the blues!

  21. Now Chrissie, you can consider this your telling off. Of course you can make that skirt! Honestly, it's not so hard, I managed to make one and you have the support of your grandma and the internet group. But you won't need it, promise, you'll do great! Love that WIP bag, it's just gorgeous, though I'm a blue kinda girl!

  22. Such a pretty bag pink please. Fate is a funny old thing good luck with the skirt making, I just ordered my very first sewing machine eek
    Clare x

  23. You can totally make the skirt and rock it as you wear it:) Good luck! Can't wait to see the finished project.
    The bag is adorable - love the pinks!

    Jenn @JennsCraftyWorld

  24. What a brilliant grandma! My auntie sends me blog related things from reading my blog but that is something else. I would love to win your bag - lord knows I have plenty of WIP choice to put in it! I am compiling a palette of blues for my next quilt and it would be great to store the squares. Jo xx

  25. That bag is gorgeous Chrissie - thanks for the chance to win it, I'd love the pink if I won! Good luck making the skirt, definitely sounds like it was meant to be. I have been toying myself with whether to make that skirt or not - I just want to make sure I'd wear it before I put all that effort in! Maria x

  26. I know what you mean. I keep looking at quilting but chickening out from trying. Still I have recently started knitting so I have hope!!!!! I'd usually pick blue but in this case I love the pink one!

  27. Chrissie there will be no stopping you once you've made your first's addictive believe me!! I LOVE it that your Grandma is encouraging you, mine did me when I was younger. Your bag is gorgeous...the embroidery is perfect...please do count me in and if I were lucky enough to win...surprise me. Sarah xo

  28. I wish I had someone like your grandma! As a teenager I would buy material on Saturday morning, make a dress in the afternoon and wear it at night! However with age I have lost my confidence so I really must get my mojo up and running.
    Your bag is fab and if I was lucky enough to win, I would choose the blue colour. Xx

  29. If you can make a bag like that you can make a skirt! How lovely to have a Grandma who made you lots of lovely clothes, and Knows you can do it too! Go for it!
    I always used to make lots of my own clothes, but got out of the habit over the last 10 years or so as it became harder to find good fabrics as so many fabric shops went. But with all the online shops selling gorgeous fabric I have no excuse now really............
    I would love to join in the giveaway please, and would choose the blue if I were the lucky one!
    Have a great week Chrissie!
    Gill xx

  30. Loving your techie supergran, she's a star! Good luck with the stitch-a-long and I'll look forward to seeing how you get on. I'd love to be entered into the draw and think the pink bag would be my choice if I was lucky enough to win.

  31. Dear Chrissie
    I am taking the plunge too with the skirt making, but unfortunately my Gran isn't around to help (she would have been a great hep too as she made clothes for me and dolls clothes for my toys too. Your grandma sounds amazing! Good luck with the skirt - we're in this together!
    I would love to be in the giveaway - I would have to go with the blue, but actually, all the options look and sound lovely.
    Best wishes

  32. I wish I had a grandma like yours! As a teenager I would buy material on a Saturday morning (with my pocket money) make a dress in the afternoon and wear it at night! Alas, with age comes loss of mojo... and time. Perhaps I should make a concerted effort with the sewing machine.
    Your bag is fab and if I was lucky enough to win I would love the blue colour. X

  33. Good for your gran. She sounds a very clued up lady!

  34. It's a gorgeous bag and would be stunning in blue! :)

  35. It is a beautiful bag, I think I would favor the blue, if you are interested in shipping all the way over here count me in.

  36. What a wonderful grandma you have, Chrissie! You have made such a lovely bag, I am sure you will do well making the skirt too. Thank you for such a lovely giveaway......if I was lucky enough to win I would love a blue please put my name in the hat!
    Helen xox

  37. Congratulations on your onw-year blogiversary. The bag is lovely, I'm going to say pink. Living in a house of boys I have to get my pink where I can find it. Good luck with the sew-along, I shall look forward to seeing what you make. It's something I'd like to try myself one day.

  38. Lovely Chrissie what a fabulous Grandma you have, you must be delighted. Like you I am not competent enough to make a skirt but I will be watching your progress with lots of interest. Would love love love to win one of your fabulous bags Chrissie, happy birthday. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed, big hugs

  39. Your wip bag is adorable.
    If I were the lucky chosen one I would love the pink, no the blue, no no, definately the pink, I think - to be honest I would be thrilled with either colour.
    Looking forward to seeing your finished sew-a-long.

  40. Oh Chrissie I loved this post and your grandma! When I got down as far as you bag I thought 'how pretty is that'? Then it slowly dawned on me that this might be your giveaway.... wow, thank you for the opportunity Chrissie and such a lovely way to celebrate your first blogiversary. I was surprised to find you had only been blogging a perhaps there's hope for me with mine :-) If I was to win I would choose pink please.
    Tracey xx

  41. Of course you must join Daisy's sew-along Chrissie, your Grandma has every confidence in you and there can be no better endorsement than that. You've just made a lovely bag and also the sewing machine cover not so long ago - enjoy your skirt-making journey! Please include me in your giveaway draw, I like blue. Have a lovely week.
    Jane x

  42. What a wonderful gift, you really ought to have a go at this. I love your bag in both colours, if you do not mind I would like to copy your idea for the patchwork insert. It will not be a complete replica but the general look will be similar, minus the embroidery, I never do straight copies I have to fiddle and adapt, it is my nature. i also try very hard not to copy without asking, it is so rude.

  43. I'm sure you can do it. Read the pattern, all of it, twice before you start and you will be fine.
    J xx

  44. You have a very thoughtful grandma. Skirts are much easier to make than bags. Looking forward to seeing it finished. Please include me in your giveaway (pink please).

  45. I am not fussy about colours, they are both pretty, and the sentiment definitely fits my life right now! By the way, if you can sew these pretty bags, then you can see that skirt, no problems! Good luck!

  46. I love both the colours - and what a cute (and apt) sentiment! If you can sew these lovely bags, then the skirt should be fine! Good luck!

  47. Enjoy your skirt making!
    Congratulations on your blogoversary, please include my name in the draw. I prefer the blue colours

  48. What a beautiful bag and a thoughtful Grandma. I miss my Grandma most when I am sewing, I'd love her to know I was doing it and to pick her brains for hints & tips. If you can sew such a beautiful bag so well, you will have no problems with the skirt, looking forward to seeing the finished article x

  49. You're history and experience of sewing is exactly the same as mine...or so I thought until I saw that bag! You've done a great job - it looks perfect. You're lucky to have such fab sewing friends to hand if you get in a pickle. Can't wait to see your skirt - good luck. Thank you for such a generous giveaway, and the chance to win that yummy handmade bag. (Blue, definitely blue!)
    Amanda X

  50. How wonderful to be able to participate in the sew-a-long with your Grandma. I look forward to seeing your skirt. Best wishes, Pj x

  51. Thank goodness for Grandmas! I'd love the blue combo please. Enjoy your sewing

  52. Hi Chrissie, I only discovered your blog quite recently, but love it!
    The blue combo is very pretty.
    Looking forward top the next year with you.
    kind regards,
    B x

  53. Ooooh, lovely.
    It was my fathers two sisters that taught me to sew and made me things. I have had a very long break from "needlework" but am just re discovering the joys.
    Love the colours of the crochet. A new craft for me.
    I really like both colour combos but would choose the blue if my arm was twisted.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.
    Hugs x

  54. How thoughtful and lovely of your grandmother! I know that the skirt you make will be fantastic. Thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway of that gorgeous little bag...I like the pink best.
    Marianne xx

  55. My kind of Fabric!!!!
    I like the sweetness in colours.
    Your blog is a Great and wonderful discovery for me.

  56. Although I am not really a sewer I just love handmade articles and the pinks would definitely do it for me. Pat Lester []

  57. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  58. Oh Chrissie, what a fab story... Serendipity indeed! And what truly lovely grandma you have too - I'm sure she will be chuffed to bits too when you finish your skirt. Have lots of fun with it and I guarantee you'll be addicted in no time :-)
    LOVE your bag too, well done you... Please pop my name in the hat, and pink will always be top of my list!
    Have a happy week,

  59. Anonymous8:21 pm BST

    I love the story, and hope to hear more about how your skirt-making goes. I'd like to be considered for the bag too and would prefer blue (though the pink with the grey / green background fabric is pleasing even to someone not very keen on pick).

  60. what a brilliant grandma you have. Please enter me for the pink bag - gorgeous xx

  61. What a fabulous granny you have, well that was you told, so you better get making gal! I look forward to seeing the end result. Hopefully Daisy will host another as I am definitely up for joining in even though my sewing skills aren't anywhere near good enough. I LOVE the bag you made, and especially the letter embroidery you did, so beautiful. For me it is definitely blue, those fabrics are gorgeous. What a lovely giveaway xoxo

  62. Oops, nearly missed this chance for something fabulous....
    Thanks for the reminder! Count me in please ;-)
    Love, Mirjam.

  63. Ok. So I saw the word 'giveaway' in your latest post and legged it over here pronto.

    I can't stop thinking about sewing at the moment. I go to sleep planning simple items of clothing (mainly skirts) and dreaming of different fabrics. Thing is, it's total madness because I can't sew. At least, I don't think I can.

    I love your bag. I truly and honestly think you're a natural seamstress. See how neat your seams are? Those striped fabric patches are the real giveaway - they are perfection. It must, of course, be in your genes. My grandmother used to make me clothes too. I'm dying to see what you make because I know you'll inspire me to have a go too.

    Heather xx

    PS. Oooh pink please. Always pink!

  64. Gosh, I don't know how I managed to miss this! I'm really tempted to have a go at making clothes after seeing Sewing Bee. Lots of other ladies seem to have the same idea though as every time I go to the fabric store, I can't get near the patterns because of all the other people crowding around! Your bag is lovely. I'm usually a blue girl but I think I'll go for the pink, please. x

  65. My goodness, I really am at the tail end Chrissie, but one has to be in it to win it so thank you for the opportunity and I choose pink even though I also love the blue! They are gorgeous bags!
    Your Grandma is the Best! Isn't she just wonderful - gosh I hope I'm as good as she is at 89! I wish you all the best in the Sew-a-long and know that you'll do your usual excellent job - enjoy the journey! A new learning curve and something else to get hooked on, my word, so many projects, so many abilities, you're a star!
    Much love, Joy xo