Bloggiversary Post and Giveaway! 

I find it so hard to believe that it has been a full year since I started my blog! I spent most of that summer reading through others and I sheepishly started my own, thinking it would help me to record my improvements. I didn’t even tell my husband or family because I felt embarrassed.  I have been overwhelmed with the response, I remember being so flattered when I had 5 people following me and amazed that someone in New Zealand (yes you Naomi)  was reading my words. For statistical purposes I’ve now had a massive 7300 views so Thank You all. Wow!

After being convinced to also join Instagram by my sister, I have found a community beyond anything I could have wished for. I am so so grateful to each and every person who comments and engages with me. This community has given me an outlet beyond what I could have realised. I particularly love being involved in the Sewcialists because Gillian loves the community too and has allowed me to get involved in editing and preparing that venture too! This month is tribute month and I really recommend you check it out.

Anyway, not only do I blog my improvements but I get advice, encouragement and support on button decisions (how did I ever decide on buttons before? !) – though I wasn’t even good enough to insert a buttonhole before!

On that note, I cannot believe how much I’ve improved. Take a look at my first blog post.  I’ve learnt so so much; inserting zips, shaping, which fabrics to use, how to use patterns properly, FBA (absolutely crucial to my life now). Seriously though, I’m not going to list them all, it’d just be a long list of things I’ve learnt.

I have to mention my husband here too, I can’t believe I didn’t tell him when I started my blog because he has been nothing but supportive and he takes soooo many pictures for me. He is absolutely amazing and will do anything to help me, even when I have mini break downs! I’m very lucky to have him.  He is getting really good at taking pictures too so the standard of pictures has definitely improved over the years too. (he has some crazy ideas too- see the nectarine below!) 

I wanted to showcase my improvements instead so to do that I’ve returned to my very first dress pattern which my Mum bought me for Christmas 2015 and I tried for the first time in May 2016. The pattern is NewLook 6020, which is now New Look 6393 and it is a princess seam dress with multiple necklines and a clutch bag option.

It is also the subject of the terribly fitted bodice of my first blog. (now in a fabric recycling bin somewhere) My first one was also a nightmare; I used a horrible, strange fabric and the fit was horrendous. It took me forever and I thought I would never have the patience for this but a few magazine patterns and a LOT more patience later, I was hooked, as you know! Be prepared for horribleness.

Anyway, I have since returned to the pattern for my Christmas dress last year but, whilst the fit was better, it frayed and I didn’t even bother to insert a zip.

Fast forward to now and it has returned. I bought this amazing Harry Potter fabric from Frumble and because it is a little costly I bought a red polycotton to go with it and colour block. I wanted to make something which really represented me. I also saw the amazing Elle from Sew Positivity make a Harry Potter dress and I wanted to tribute her for Tribute Month because she is full on amazing, makes fantastic things and isn’t scared to talk about how much sewing has helped her emotionally. I really liked her section in Suzy Magazine Issue 3. 

Anyway, back to my Copycat dress. Here’s the amazing fabric.

I further tested myself by making another in this gorgeous Koi Cotton Poplin from Sewisfaction, who has also sponsored my Bloggiversary giveaway!

Here’s some things I have learnt (which I hope I have showcased in my makes)

1. I need a FBA for nearly everything, these princess seam dresses are perfect for this because you can adjust the front pieces easily… (year a go Blogger Emma would have barely understood this sentence!)

2. I have a dislike of facings, I can use them, as you can see in my Koi dress but bias is my way… Hence the lovely yellow contrast I used on my Harry Potter dress.

3. I can adapt patterns- Mr Harry Potter dress: I’ve shortened the length, ignored the side zip, added inches to the back pieces to create placket for a button up back.

Miss Koi Dress: I added sleeves, added pockets and added little tabs for the little belt tie to go in to.

4. I can insert buttons! See said buttons!

I can also insert zips! See said zip! (I’m still to master invisible zips!)

5. I don’t like baring my arms- BUT I can put sleeves in, the best thing about sewing my own clothes for me. I kept the sleeveless style for the Harry Potter dress so that you could see the intended pattern but I used another Simplicity pattern to insert sleeves for the Koi carp one.
All this means I have produced two dresses for me, which are unique, personal and I am proud to wear. I’ve still got so much to learn but I’ll keep going and keep getting support from this fantastic community

Hubby wanted a cake… I’m being good… Nectarine it is then…

Because I have been going for a year and it has been so much more well received than I ever imagined, I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel to go alongside my blog. I’m a reader by nature but I love watching the vlogs and I’m always last on the technology train so I am once again stepping outside my comfort zone. I will be keeping up with my weekly Friday posts on WordPress to share my makes, inspiration and ins and outs of makes (those with insight will realise that this sometimes dips in these being weekly,  usually the last week of term!) I plan to use YouTube for fabrics, pattern plans and thoughts, which are always whizzing round my head and I hope you’ll check it out. (please, please check it out- don’t leave me and my Mancunian accent on our own!)

Attractive…

Finally, because it is my bloggiversary and I am so so grateful for this sewing community, I’m hosting a giveaway! The giveaway includes the featured pattern, New Look 6020,which is now New Look 6393.

AND… enough fabric to make said dress, which is 2 metres of a gorgeous Navy Poppy Cotton Poplin from the amazing Sewisfaction. Sheona has kindly donated the fabric for the giveaway, even though she’s super busy setting up her new shop.

You should definitely check her out. I’ve also used her fabric for my Riviera Ruffle and my Velo Culottes. The fabrics are great to work with and it’s so important to support small businesses. They’ll definitely be more to see using Sewisfaction fabrics on here!

One person will win the pattern, 2 metres of the cotton poplin and I’ll also throw in a matching thread and zip.

To enter, please follow me and comment below, additionally, see over on instagram or on YouTube where you can follow me and comment over there for an extra entry!

The giveaway entries end Thursday 31st August 2017 at 5pm, British Time and it will be drawn and announced in my post on Friday 1st September 2017. I’m happy to ship internationally so this is open worldwide.

The amazing Sheona is completely supporting this giveaway but Simplicity New Look are not sponsoring it. I am giving away a pattern I bought because I wanted to!

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46 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna-Jo says:

    It’s great to see how your sewing and fitting skills have grown this year! What fabulous

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I’ve really enjoyed it. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna-Jo says:

    Haha, I thought WordPress had eaten my comment! I meant to finish it off by saying what a fabulous pair of dresses you’ve made 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. Never mind. Thank you though. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. craftysurf says:

    Love it! Congrats! 👍🎉

    Like

  4. Loved reading this today! Congratulations Emma! X Josie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Josie. I appreciate it ☺ x

      Like

  5. Sandeep Beep says:

    Wow congratulations on your Blog Anniversary! It’s amazing, inspiring and reassuring to see how far you’ve come. I’m a newbie and I love following sewing blogs like yours, as there is always something to learn from other people’s makes. Keep you the blogging, and I’ll be sure to check out your vlogs too! Much love x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. There’s so much to learn. I did my first lapped zip today, that’s why it’s such a great hobby. I really appreciate it. Thank you. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynsey_makes says:

    Really great post, you’ve come so far and love how you can look back to see the progress. Both dresses are amazing, love the extra details and how they look so different. Great vlog too!! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lynsey. I was surprised at how different they both looked in the end. Loved doing this post. Thanks for your comments as always. x

      Like

  7. Sue Godfrey says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary Emma… Lovely to see how much you have progressed. Now following you on iG too 😀 hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot. Great! See you over there! x

      Like

  8. Naomi says:

    New Zealand follower checking in! Congrats Emma, I’m glad that you are proud of how far you’ve come in such a short time, AMAZING! Looking forward to much more. Many happy returns 🍾💖👐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Naomi! It’s so great to look over how much I’ve learnt and think how much more I’ve got to learn about too! 😁 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the Buttons on the back of the HP dress and binding too. You can’t beat binding! congrats on your blogging and sewing success again. Am feeling very inspired. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ella. No, it’s binding all the way for me. I’m loving button up backs at the minute. ☺

      Like

  10. Well done Emma! It was lovely meeting you at Sew Up North, and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so I’ll definitely add you to my vlog list! Good luck with it I’m sure you’ll be fab xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Karen. It was lovely to meet you too. A year seems too long until the next one. ☺ thanks for your support. xx

      Like

  11. homemadefarm says:

    I’m really impressed with how for you’ve come in a year. Happy bloggiversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, that’s really kind.

      Like

  12. chloe_deadlycraft says:

    Great dresses and lovely discussion of the last year and how you have grown! I laughed reading how reticent you were to start the blog – I actually spent ages trying to make mine private when I first started!!! Well done for how much you learned and stepping into YouTube now – good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I just didn’t think anyone would be interested and I’m amazed to find such a great community! YouTube seems to be the way to go, though I still like writing and intend to do both!

      Like

  13. Wow you can definitely see massive improvements and to have achieved so much in a year is fantastic. Can’t wait to start watching your vlogs! Happy Blogaversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I love that there is still so much to learn yet too. It’s great to have a hobby that keeps challenging you. Yay! Can’t believe it’s a year already.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. amcclure2014 says:

    You’ve come a long way in a short time. Congratulations! Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  15. sewprettyful says:

    Both lovely dresses but I really love the koi dress! So lovely so see how far you’ve come, and lovely to meet you at Sew Up North 😁 Don’t shy away from invisible zips – there’s so many good tutorials out there and once you learn you’ll never go back (can’t remember the last time I used a normal zip). Just going to hop off and find your you tube video now 😁 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I think it’s my favourite too. I can’t believe how much you can learn in a year. It was so great to meet you too, a year seems too long between them. No, you’re right. It’s definitely my next mission! I can do it! Thanks for your comments, here and on the Vlog. ☺

      Like

  16. Debbie says:

    A lovely post 😄 You have come along way over the year, very inspiring. Will definitely watch your vblog 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it. Don’t forget to comment over there for another entry! ☺

      Like

  17. Congratulations, Emma! I felt exactly the same way when I wrote and published my first post so I really related to this! It’s great that you have done so much in a year – very inspiring. Long life to your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much. I appreciate it. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Steffi says:

    Happy Birthday for your Blog. I also just Startes Mine in German. Hope I can also make it to my First aniversary.

    I Love the dresses you made and I use a lot of English patterns.

    Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steffi, that’s so kind. I love making dresses, it is what I make the most. I’m sure you will get to your anniversary too.

      Like

  19. Natalie says:

    Happy Blogerversary Emma!! I love both your dresses. It’s amazing how many skills you’ve gained in such a short space of time. It makes me excited for what the future holds for all us beginner sewists and our me made wardrobes xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so so much. That’s really kind. I love that you can learn so much but there’s still so much to learn too… xx

      Like

  20. Sally Vernon says:

    Happy Bloggaversary! I have just discovered your blog via your YouTube channel 🙂 . I shall be avidly reading your back-posts today. Fab giveaway- I wish Sheona would stop teasing me with all the gorgeous fabrics on Instagram!! ( bank manager would not count fabric as essentials 😂) x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me about it. I bought some of the Kokka Bees last week so I am absolutely not getting anymore… I reaaaaally love the new stuff though! Thanks for your support. I’ll add you to the giveaway draw. ☺ x

      Like

  21. Paddy says:

    It’s always scary to look back at the first dress you made (at least yours fitted – I couldn’t even get the back to meet on my first dress, let alone zip up! *blushes*)
    I love the Harry Potter version you made – colourblocking was definitely a great idea 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. It is awful to look back, my husband used to grimace a little bit and now I see why! 😁

      Like

  22. Kirsty @ moodycatcrafts says:

    Great dresses! I love that poppy fabric. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fingers crossed for you. Thanks so much

      Like

  23. Jacquie says:

    This really resonated with me – I’ve been contemplating starting a blog myself AND I am terrified of attempting a dress for myself. Tops in wovens or knits, skirts, pants …. no problem. So, you are an inspiration to me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should absolutely do both. It’s changed so much for me. Dresses are great once you’ve done a couple. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. 💕

      Like

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