Skip to content
March 5

March Giveaway

Hi peeps!  It’s been waaaaay to long since I’ve done a giveaway on here.  I’ve been meaning to do one a month but this winter has really flown by and I haven’t been able to get my act together since December.

December’s giveaway was very knitting focused; I gave away the most recent copy of A Stitch in Time, a knitting book.  But for all of my fellow seamstresses, today I have just the thing for you!

I tried to have a little of everything…

What I consider to be the main part of the giveaway is the 1957 Simplicity Sewing Book:

I dragged took my husband to a antique mall on our recent trip to Florida.  The mall was just north of Orlando, and mainly had lots of high priced nick-knacks and dust collectors.  I’m not sure how I spotted this ‘book’ amidst everything, but I immediately thought of you guys.  This booklet and 3 vintage knitting magazines found their way into my luggage (after paying for them of course); the knitting magazines will most likely be making an appearance on here later this week.

It’s a 140 page ‘book’ of sewing how-to’s.  There’s a bit of everything in here from basic Tailoring to Altering Patterns/Fitting to Seam Finishes.  While Simplicity calls this a book I’d really refer to it as a manual/magazine.  It’s chock full of color images and step-by-step guides, it’s just not a bound book per say.

Here’s a few sneak peaks:

This is a section on basics of the garment construction for a dress.

Various types of Bindings:

Different types of Tucks:

Sleeve Finishes:

And much much more.

Who doesn’t love a vintage belt kit?!

The belt kit come with 5 eyelets, the prong, 40″ of belting that is 7/8″ inch wide.  The buckle is 1″ tall on the inside and is 1.5″ tall (total) by 2″ wide.

Last, but not least, are 6 vintage buttons and vintage seam binding:

I found these black and white (2-eyed) buttons at my local flea market last August which I think are awesome.  And you may recall seeing this seam binding on my blog quite recently; I found this roll of nylon-taffeta seam binding from The Vintage Bazaar at Pink Grapefruit Style‘s booth and bought an extra roll with the expressed purpose of giving it away to you guys.  There’s not a full 9-feet of it since it’s been used before, but judging by the looks of it I’d say there’s at least 3 feet.

I didn’t realize before now but every item in March’s giveaway is vintage.  :)

Since I first started blogging back in January 2011, I’ve been amazed how much great information is being shared in everyday comments.  I always read every single one, but it often times is hard to remember a specific comment since they’re scattered in a lot of different places.

I liked the idea of gathering everyone’s comments, experiences and advice in one spot… and today’s giveaway question seemed like the perfect opportunity to give this idea a go.

How to enter the March Giveaway:

  • Please leave a comment letting me know what’s the one thing you wish you knew/tool you had when you were first learning how to sew.

Good luck everyone! I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday morning, March 9th (and will cut-off giveaway entries by 11pm March 8th).

As always my giveaway is open to anyone, no matter where you live; I’m happy to ship anywhere.

  1. Jane / Mar 5 2012

    Ooh, love! There are many, many tools I still wish I had, but recently I’ve discovered those little sliding metal rulers to use when measuring and pressing hems. It makes such a difference to be accurate! Also, I just think french curves are really cool.

  2. Emma / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I knew how much a pain silky rayon is. I would’ve shelled out the extra money on real silk. Not only was it next to impossible to get to lie straight or to sew curved seams with… but now, maybe ten washes later, it’s unravelling from deep within the French seams and it’s only a matter of time until it comes undone.

  3. Ashley0107 / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I knew about seam allowances! Yes, really. If I knew half of what I know now about following patterns, taking those first few steps in sewing would have a lot less frustrating.
    Lovely giveaway :)

  4. Elizabeth B / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I had an iron when I first started sewing. Probably a lot of issues could have been solved if I’d been able to properly iron the fabric before/during/after/etc with more than just a hair straightener. Thankfully I have one now!

  5. Kat Ezat / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I knew how vital it is having the iron on while sewing! Takes the pain out of so many prep steps and means I can often skip tacking…

    Never got brave enough to make a dress, so would love to learn how to do it the vintage way :)

  6. Dana Tougas / Mar 5 2012

    That locking seams so they don’t unravel was just as simple as back stitching. I’m still a beginner. :-)

  7. Andrea / Mar 5 2012

    Thanks for the great giveaway! Tools I wish I had from the get-go: tracing wheel/tracing paper for marking. Also, invisible zipper foot! So handy.

  8. K-Line / Mar 5 2012

    What a great giveaway! Thank you. I’m trying to think of something I wish I’d had when first I started sewing. But I did manage to kit myself out pretty well from the start. Of course, I wish I’d known everything from the start. I didn’t have the slightest bit of knowledge. It would have been useful to know that I’d get better over time, that improvement would be the result of hard work and time. I’m still learning that!

  9. Jessie / Mar 5 2012

    The first dress I made I didn’t know about facings! That would have saved that dress and all that time making something that turned out horrible!

  10. Vicki Kate / Mar 5 2012

    Hmm what I wish I knew… Simple but make sure you’ve transferred all the markings! I’ve definitely had to dig pattern pieces out to find a marking I missed in my early sewing career…

    It’s a lovely give away prize too, definitely worth the wait!

  11. Forrest / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I would have been better at finishing seams! It was work enough to actually put a garment together, much less finish the seams, but unfortunately I’ve lost a pretty cute dress from the early days to sems unraveling…

  12. Qui / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I understood fabric better when I first started, and how to pick suitable fabrics for a pattern. There were a number of projects that turned out poorly because I used quilting cotton or something else that did not make for a nice garment. But I’ve learned quite a bit from experience (and several unworn projects), so maybe it’s something better learned by practice? I’m sure I was forewarned…

  13. Salma / Mar 5 2012

    Oh goodness that’s easy, I wish I had invested in a sewing gauge when I first stared sewing because my seam allowances were never correct and I ended up with very strange looking garments and used to get so very frustrated! It’s a good thing I smartened up and got one later!

  14. Rachel Bain / Mar 5 2012

    I have to agree with Qui. When I first started sewing, I made some really poor fabric choices and wasted a lot of money. I wish I’d known more about fabric, so I could have saved myself the trouble of making garments that just didn’t work.

  15. kathryn / Mar 5 2012

    The one tool i wish i had was my Grandmother. She sewed all her life and made my mother’s and my aunt’s party dresses (beautiful, beautiful dresses with coats and capes to match) through high school, which are now kept in a dressing trunk that I keep safe in my sewing room. She could have steered me around all the follies and mistakes I ever made when first learning how to sew.

  16. Dee / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I knew then how much sewing would come to mean to me over the years. I was young and had no idea how much potential there was in making your own clothes!

  17. Cation Designs / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I had known how important a washing machine is! I never used to prewash my fabrics, and while I started out on stretchy knits, where it didn’t matter as much if I prewashed, I had a rude surprise the first time I pulled a woven dress out of the dryer! It used to be comfortable but fitted, and now it’s skin-tight. I can still wear it, but it’s not nearly as fun as it was before.

  18. Kerry / Mar 5 2012

    What a lovely giveaway, please count me in. When I started sewing I wish I had been more aware about fabric drape and choosing the right fabric for the right garment – would have saved me making a few unwearable items but I learned the hard way!

  19. Anna / Mar 5 2012

    What a lovely giveaway!
    I wish I understood the importance of the invisible zipper foot when I started to sew. Zippers have always been a struggle for me from the start with lots of fiddling. My Eureka-moment came first when I read a tutorial about hand sewing zippers and then not too long ago when I finally bought the invisible zipper foot – now it so easy to sew zippers they put a smile on my face every time I do it!

  20. Gina / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I could read patterns better, they get me every time with “clip here”,” turn under and lap” this. The pictures can throw me too, but I still love it and I love that you are having this great giveaway, so throw my name in the pot.

  21. Annabelle / Mar 5 2012

    The proper way to do french seams. When making my first dress, I looked at some of my RTW dresses for seam finishing ideas and saw french seams in a few (though I didn’t know they were called that at the time). I started out my sewing my dress up as normal, then trying to tuck the raw edges in and sew another seam right next to my original one. I have to laugh at that now, so glad it didn’t take me long to figure out what a french seam was and how to do it properly :)

  22. Anne / Mar 5 2012

    When I started sewing, I wish I knew what all of the stitches on my sewing machine could be used for. (Ok, I am still figuring it out…)

  23. seeks / Mar 5 2012

    Honestly, I wish I knew the extent to which tools make a project and the extent to which they don’t. I think it would have made my work easier if I had a zipper foot at the beginning of things, but then, I would have been easier on myself had I known that there is still a noticeable learning curve even with the “right” equipment.

  24. Beata / Mar 5 2012

    Hmmm…. I still count myself as a beginner, so there is probably a lot still for me to learn, but I guess to start with I wish I knew how much easier it can be to cut fabric with a rotary cutter, rather than using scissors!

  25. Laura / Mar 5 2012

    Thanks for the giveaway! I think the thing I wish I’d known is that patterns don’t fit most people without some alterations, and doing them at the pattern stage is much better. When I was a teenager (and skinnier but still not ‘average’) I made things as drafted, and fixed any fitting issues at the end, and I was never quite satisfied with my garments. When I started sewing again a few years ago, I quickly learned how to do flat measuring and basic altering of patterns and that made all the difference to make things I’d actually wear.

  26. Naomi / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I knew that so many times the actual construction method/step isn’t nearly as difficult as the directions make it seem. With a little bit of common sense you might even decide there’s an easier construction method. You can veer from the printed instructions & still have a successful outcome. If I actually followed some of the directions printed on patterns today I’m not sure I would have continued to sew. Special thanks to all the women who shared their experience & knowledge with me when I was starting out. Oh, special tool I wish I had when I started. A serger. What a beautiful way to finish off those seams. Wouldn’t live without one.

  27. Rachelle / Mar 5 2012

    I wish I’d had my steam station when I first started sewing instead of that lightweight spitty iron. Now I have the steam station and a steam press, plus a vertical steamer and all is well with me.

  28. Tina / Mar 5 2012

    I still yearn for a tailor’s ham… it’s a real pain in the butt to iron princess seams, which I LOVE, without one.

  29. bonita / Mar 5 2012

    ~ * ? * ~

    I haven’t been sewing long enough to really have a tool I wish I had at the beginning/a tip – but I do know that I want a tailor’s ham. It would be really helpful for ironing my shoulders/sleeves to get the finish perfect. :) Awesome giveaway, thanks heaps for doing it!

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ? * ~

  30. maria / Mar 5 2012

    I’m actually learning to sew right now. I do alot of research online before i actually start anything. It seems like I haven’t really done a whole lot. I have 2 kids so its hard to get anything done anyway. I’d really like to have a nice sewing book so that I can sit down with my kids on the couch and read it when i’m wanting to learn something new. instead of trying to find time to get online. I actually found your blog by searching for a good sewing book to help me learn how to sew garments. The one i found on your blog is actually one i’m bidding on ebay for. I’m going to subscribe.

  31. Amy / Mar 5 2012

    I haven’t really been sewing that long, but even so I can’t think of how to answer this question. Right now my favorite new-to-me sewing tools are a giant tailor’s ham and a serger. I could imagine my early sewing would have benefitted from both, but I’m also happy that I’ve let my sewing grow in the baby steps that it’s taken so far.

  32. affiknity / Mar 5 2012

    I don’t know how to sew, but I am working on that. I am planning on buying my first sewing machine next month and enroll for sewing classes.

  33. Luus / Mar 6 2012

    I wish I knew that the zipper foot I had was a zipper foot and would be of tremendous help when inserting zippers. I fumbled with the regular foot for years before someone cared to enlighten me to the glorious thing that is the zipper foot. Suddenly zippers seemed to go in without (or at least, with less) of a hassle.
    Also understanding what the instructions mean would be helpful, I have still not managed to completely understand what Burda patterns want me to do most of the time. But the more you do it, the more you learn and understand. So maybe I’ll get there in the end : ).

  34. Anne / Mar 6 2012

    I wish I had known that you have to be exact when sewing, at least in the early stages. Well, I did know that, but more in a ‘my mother said so’ way than in a ‘I know it in my heart and will live by it’ way.

  35. Feminizzle / Mar 6 2012

    What a great vintage giveaway! I really wish that I knew it was okay to make mistakes. I was really hard on myself and gave up on sewing countless times because I made mistakes and thought it was the end. Now I realize that a mistake is just part of the process- at least something has been learned!

  36. Mrs. Mordecai / Mar 6 2012

    I still consider myself a beginner, but I wish I had had my machine serviced or bought a new one. I’m using my grandma’s fabulous machine from the 60s, but I considered that any mistakes I made with it were due to my incompetence. My dad looked at it a few months ago and the feed dogs are stuck up, and the tension doesn’t work at all!

    Also I wish I had known about blunt needles. I just realized that a lot of my past issues (especially with bias tape) could be due to blunt needles.

    I wonder how much more I still have to learn?

  37. Meg / Mar 6 2012

    OH! I’m in love with all of it!!!! Thank you for hosting such a fabulous giveaway!

    • Meg / Mar 6 2012

      And I would also like to say that when I began sewing … I wish I had know that imperfections were okay. If they were small enough and tearing them out would ruin the garment, then it’s fine to leave them and continue on. I wanted it all to be perfect right away, but that’s not how it works, and I don’t think I would have learned nearly as much if everything had been perfect.

  38. Amy S / Mar 6 2012

    I wish I had invested in quality scissors when I first started sewing. I was recently gifted a pair of Ginghers and the difference is amazing!

  39. Marchelle / Mar 6 2012

    I’m still wishing for a quilting ruler. I’ve ordered one but it’s taking FOREVER to arrive. So helpful for cutting straight lines whether you’re quilting or not!

  40. Maria / Mar 6 2012

    Thank you, Liz, for this wonderful, wonderful giveaway! I love it all! I was just thinking this morning that my next dress will be the first with a self-made belt!
    Ok, the one thing I wish knew/tool I had… I wish I had known more about types of fabric and the way they drape and fall. I would just buy ‘pretty’ fabrics that I liked and then (try) to make clothes. But, I quickly realised that different styles/patterns require different fabrics if you want them to fit well and come out as they are supposed to. I think for anyone new to sewing this is quite an important – and, probably often overlooked – step when first learning to sew.

  41. Susan / Mar 6 2012

    I wish that I’d had the internet and some sewing reference books. Most of my older female relatives sewed, but they always took pity on me and did the really hard things. I find that since taking up sewing again in honor of a milestone birthday (nope, not going to reveal the number) that I am learning how to do things much better as there is so much reference material in different formats from books to blogs to online videos and in-person classes. Thanks so much for a great blog–I love seeing all of your clever and well put together projects!

  42. NJERI / Mar 7 2012

    The zipper foot! since I got one I enjoy putting in zippers and occasionally piping.

  43. javede / Mar 7 2012

    A proper iron. When I began sewing I still lived at home and my mum’s old iron was not getting hot enough nor did the steam function work anymore. Now that I have my own iron(which is not super fancy, but atleast works), ironing is sooooo much easier and faster and therefore is actually done that I cannot imagine how I would do without one.

  44. Angela / Mar 7 2012

    When I started sewing at the tender age of 8, I made a top and skirt and the pattern asked for interfacing. I had no idea what it was, my Mum wasn’t a sewer so I looked it up in a dictionary (there was no internet back then I can promise you!!) I worked out that I needed to stiffen the fabric and can’t quite remember what I used but thats my first memory of sewing!!

  45. Josephine / Mar 7 2012

    I hope I’m not too late to enter the giveaway. I’d have to say that when I started sewing I didn’t know/realise that patience was so important. I just thought you cut out your pretty dress pattern and ran it through the sewing machine. That was how I sewed my first ever dress and I’d have to say it was the most frustrated I have ever been in my life. Now I take my time and walk away when I start to get stressed and impatient with my inaptitude.

  46. Trisha / Mar 8 2012

    I wish I had pattern weights, a rotary cutter, and cutting mat. When I first started out, I hated pinning the pattern tissue to the fabric and laboriously cutting it out with scissors. After I started using pattern weights, a rotary cutter, and cutting mat, that completely changed! In fact, I now LOVE the cutting out phase! I put on some music and cruise through the fabric!

  47. Sarah / Mar 8 2012

    Wow, oh, wow! That sewing book is stunning! *fingers crossed*

  48. lunachick265 / Mar 9 2012

    Well, I first learned to sew when I was quite young, and back then I was too impatient to press seams thoroughly at every step of the way. Looking back, I realize that everything I made when I was a teenager looked like crap because I didn’t spend nearly enough time at my ironing board. Now I know how important it is to take the time to press well at every seam, every time. It makes such a difference in how the finished product looks!

Leave a comment