3.10.2014

next stop: SEWING PROWESS


whoo whoooooooooooooooo! the christine haynes book blog tour train has pulled into kalkatroona station! pour yourself a cuppa, spike it with something good, and let's have a chit chat.  it'll be short and very sweet: this book is the bomb and it belongs in your library.


yep, i've perused it... i was lucky enough to sneak exsqueeze me, devour a peek at this tome during the past coupla weeks, and let's just say, if i'da spied the section on zippers, you woulda seen some fly front pants from me during project sewn for sure. you get three pages on a fly front zip alone. THREE. PAGES.  with a beautifully pictured step every inch of the way-- crystal clear.  no more abandoning this method as a "design choice" for this girl.

the same goes for a bookfull of techniques, basic and advanced, it's simply delicious, it's a marvelous manual. and even though i'd call it an absolute must for anyone dipping their thimble into the silky waters of sewing, there's plenty for the advanced sewist to delight in as well.  but really, what else would you expect from christine?


i'm sorry, what's that you say?  YOU EXPECT A CELEBRATORY PRIZE?!  well, aren't you the presumptuous one!  I LIKE YOU!  you should come over for a drink.


while you get your travel plans ready, throw your hat into the ring for christine's derby dress pattern, which she has so graciously offered to one lucky lady (or gent, mais oui!).  it packs up wonderfully, and can be lengthened to all kinds of proportions, as demonstrated by the crazy lady on vacation in yellowchrome.  just leave a comment on this post, and oh, let's see, we're already talking about vices for the other giveaway, let's talk about the sewing technique that gives you the most trouble!  you can bet your booty christine's book will solve it for you.  holler in the comments!

UPDATE: i'll close the comments this sunday march 16 and announce a winner monday!  erm, and for all you speed readers out there, take note: this giveaway is for the delicious derby dress pattern. see you soon! 

and furthermore: okey doke, comments closed, winner announced tomorrow... 

a PDF version of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

145 comments:

  1. Zippers! Zippers always give me a fit!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't seem to do a nice clean machine sewn zipper. I always end up doing them by hand which is fine, but I'd love to be able to do a neat one by machine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a newbie, so everything basically! But right now I am having a fight with invisible zippers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Button plackets - but the kind that only go partway down the front of a shirt. HATE them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cuff plackets. Damn, so essential for a shirt to look good but so fiddly!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Invisible zippers and button holes. Practice may one day make perfect...

    ReplyDelete
  7. FBAs hands down. I just don't get it! :(

    PS that yellow dress is ah-maaaazing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh zippers....i am getting better at them! but they are the BANE of my existence! :) eventually i won't look at a pattern with a zipper and think...hhmm can i make it out of a knit so i don't have to do the zipper :)
    and p.s. YOU ROCK! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cuff plackets hands down! It is why I haven't made my man that button up I promised him. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. invisible zippers, they are never right from the first try :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can I just say stretch fabric, as a whole. Is a fabric a sewing technique? No, you're right, it's not. How about I really suck at not yelling at my machine when I'm trying to sew stretchy stuff... That's what I suck it. THAT'S A SEWING TECHNIQUE. NOT YELLING

    In fact, not yelling in general. Specifically at my machine (who is LOVELY and does not deserve my anger... I'm so sorry :-( )

    Also it would be coolbeans to learn how to sew a fly. Not a fly zip... but an actual fly. Buzzzzzzzzzz (THAT'S A TOTAL LIE, I ACTUALLY HAVE A PHOBIA OF FLYS... THE BUG KIND... AND THE SEWING KIND... And I just realised it's really early in the morning for you, but here in the future I've already been sat at my desk for seven and a half hours, and my brain left some time ago)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Adjusting a pattern to fit my size. They always come in bigger sizes and I have to re-size them to get the perfect fit.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Heaven help me with those zippers. MERCY.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I cannot stand rolled hems, which makes me avoid fabrics that "require" them. I should really get over that...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sewing with crazy slinky can't stay put knits is on top of my list of things I'd like to tackle.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sleeve plackets or cuffs never give me any problems but I'm a bit rubbish at collat stands for some reason!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Zippers, never seem to get them right the first time!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Troublesome sewing techniques... probably plaids and stripes alignment. That is really tough for me. And anything with elastics attached to fabric. One day I'll finish my knickers!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Buttonholes. Sigh. I’m afraid of the stupid things!
    I was never afraid of zips, for some reason. I wonder what it is that decides who’s afraid of zips and who’s afraid of buttonholes? Most people seem to be afraid of one of them, but few of both?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm still working on getting my curves just right while sewing. I'll think I'm doing well, but when I have to compare it to another piece that is supposed to match ... it doesn't. Just need practice, I guess :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Even half cut out, I've had the makings of a slip lying around for at least a month (oh noes, has it been longer?!) because the stupid voile is being stupid and slippery and stretchy and evil. Knits, totally fine, but a charmeuse/voile/silk/satin anything is trouble

    ReplyDelete
  22. Does getting off my behind to cut the fabric count? Other than that I too have a zipper phobia.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Just working on fly zips via a youtube tutorial. My recent issue that has stopped me from completing a project has been an invisible zipper on stretch fabric. ick! I'm going to give it one more go once I finish my fly front zips, and then see if there is someone who will install it for me (if you can get your buttonholes done up at Jonathan's Emboidery - who handles zipper issues??) I think this book would bring my skills up a couple of notches!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Invisible zippers *shudder*. I get there in the end, but not without a whole lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh man, think I'm gonna have to get me this book! Sleeve plackets are my least favorite- that and the part of a welt pocket where you cut the slit. NERVE-WRACKING!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm new, so any great tutorials are much appreciated. But zippers in particular scare me!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Fly zips. And Sleeves (they never end up sitting right).

    ReplyDelete
  28. Stand collars and sleeve plackets. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Fly front zippers and zippers in general really. I'm on a RTW fast and really need some new pants, so I need to figure this thing out! Thanks for the giveaway, I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Button holes give me the most trouble!....and what a gorgeous dress you have on. I am waiting for warmer weather to be able to wear something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The sewing technique that gives me trouble? Straight lines. There's no hope for me!

    ReplyDelete
  32. That would probably be a toss up between buttonholes and zippers! And serging clear elastic into shoulder seams without some of it ending up outside the seam allowance. And doing a perfect blind hem. And getting knit collar bands to lie perfectly. I could go on.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am also fresh out of my sewing diapers (so to speak) but at the moment I am really struggling to finish my jersey garments. It just looks totally homemade. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Do pants count as a technique? No? Well, then, it's a toss up between fly front zippers and welted pockets. I always misunderstand something crucial.

    ReplyDelete
  35. BUTTONHOLES drive me right round the bed, even when my machine says it will do them perfectly for me (not so). Upside of avoiding patterns with buttons is I've achieved zipper competence. It would be nice, though, to look at a buttoned garment pattern and feel some enthusiasm for giving it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Nothing, because I am AMAZEBALLS! Haha, if only it were true...currently the air at casa B has been blue due to my attempting to attach binding to the tabs of an 18th century stay! Argh, getting frustrated just thinking about it!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Neckbands on t-shirts. The last one got cut twice and unpicked 4 times. In the end I got it on. Now looking for some rose tinted glasses to show me that puckered, uneven neckbands can be charming too! Definitely need help.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Congratulations on all your recent successes; and I love that yellow dress, because it combines a lovely, fun, summery print with that great silhouette.

    I think I'd have to join the "zippers are my problem" chorus, though I know I've inserted them in the past. Maybe I was younger and more fearless then? I'm presently - in the sense of "for almost a year now I have been" - struggling with an invisible zip. Just one. It's been unpicked several times. I'm following instructions as carefully as I can, but it's just not working. Clearly, I need all the help I can get.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Firstly I would like to say thank you for the giveaway!
    I consider myself a beginner sewist so I think I need to improve in all areas of my sewing techniques and I think this book would be perfect for me.
    Louise

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sewing with knits. I NEED to learn more!!
    Love your take on the Derby dress.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I happen to have a drink in hand right now, so yes, I deserve a prize.

    I'm so much a newbie that it would be shorter to list the techniques that *don't* give me trouble (um, invisible zips, due to the magnificent one-two of spectacular By Hand London and Lladybird tutorials - they go in like a BOSS). But if I had to think of a thing that seemed particularly daunting it would have to be sewing a shirt. All those cuffs and plackets and a million precisely lined up buttons & buttonholes... lawd have mercy.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've just tackled bound buttonholes, so maybe button placket a next. I need this book in my life!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh hell, it's my birthday tomorrow and I'm positive no one followed my hints for sewing goodies. So it's either win this or the Mega Millions. I'll be happy either way. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. The fly front zipper comment makes me laugh. I studied fashion merchandising in college and took several clothing construction clasees. I cannot tell you how many attempts at a fly front zipper were made - and all failed miserably (this is the day before you tube video tutorials). I ended up having a classmate do a fly front zipper sample for me and I did a flat front pants pocket for her. Her pocket got a better grade than mine and I did them both! Grrr. And I've still never installed a fly front zipper!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Uggh, darts, the bane of my existence. Never in the right place, maybe its just the "girls" that are off and all the patterns out there are right....? :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. OMG, your fabulous yellow maxi dress is awesome! I die! Consider my hat thrown into the ring. I pink puffy heart Christine :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hemming knits . . . with a regular machine that is. I hate it so much that I'm coveting a coverstitch machine.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So many techniques to learn, so little time...this book looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Zippers...I've got to unpick one right now and I'm just putting it off because it frustrates me.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Stand collars get me every time. They are never quite right.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Collar stands are unadulterated evil. Evil I tell you! Arrrrrrrrrrrgh.

    That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  52. i'm currently fighting with wanting to machine hem things that I know SHOULD be hand done, but I just don't feel like it :(

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hemming...I'm a newbie to apparel sewing and hems just get me every time. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  54. three pages on fly front zippers?? Oh mama, I'm sold!! I recently had my first fly front zip experience, and let me tell you....it was not pretty. Oy. Definitely would love to gain a much more thorough understanding of that! Thanks for the sneaky peak - I'm getting super excited about this book!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. like all things Christine Haynes - awesome! Count me in. it's trouser construction that is my nemesis. fly fronts.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I have A LOT to learn and love to read -- and sew!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hmm do they have a tutorial on not just hacking away at fabric and sewing it all up as fast as possible?
    hmmmmm well don't put me in the drawing, (I have the pattern) but I am exited about the book! Must have it!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Love the pattern, need the book!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Another give-away! *whoop* This is a great pattern {haha} you're getting into Oona. Bleep, bleep, tulle! Yeppers, I wanted a tulle skirt just like the ones all the size 0 fashion bloggers were sporting last year. Yeah, no. I have a pile of half sewn tulle stuffed in a bag somewhere, likely to never the see the light of day.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Yeah. Like others, zippers by machine. This has a lot to do with Ema's fiddly zipper foot. The Lucznik has a nice cooperative foot that stands its ground firmly. Ema's foot shuffles uncertainly. I wish I could put Lucznik's foot on Ema, but sadly, not possible.
    And fly fronts are something I have not attempted yet, just like you. And plackets. And stuff. I've seen tutorials, even ones that looked very helpful, but I have not gotten around to the actual making yet.

    ReplyDelete
  61. it has to be collars. always require at least two attempts before perfecting.
    great giveaway and the book is going on my list of must haves.

    ReplyDelete
  62. i am just so scared of the fly zip!! it's keeping me far away from jeans, so sad. and machine buttons. only ever tried it once, and the result was so bad i've just hand-done them since!

    ReplyDelete
  63. That zip fly gives me the heebee jebbies! I have bought countless yards of denim, jeans patterns, and zippers…only to have it find a new home in my stash… can't conquer the fear!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Sewing with knits and fitting issues for pants. These always give me the creeps!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Rolled hems, and welt pockets. Awesome dress!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Using bias tape to finish a neckline. Ugh. I never get it right. Also, gathering stitches. They're always showing up on the right side of my garment instead of being neatly tucked away in the seam allowance.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sadly, button holes still intimidate me. :(

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'd kill for this book. My biggest hurtle sewing is getting the proper fit. FBA and narrow back adjustments make me curl into a ball and crave a margarita.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sewing knits is almost panic inducing for me but I'm trying to work on that. BTW that yellow fabric is fab! Love your style.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Facings. Damn those things, why can everyone but me get them to cooperate? I need Christine's books, please Giveaway Gods, accept my sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete
  71. For me it is facings - they never match up correctly!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I hate welt pockets and zippers. Still. After 15 years of sewing. GAH! Master them, I will. With the help of this book, hopefully!!!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hemming knits! I'm also really anti button hole! Unless all of them are supposed to look slightly different- then I totally rule!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Pattern sizing. I'm extra curvy in the middle and the bottom, but not so much up top. Half the time my necklines gape open like a preacher's mouth at a Miley Cyrus concert. Not that I mind a little cleavage, but the ladies must be framed!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Sleeves, and I know part of it is because I'm lazy and don't always mark the stop and start points for gathering them, but even when I do something seems to go slightly wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  76. bust adjustments... why do I gotta suffer for all this blessing?! lol

    ReplyDelete
  77. Invisible zippers always give me trouble. They gap at the teeth because I usually don't get the stitching close enough (I blame my generic invis zipper feet... yes I have more than ) and I have a wretched time with the part below the zipper were you close up the seam. Maybe MY NEW BERNINA (!!!!) will handle them better... I haven't tried yet (SOON). Anyhow... I love a good sewing manual and I love sundress patterns!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Slippery fabrics. They do me in every time. I have surrendered in defeat and shun away from their colourful rolls on their little shelves in the fabric store, taunting me and laughing at me with pure evil in their sneaky fibers...

    ReplyDelete
  79. Until I found this tut site, sleeve plackets were my bane! This changed everything! Two piece plackets are the way to go!!
    http://off-the-cuff-shirtmaking.blogspot.com/2014/01/tutorial-shirt-sleeve-placket.html

    ReplyDelete
  80. Set-in frickin' sleeves! For sure!

    ReplyDelete
  81. I really, really hate doing hems!

    ReplyDelete
  82. For me, I hate doing the button holes down the front of a button-down shirt. For whatever reason, no matter how carefully I measure and mark, they look uneven.....

    Maybe I am being too hard on myself? I hope they aren't as bad as they look! If I only have to make one or two I am ok, but all the way down a shirt, or god forbid a shirtdress?? Game over.

    ewronkowski@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I would love to master the pocket--all kinds.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Fitting patterns to my petite frame. I'm barely over 5'0"!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Believe it or not, GATHERING. I avoid patterns that require gathering.

    ReplyDelete
  86. sleeves, sleeves, sleeves - ugh, so hard for me!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Welts! Am about to start a Cape! Are welts those things you stick your arms through in a cape? Anyway - those things! This book looks amaaaaazing!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Trousers in general, I have made pj bottoms but really want to make some trousers but can't bring myself to cut into the fabric so I think the zip section would be helpful.

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  89. Facings are a nightmare of mine - they never stay put but mostly fitting my musclular upper back - it is NOT a dowager's hump, it is NOT - grrrr...
    Also - Derby dress? I was born in Derby, how cute

    ReplyDelete
  90. I would constantly reference the section on anything sleeve related!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I need a photo-led book (just like Christine's - fancy that as a co-incidence?!) to guide me to neat top stitching!

    ReplyDelete
  92. sleeves. i can't set a sleeve to save my life. it's a really good thing i have a large collections of cardigans to cover my sleevelessness.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Fitting. I wish I could talk knowledgeably about fitting. I always end up with garments that are just a tad big, without any idea what to do next. Thanks, Oona!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Love the thought of that book as well as the pattern. I'm starting to sew for an upcoming trip to Napa. I can see myself wearing that Derby dress sipping a glass walking through a lush vineyard... Pick me! Pick me!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Edgestitching, for some reason my machine hates it and always puckers no matter how much I adjust stitch length and tension.

    ReplyDelete
  96. The sewing technique that gives me the most trouble is fly front. I have only attempted it once with a Burda pattern and the instructions were......not ideal. :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have trouble with sleeves. I have only attempted them on clothes for my daughter and she didn't care if they were a little 'wonky'.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I have never attempted a fly front but I have a pattern for shorts that is calling my name (if warm weather ever returns to the midwest.) I am sure this book could help me with that!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Since I just started sewing in November, virtually every sewing technique I've tried thus far has given me fits. LOL Except bias tape. I love adding bias tape. Maybe too much.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Sewing I love it, and been been doing since middle school. Still after all these years there are challenges, and even wadders. I hate it when I mess up a beautiful piece of fabric even after using a muslin. My biggest challenge is a great fit with pants. I am 6 ft tall, and I need to master the fit! I would love to win this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops! I would love to win the pattern! Great for lounging around at home, and while on vacation.

      Delete
  101. I definitely will love to master the bias binding technique, every time I do it looks like a little girl do it, maybe a little girl can do it better then me lol.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I love your version of the pattern. I'm not sure I'd call it a technique, but I definitely still struggle sewing chiffon! x

    ReplyDelete
  103. This book looks great! I would love to master sewing with different kinds of knits and knowing what all the other different knit descriptions mean!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Grading patterns for my bust to waist difference between most patterns and *my* body. :)

    ReplyDelete
  105. Machine buttonholes are the bane of my existence. Which sucks because I really love garments with buttons. I know they're not "difficult" per se, but my machine is *just* finnicky enough to not want to make a neat buttonhole in the most important spot on a garment.
    This book looks awesome, I'd love to win a copy. Thank you Oona!

    ReplyDelete
  106. At this point the basic frustration is fitting. Is that a technique??

    ReplyDelete
  107. yeah I'm going to agree with Anneh, fitting's rough sometimes. especially the infernal back gape that always plagues me!

    ReplyDelete
  108. My finishing skills need attention. I'm hoping this book will help me!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Topstitching...and buttonholes for some reason!

    ReplyDelete
  110. This looks like a good book.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Fly zips are still a problem. I'm hoping there's basic adjustments for an FBA too. This book looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Hello Mz Oona! This has nothing to do with the book but just wondering if you know about the British Sewing Bee casting for a U.S. show? I think you would be great on that show, what with your great sewing skills and fantastic personality and all!
    I saw the link on Miss Celie's pants blog.
    http://missceliespants.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/casting-flier-sewing-final-1.pdf
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  113. The sewing technique that gives me the most bother is attaching collars because there are usually multiple layers of fabric involved and sewing it all around a tight curve can be very tricky! Would love to win,

    ReplyDelete
  114. Love your pictures and the dress... wow! That is a beautiful one!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Inserting invisible zippers are my nemesis for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Zippers. Even after one successful invisible zipper installation, I'm still terrified of the next. Help! :)

    ReplyDelete
  117. Fit. Fitfitfit. I feel like I could sew anything as long as I didn't mind wearing something 4x too big or tight in the thighs and loose in the waist. ALSO, I'm a master at the first buttonhole, it's the second, third, and fourth that get hinky. Love your blog and Amos Lee. Keep on keeping on Ms. Oona <3

    ReplyDelete
  118. Gathering is my kyptonite - I would really love to master it! I have such a hard time getting the gathers evenly distributed and even after basting, I still end up redoing sections.

    ReplyDelete
  119. collars, collars, collars, collars……..ugh. I love me a button-down shirt, but I suck at collars….

    ReplyDelete
  120. Hello there!! My less favourite technique is inserting zippers! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Great giveaway, fingers are now crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Collars suck... fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  123. Buttonholes! I tend to avoid them at all costs!

    ReplyDelete
  124. i need to learn how to do basic fitting adjustments

    ReplyDelete
  125. Zippers! Yuck!
    Merci beaucoup! J'adore ton blogue:)

    ReplyDelete
  126. Awesome giveaway! Thanks so much.
    Okay, technique that gives me the most problems - fitting, fitting and fitting. "Tomorrow I will master this technique" sums it up pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Awesome sauce! Hope I am the lucky one!

    ReplyDelete
  128. I have not yet figured out a sure-fire way to hem knits on my 1982 Singer. It's a challenge!
    mandiprout80 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  129. I'm still very new with my overlocker, and for some reason my button hole foot plays up every other time I use it!

    ReplyDelete
  130. I want this book pretty badly. Because who doesn't need another sewing book? Plus Christine is a great teacher, as I learned from her Craftsy class!

    I'm working on my first zip fly right now and it's a might confusing, so I'll go with that!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Button holes, I can never get on with my button holes!

    ReplyDelete
  132. Puckered zippers!! grrrrrr! I love the idea of this book...sometimes without the knowledge it is hard to "picture" what the directions say. This book is fantastic!!

    ReplyDelete
  133. The fitting of pants. It's so hard!

    ReplyDelete
  134. I need MAJOR help with fit! My body doesn't seem to play nicely with clothing and my dream is to make actual trousers that fit! I need this book!

    ReplyDelete
  135. I can never make turn of cloth work for me :(

    ReplyDelete
  136. I always have trouble with invisible zippers. I've got three books that explain how to do them, but none of the explanations tell me how to avoid that extra bit of puckered fabric at the bottom. I always end up hand-sewing and pressing the heck out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Still learning -- zippers and darts are my next goals. I have the perfect fabric so hoping ...

    ReplyDelete
  138. sewing with my vintage machine always seems to mean trouble... At the moment I'm having challenges with knits and many problems with drafting my patterns correctly. I don't sew from commercial patterns often and often can't afford to buy them. I use thrifted fabric and patterns and make things from internet tutorials! I would love a chance to have a cute pattern that I can make a dress up and pretend it's summer (we just had another snowstorm last week).

    ReplyDelete