Monday, July 18, 2011

Redoing the Raglan (and Giveaway)

I had the best intentions of sewing and blogging yesterday, but you know what they say about roads to hot places and intentions. ;-) Instead, I wandered in and out of my sewing room doing a bit here and there, but my real attention was on reading. A few weeks ago, I checked out Scott Turow's Innocent, which was his follow-up to Presumed Innocent, a bestseller from the 1980s. I started it Saturday night and as I became more engrossed with the story, it was harder and harder to put down and the trips to the sewing room became fewer and fewer.

Funny related story - when I checked out the book, I noticed that it was pretty hefty page count-wise, but I didn't think much of it. It sat on my kitchen counter for a few days and Alex pointed out (in that lovely sarcastic way of teenagers) that this was a Large Print book. In other words, for "old" people. Hah! I never noticed. But words are words so it wasn't going to turn me off to reading the book. And (you know this is coming, right?), now that I'm actually reading the book in bed with a not-so-bright bedside lamp, I find I'm actually THRILLED that it's Large Print. I don't need glasses. I don't need to stretch my arms out. Mark me down as officially old. ;-)

During my trips through the sewing room, I was working on unstitching this shirt I bought last week so I could (a) trace a pattern from it and (b) change the black underlayer to my preference of white.

Here's where it stands at the moment. The tracing is done and I'm putting the pieces back together. I still have the sideseams and a shorter hem and then I'll be done. I already have another one cut out. I'm hoping to get both done today, if I can stay away from my book until tonight.

But I do want to finish the book tonight because the library called and another book I've reserved is waiting for me, plus I have one more book that I have to have back by tomorrow or I'll start getting fined. I've intentionally kept it out late because when I went to renew it last week, someone else had a hold on it and the system wouldn't let me renew it. I understand holds and I'm not trying to be greedy, but I think I should get at least one renew, don't you? ;-) However, the librarian told me that I could keep it out as overdue until Tuesday without incurring fines so that's what I did. My apologies to whoever is waiting but, well, I got it first. Neener neener! ;-)

And now for the Giveaway  …

Today it's vintage Stretch & Sew patterns. All three are intact and uncut. I got these years ago as part of a bigger lot of patterns on Ebay and I've never used them. It's time to pass them along to someone who will use them (you will, won't you??).

S&S 200 (Bust sizes 28-42), a knit raglan top and cardigan. You can use this pattern to make your own double-layer cowl as above (I'll show you how with the pattern pieces of my RTW tracings tomorrow).

S&S 1310 (Bust sizes 30-40), a halter top swimsuit.

S&S 1313 (Bust sizes 30-42), a gathered swimsuit with optional bra cups.

If you'd like to be entered into this drawing, tell me the best book you've read lately. I'll pick the winner from the comments (in other words, this one is not a random drawing).

Fine print: For all the Giveaways last week and this week, each entrant can only win once and in the case of duplicates, I'll contact you for your choice and then draw again randomly on what's left. Clear? And if you do enter, please check back over the next two weeks to see who won because if I don't hear from you within a few days after announcing winners, I'll draw/decide again. I will close comments on this Giveaway on Sunday, July 24 2011 and announce the winner on Monday, July 25, 2011. Again, anyone anywhere can enter this or any Giveaway this week.

Parting Shot:

This is the other bag book I bought with the Amy Butler book that is/was last Friday's Giveaway (still open!), and is the one I'm keeping. Although it also includes patterns, it's more of a general reference for making all sorts of bags with different closures, straps, interiors, etc. I highly recommend it.

If you click the link below, you'll be taken to Amazon where you can purchase it (and I will earn a minuscule amount on the sale).

The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags

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Remember to tune in the rest of the week as tomorrow will be the last day of Giveaways and the first day I'll be announcing winners.


  1. I second the recommendation on The Bag Making Bible. I just read a library copy of it, and I'm pretty sure I want my own.
    Sometimes I can't decide which I'd rather do--read or sew. Glad you found an absording book.

  2. Definitely throw my name in consideration for the patterns. I've never tried a Stretch & Sew and I have swimsuit fabric waiting on the shelf.

    Best book I've read lately? "These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine" by Nancy Turner. There are two books that follow "Sarah's Quilt" and "The Star Garden" that continue on with the story of Sarah. I enjoyed "These Is My Words" more than the last two, however.

  3. I grin every time you make reference to being "old"! You have no idea -- until you get to where I am, just a little over two months until I'm 65 (but who's counting the days?) -- and begin to realize all that begins to happen with higher numbers! ;>) But outside of some aches and pains, it's the best time of my life!

    Please don't enter me in your nice giveaways! I'm trying to get rid of stuff, not accumulate more! ;>)

    I'm enjoying watching you shrink! Keep up the good work!

  4. I have to say I am 31 and enjoy reading larger print books. I got one out of the library without even paying attention to the larger print, I have to admit I might have put it back if I had seen that (I don't like getting older and that would make me feel so). They are so much nicer and easier to read faster. I have the Bible bag book as well and absolutely love it! It's a great reference book on bag making. I love all your giveaways but I have to admit I don't particularly want to be entered into today's. The best books that I have read are a series by Diana Gaboldon usually referred to as The Hilander series. They are wonderful and my favorite. I am rereading them currently. Thanks for all your posts love them all!

  5. I'm a big fan of the online Gutenberg Project where (copyright expired) e-books can be downloaded for free. I happily discovered that I didn't need an e-reader/iPad either - the books are readable on my ancient laptop! That said, I've been reading all kinds of books that I happen to find there. This is going to sound a bit silly perhaps, but I recently read The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes! I never read it as a kid, and it was actually a little creepy. Just a little.

  6. So you're downsizing right? That's the reason for all the giveaways? And you don't have to enter me in the giveaway!

  7. Hi ! My favourite lately is "Painless Sewing" ! I am a newbie who is so inspired by your blog.I just ordered the A binder for my coverstitch machine that you recommend. I am an avid fiction reader but have been picking up this used book and reading it in tiny bites so I can digest it :)I love all your tutorials and don't thank the generous sewists enough !

  8. Oh my gosh, Debbie - I would give these the BEST home!! I already have spandex and swim elastic and just need the pattern...

    Best book I've read recently (don't laugh) is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm not the sort who usually reads cookbooks, but this one is awesome, and I actually made bread, despite three kids underfoot. It was amazing! I'm also re-reading all the Harry Potters except 7, in preparation for the movie, and have the collected works of Jane Austen on my iPhone. I'm in the middle of Mansfield Park at the moment.

  9. Ooh, my mom used to teach classes at Stretch 'n Sew - I love those patterns. :)

    The last book I read was The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. It's a (non-fiction) book about a cholera epidemic in 19th century London. I got bored of the authors musings toward the end, but 3/4 of the book was super interesting and full of icky, gruesome descriptions of the city and the disease. (My older sister would love it!)

    Now I'm on the hunt for some good bedtime fiction. I bought the four Game of Thrones books on a whim, just so I would have 2000+ pages at my disposal. I hope they're good.

  10. Sewing for plus sizes by Barbara Deckert,it has both sewing and practical advise .
    Love the patterns ,that cowl neck is so flattering !

  11. I'm a voracious reader, but I mostly read science fiction and trashy romances, so I'm always afraid to recommend them to people. My tastes are very much acquired. When I want to read a classic, two of my favorite humorous books are P.G. Wodehouse's Uncle Dynamite (probably the funniest Wodehouse, bar none) and E.M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady. I can honestly recommend both and they're hilarious.

    Don't enter me into this giveaway. I have enough bathing suits and I'm so timid with knits, I'm nowhere near learning to sew my own anyway.

  12. Welllll, that depends. As for non-sewing books, I would say Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson hands down. I bought this non-fiction paperback as a stocking stuffer last Christmas for DH and ended up reading it before him. Couldn’t’ put it down. Literally. So much so, that I was asked to not read during the preparation of meals. Sheesh. he DOES like his steak well done, does he not?

    And yes, I NEED the Kwik Sew patterns. Now. Right now. I love knit raglans. I ordered a boatload of knits from in additon to swimwear fabric for my DD. This was just last week after reading your enabling blog post, ahem. I sometimes wonder if we were separated at birth as we seem to have many of the same fitting alterations.

    Also, I know you said blue was not your go to color, but I think it looks fantastic on you. I think I didn’t comment earlier on it, so as not to be included in one of the earlier random giveaways for something I already owned.

    And last, but not least, I would follow you automatically, if I only knew how. I do follow you, but the old fashioned way.

    OK, think I’m done now. 

  13. Hi I'm a new follower over in the uk
    Really glad I found your blog as I also love to sew!
    Please visit me if you have time

  14. I have a few large print books around... from my Gramma. She's legally blind but can still read them. The library is a great source for large print -- until you've been reading them for nearly 20 years... luckily she moved 5 years ago - so got to start on a new collection of books.

    Great alteration on your top... I'd like the black better for me... but the white does look good too

  15. Ha! I'm 27 and I rather like the large print books--the main problem is that they are harder to come by than regular print. As for what I'm reading....well, I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I tried out the Twilight series....I'm still not sure how I feel about them.

    I would L.O.V.E. to make that raglan sleeve top into a TNT...or at least give it my best shot at doing so. ;-)

  16. I just checked out that book from the library, but didn't realize it was a you think it stands alone or should I go back and read the other one first?

    I also prefer the white inset. Good call!

  17. I've seen the movie, "Presumed Innocent" a couple of times. Very good. Now, I want to read that book and the sequel.

  18. I don't read too much anymore, but I did read part of "Fat, Fuzzy, and Frazzled" about thyroid/hormonal/adrenal issues. I wasn't prepared at the time to pursue the testing needed to bother reading the rest of the book. I did just get 4 books about serging from the library as I just got a serger. I'd love to read more, but spend too much time knitting. But I'd love that halter bathing suit pattern--I've made two swimsuits and just got more fabric!

  19. Don't put me in this giveaway. Let someone get it who will make good use of it.
    I love the change you made in the color of the inset on the top and was so excited to see that you are going to explain how it is done. You have no idea what a fan club you have with all these great tutorials.
    Funny thing is I have been reading also -have had some issues and it is taking my mind off all of it. I have read two books by crime author Ann Rule-Bitter Harvest and Death Before Sunset. I plan to read more of her offerings. I also read my birthday gift from my daughter which was John Grisham's Confession which kept me turning pages until done. Sometimes though other tasks may get skipped it is so soothing to just lose one self in the pages. I call it preventing brain overload. mssewcrazy

  20. I never reread fiction books no matter how interesting. So, I am very surprised to find myself currently rereading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. There are 7 books total and each book is thick even when not in large print. I shudder to think of how big they will be in large print.
    Please include me in the Stretch &Sew patterns giveaway. I am in desperate need of knit cardigan and swimsuit. :)

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  22. neener.neener on the library hold system.
    I feel the same way.

    I have been on a Horatio Hornblower DVD run. The A&E series as well as an old Gregory Peck Movie. I plan on re-reading these this winter.(C.S. Forester)
    The author I am loving right now is Meg Gardiner.

  23. Don't say large print is for old people! I'm 26 and I read large print books! The latest book that i read comes highly recommended, The Help. Just finished reading it in large print. I'm a library nerd and I can usually get books faster when I put the large print edition on hold instead of the regular printing, and it makes me feel like an extensive reader when i get those thick large print books and get through them in a matter of days :)
    I'd love to win those cute swimsuit patterns (Hmm...wonder if you can get the directions in large print :) )

  24. I just finished Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova, about a workaholic woman dealing with a brain injury caused by herself multitasking while driving to work. It had enough medical detail to be interesting, but not overpowering. What I really liked, though, was how real the author managed to make the characters.

    Love your blog!!

    I would put the patterns to good use, if you are so inclined :)


  25. Ooh! I really love those swimsuit patterns. I'm dying to try my first one.

    The last book I read was during my vacation to the Outer Banks in NC a week ago. It bears the ridiculous title of "The Alto Wore Tweed". It is a hilarious book that is part of a series of "liturgical mysteries" set in a small town in the NC mountains where the organist of an Episcopal church is also the police chief. Since I attend an Episcopal Church in the NC mountains, this is particularly poignant stuff. And hilarious! I'm usually a reader of more serious stuff but this one had me howling with laughter the whole way through. It was good for the soul.

    Joanie R

  26. Tanya - Having now finished it, I think the book does stand alone but there will be a few references you don't get if you haven't read the first one. And if you do want to read the first one, you should read them in order or else the ending will be spoiled by the sequel. Does that help?

  27. I agree that the bag making bible is FANTASTIC. I love it too.
    These stretch patterns are great. I have the fabric already chosen in my mind. Dont you love "fantasy sewing" in your mind!?

  28. Thanks so much for the information on the bag book! I find there are *generally* two types of sewing books: those that are aesthetically pleasing and those that are content rich. You impress me as the content rich kinda gal so that was why I wanted to know since that is the type of book I prefer as well.

    I'll pass on the pattern giveaway and leave them for someone who can use them. I have more raglan sleeve patterns in my Burda magazines that I could ever sew, and I don't need any swimsuits. You're a gem for sharing your resources with your readers!

  29. Donna, that's why we leave _light_ reading in the kitchen! Those books have to be uninteresting enough that they can be put down in a hurry when the pot boils over, and cheap enough that grease spatters on the cover won't ruin them. I've got Moby Dick in there right now, and it's working to the book's benefit. Can only consume one chapter at a time, and if it's one of the dud science-textbook chapters, just crack it open at another one--might land at a point of adventure! (Trilogy books were -in- at that time, why didn't he divide it up into Quickie Encyclopedia of the Sea, Rollicking Sea Adventure, and Weighty Musings Upon the Sea?)

    Going anon for this--can't stand raglans. :P