Book Giveaway: Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B.Shaeffer

Hello folks, how goes the Sunday?

My sister and some friends came visiting yesterday, so my Saturday was a very happy one. I always love seeing my older sister, as she cracks me up, and being around her always makes me so happy. Yesterday she had me in stitches, and I felt so much better. Here’s an old picture of us goofing around….

Now, about this giveaway.

Do you want this book?

If yes, read on.
You might be wondering why I am giving this book away just a couple of days after I wrote about wanting to engage in the art of fine sewing. I have not taken leave of my senses…oh no…all I’m doing is executing my still evolving plan of attack on fine sewing. I have been deliberating for some time now if I should get the revised edition of this book, and I have finally made up my mind to go for it. This means I will now have 2 copies of the same book, which translates into… I have to get rid of one.
This giveaway is the beginning of a series of sewing book related giveaways that I plan on doing this year. I love books. There is just something special about leafing through pages and pages of beautifully assembled papers.   For want of a better explanation of the Dibs-Books relationship, I’ll say I’m a Book Addict. I don’t like the term bookworm, because it brings a not very sexy image to my mind…and I like to think of myself as a sexy woman….yes I am….I insist I am…..well I am if I say I am….what? the bump? ……..ahem….okay then, I am a sexy bumpified chica….got that?……now where was I? Oh yes, the giveaway.
As I was saying, I buy too many books, and sometimes I end up not using them, and they spend lonely nights on my bookshelve, the only exciting thing for them being having to fight for space on the bookshelf with Mr.Dibs’s cooking books. Whats the point of having a book that is not used. I figured someone out there would probably give these books the proper attention they deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I love these books, its just that I have not really taken the time to get some use out of them, and now I am trying to make space for more books, like Gertie’s upcoming book.
You, my friends, have been so kind to me, with your lovely emails, and comments, and texts, so its only fair to pay you back in my own small way.
So, to stand a chance of having this book you need to full-fill certain criteria…… 
1) You need to be a follower of my blog.
2) Be a resident of planet earth. ( No aliens please…no not even you beauties of Pandora or spice addicts of Arrakis)
3) Be a member of the human race ( No hobbits, elves, and certainly NO ORCS).
4) Leave a comment about why you want this book.
This giveaway is open till midnight London time, on the 14th of February 2012.
Coolio. I’m off now. Mr.Dibs marinated some chicken last night with Nandos peri peri marinate, and judging from the sweet aroma wafting into the bedroom, I assume said chicken is being acquainted with the hotness of the oven…..aahhhhhhh exciting stuff.  

The Year of Fine Sewing

You all know I signed up for Susan Khalje’s course over at Craftsy a couple of days ago. I was so excited about the course, and boy has it been interesting!!. I have not finished watching it yet, but what I have seen so far has made me realise all the sewing I have been doing till date has been child’s play.

I’ve always taken an end product approach to my sewing. By that, I mean I was more concerned with seeing my sewn item, rather than enjoying the process of making said sewn item. I always wanted faster and easier ways to do stuff, and was quite sloppy in my sewing. Do you ever feel that way? Where all that matters is that a dress be sewn, no matter the fudging involved, after all, nobody will stop you on the streets and go

” oii, show me your seam finishes”, or ” hey mate, why did you not line this dress, or use horsehair for that circle skirt hem?”.

Never mind that I always used to admire the things made by bloggers who put in extra efforts to use age old techniques, such as Karen with her coat ( I’m still gutted I missed the Crafter’s Ceilidh, where I could have stroked that Coat), or Rachel’s cape, or the GLORIOUS wiggle dress recently revealed by Gertie. She says the dress will be in her book. I am sold already on the book based on this dress. I want that book published like YESTERDAY. Got it Gertie? YESTERDAY!!.

Susan’s couture class is amazing people. Its been such an eye opener. It made me wonder why I sew. What’s the point of buying good quality fabric, if all I want to do with it is quickly process it on my machine? Granted, I have never paid more than £10/metre for a fabric but still…… I realise what I have been doing is cottage fast fashion. Fast fashion on an individual scale. Churning out mediocre outfits which might be better than what is available at Primark, but not up to the standards of, say, Oasis, or (sigh) Reiss. Yes Duchess Kate, I said it, you are not the only one with a taste for good stuff.

What is the point of sewing then, if I can’t be patient enough to adjust the fit of a pattern, so it hangs better on my body? Why can’t I put more thought into a sewing project? Why oh why? Why do I buy all those sewing books and not devour them for knowledge, or better still make porridge out of them and eat so that the knowledge becomes part of my biological frame ( is that safe?)….imagine the coroner carrying out a postmortem examination of my body and seeing little snippets of sewing techniques oozing out of my bones.
Why do I ignore the advice given in some of the ones I have already read? I’m afraid I won’t answer all these whys. I don’t want a heart attack.

You see what $39.99 does to you?

So I have decided that this year, 2012, is the year where I go back to the drawing board. I want to make beautiful things that render you all so speechless, you go into your little corners and dream of ways to apparate into my house and steal my wonderful creations. You’d have to be careful though, I have a mean high kick…..I used to take lessons from Bruce Lee in my dreams when I was younger….FACT!!

As a first step, I decided to do an audit of my sewing tools. Ha!! I realised I was sorely lacking in the pressing department. I have neither a tailor’s ham nor a seam roll. I do have a sleeve board, which I picked up in a flea market in Belgium last year, but its in a sorry state, and I have to show it some love. My ironing board belongs in the recycling bin, and my iron is on its last legs. So where does that leave me?

Since I am going all fine sewing this year, I suppose I have to start with getting myself a good iron as apparently,pressing is the Key. Can anyone recommend a good brand?

And I leave you all with a picture of my brand new book, which came through the post today. I first came to know about it when Gertie did a post on it. There is also a review on Threads if you are interested.

This is the second book I am buying based on Gertie’s recommendations, the first being this one….

What about you? Are you finding yourself making more of an effort with the quality of your sewing?

Susan Khalje Couture Class

Don’t you just love the internet?

Last year, Gertie took a class (a workshop really)with Susan Khalje, and I remember thinking I would love to be in her suitcase, so she could take me with her. Gertie always gushes about Susan Khalje and how good she is with couture sewing and with good reason too. Just take a look at her website to discover more about this talented woman yourself.

6 days at her Couture Sewing School will set you back $995….ahem…..I’m not going to comment on that. I imagine you will learn alot in those 6 days, and you will treasure the experience. To get an idea of what those 6 days will be like, you can take a look at Gertie’s blog, where she gave an insight into her time with Susan here, here, here, and here.

Now, even if I did have $995 in my piggy bank, which I can VERY MUCH ASSURE you I don’t have, I would have had to swim across the Atlantic to attend her sewing school. Any other mode of transport will undoubtedly involve me re-mortgaging our house…I kid you not.

Fortunately, she is having a class on Craftsy, yes, the same people who brought you the Bombshell Dress via Gertie, and the price is a mighty affordable $79.99. I got an email in my box today saying there was currently a 50% discount on the course, so that makes it $39.99.  Not bad aye?

So in principle, you shell out $39.99, and you get this Vogue pattern posted to you

and then Susan teaches you how to make this dress using couture techniques. How cool is that? I am thinking very seriously of buying this class. You could probably buy books on couture sewing that will teach you the techniques, but if you, are like me, and you learn by observation, then this might be worth thinking about. Granted, it will be nothing compared to her Couture Sewing School, but for $39.99 (£26.51) I will gladly take the pattern and a couple of couture techniques, thank you very much.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some MAJOR financial decisions to make.

Freezer Paper Stencilling Winner

So I have been asked time and time again if I have started suffering from Baby Brain. Each time someone does, I always say “oh no, not me. I don’t believe in that”. There are some women who swear that they become quite forgetful during pregnancy, and others say its just a fallacy. I did not believe it….until I forgot that I had to choose my giveaway winners!!!

Now you could say it happens to be forgetful once in a while and all that, but, I have spent a considerable time on my blog lately so how come I forgot?

Anyways, this is the result. I still have to figure out a way to get the actual box in here, so in the absence of that, I just copied and pasted the result.

True Random Number GeneratorMin: Max: Result:5
Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Entry number 5 = Sarahlouisa
Can you send your address to my email address please, and along with the text (optional) you will want me to write on the bag.
Thanks everyone who participated.