Tag Archives: giveaway

Blog tour and GIVEAWAY – #parissewsocial

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Today is a fun day!  Not only do I get to share with you something I’ve made using fabric and a pattern given to me by the generous sponsors of #parissewsocial, but all the other bloggers from the trip (and competition winners) are doing the same!  This means you get to check out 14 different creations (see the grid below) AND you get the chance to enter 14 different GIVEAWAYS to win some of these patterns!

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the HedgerowThis dress is the Pinafore dress from the Japanese sewing book Sew Chic Kids by Ruriko Yamada (translated into English).  I’m pleased to say it was much more of a success than the first item I sewed from this book (see this post).

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

This is such a perfect summer dress – just throw it on and go!  As with all Japanese sewing patterns, you need to pay careful attention to all the illustrations but, if you do, you’ll be rewarded with a dress that comes together quickly and looks very professional.  I made it even easier for myself by omitting the buttonholes and just sewing the buttons directly on to the dress (the neck is wide enough to go on and off without unfastening them).

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The mustard tank you can see peeking out under the dress is the new Twisted Tank pattern by Titchy Threads.  This tank has had so much wear since I made it that I need to sew at least four more!

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The fabric!  Yes, let’s talk about the fabric!  I am in love with this Petit Pan fabric and wish I had more to make a skirt for myself.  Of course you can’t reach out and touch this dress but let me assure you, the quality of this cotton is just as stunning as the pattern.  It’s lovely to work with – not quite as light as, say, a Liberty Tana Lawn, but with beautiful drape and it’s so well-behaved when being pressed and stitched.

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The fabric came from the online fabric shop Telaria.  This is a wonderful shop and one that I’ve only recently discovered.  It has a lovely, curated selection of high quality fabrics and the owner, Maria, does a great job of giving lots of information about each fabric (composition, pattern repeat, lots of photos, etc) for people who are still a bit wary of buying fabric online.  The shop is based in Spain so is ideal for European sewists (the site is in both Spanish and English).

Sew Chic Kids pinafore dress // Behind the Hedgerow

I’ll keep this post nice and short – since I’m sure you’re going to want to click, click, click on these images below to see what everyone else has been making!

And now for the GIVEAWAY!  Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to be in with a chance to win a PDF sewing pattern of your choice from designer Paisley Roots.  Karly’s patterns are classical, yet relaxed.  I’m really digging her All Spice Dress (look at the lovely extended placket!).  I’m dying to find the time to sew up a colour-blocked version.  The competition is open until 10th July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Favourite Things GIVEAWAY

My Favourite Things Giveaway // Behind the Hedgerow

You can call it a Thank You to all you truly wonderful readers who have been part of this blogging adventure with me for the past 15 months; you can call it a celebration of a change in life and an update of blog; or you could simply call it AN AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

A natural love of the English countryside has always drawn me to the classic designs of English tailoring, epitomised by the patterns of Merchant and Mills and even better when sewn with Liberty of London fabric.

My time in Brussels has allowed me the chance to get to know some of the innovative pattern designers who incorporate their sense of Belgian flair in their work.

I feel that my own sewing is now lodged somewhere in between these two realms – and that’s a lovely place to be!

So, is this post just about me, me, me?!  Mais, non!  There’s something in for you as well!  If you’re a reader here and like what you see and what I do then I assume you too have impeccable taste 😉 and deserve to win some of these delights!

The Giveaway

There are 12 prizes to be won (by three winners) which pretty much some up my favourite things about sewing.  These have been generously donated and I can’t thank those individuals and businesses enough.  Let’s have a little wander down Prize-Winning Alley…

Straightgrain Patterns

An, the creative force behind Straightgrain, designs patterns for babies and girls that are modern and elegant.  Her natural style and flair for matching patterns and fabrics comes out in all her creations.

To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  You can get drooling over all her patterns here.

Straightgrain's Hanami Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Zonen 09 Patterns

Sharon has been one of my sewing inspirations ever since I met her at Maakdag, Gent’s sewing extravaganza, that she organised.  I’ve waxed lyrical about the Jacob Trousers enough times for you all to be sick of hearing it!  Her newest pattern, The Lars Jacket (only available in Dutch at the moment) just blows my mind!

Jacob Trousers // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  At the moment she has three patterns in English.  Should you win you can choose one of these or, if you’re patient, wait until the others are released in English.  Check out all the patterns here.

Compagnie M. Patterns


CompagnieM logo

I’ve worked closely with Marte on some of her patterns.  She’s exacting and prolific (which is even more admirable considering she’s the mother of twin toddlers) and her patterns just keep  geting better and better!  The Mara blouse and Lotta dress are both wardrobe staples in this house.



To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  Even if you don’t win, you’ll enjoy perusing these beauties.

Merchant and Mills

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Merchant and Mills embodies everything I love and aspire to be as a home sewist.  I even wrote an entire post on this shop.  If you have a moment (and even if you think you don’t) please read this – it might change your life (or at least your life as a sewist) like it did mine!

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won: one digital sewing pattern of your choice.  I can personally recommend the Factory Dress (in fact, I’m wearing it as I type!) but the others are equally irresistible!  I have the Camber Dress pattern just waiting for the perfect fabric.  Have a look at all the patterns available.



A trip to London is never complete without a visit to Ray-Stitch.  They stock all the usual on-trend quilting cottons as well as a wide yet artfully curated range of home deco weight, Liberty lawn, jersey and corduroy, buttons, patterns and tools.  Oh, and there’s a gorgeous little café too!  A little slice of heaven if you ask me!

Green Bee Pattern's Mug Rug // Behind the Hedgerow

TUTORIAL - Liberty Baby Comfort Blanket // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won:  One bundle of worn and washed Liberty fabrics.  Talk about heaven, these little bundles offer 35 pieces of Liberty fabric.  Yes they are small but they are perfect for adding just a touch Liberty to a project – and with Liberty, a little goes a long way!

de Stoffenkamer

A gem of a fabric shop alongside a picturesque canal in Gent.  When I visit this shop I head straight for the jersey, ribbing and the most gorgeous display of piping!  They stock a huge range of delicious colours including some fabulous metallic silver and gold, polka dots and jersey!  Adding piping to projects can really transform them and make them your own.

Oliver+s bucket hats // Behind the Hedgerow

You can see more of this piping in action here, here and here.

Piping - de Stoffenkamer, Gent, Belgium

To be won: 10 meters of assorted piping (including some metallic).


So what are you waiting for?!  Are you ready to enter?  The giveaway is open to ALL readers – everything can be sent internationally!!  I wish you all luck.  The giveaway will close next Thursday 12th June and 13.00 CET and I’ll announce the winners on Friday 13th (which won’t be unlucky for three of you!!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement over the past 15 months.  Long live home sewing…and photographing…and writing…and sharing!

Laura x

Looking forward and a GIVEAWAY


Cappuccino Pattern Giveaway  Behind the Hedgerow

Happy Monday!  Well, we’ve all survived another Kid’s Clothes Week.  How much do you have to show for the last week of sewing?  For me it’s only one Celestial tee, one Hanami Dress and a handful of upcycled tees that I haven’t bothered to blog about.  Not my most productive KCW but hey-ho, onwards and upwards….

Now that our children are all accounted for in the clothing department (or at least that’s the idea!) we can happily turn our attention to selfish sewing.  There are two events coming up in the next month that I can’t wait to get involved in…and I hope you will too.

The first is Selfish Sewing Week and runs from 28 April – 3 May.  It is organised and run by Rachael of Imagine Gnats and this year, for the first time, will be hosted on Kollabora (as opposed to on Flickr).

Do you know Kollabora?  It’s a great place to share your makes and gather inspiration from others and aims to “unite makers, crafters, and DIY enthusiasts of all skill levels to get inspired, share projects, buy and sell PDF patterns, and connect with each other and their favorite brands.”  If you have a moment why don’t you get familiar with it before SSW gets underway?  You can see all my makes here and you can follow along with all the Selfish Sewing Week projects here.

If you’re familiar with adding your projects to Kollabora the only thing extra you need to do is add Selfish Sewing Week to the Inspired by box.  It will look something like this:

How to add your sewing projects to the Selfish Sewing Week group on Kollabora

I’ll be posting over at imagine gnats that week as one of the featured stitchers.  I’m going to be sewing and reviewing the Julia Cardigan from Mouse House Creations.  I love the look of this pattern and I can’t wait to get started on it!

You can also get lots of inspiration from the Selfish Sewing Week Pinterest board.

Once all that selfish sewing is complete, you’ll want to start wearing it, right?  Well, why not get involved with Me-Made-May 2014??  It’s hosted by So, Zo…What do you Know? and is a one-month long personal challenge of wearing your handmade duds.  You don’t need to have a blog, you don’t even need to sew anything in particular – you simply take the pledge and set yourself a personal challenge of wearing your handmade clothes for a certain proportion of the month.  For example, I have pledged to wear at least one item of handmade clothing a day for the month of May as well as having at least one handmade item on at least one of my kids each day.  You can read all about it and sign up by clicking the image below.

I also love this initiative because it gives us all pause for thought over the clothes we wear and ties in nicely with Fashion Revolution Day taking place NEXT WEEK on 24th April.  Sorry for repeating myself for those of you that already know, but Fashion Revolution Day is a wonderful opportunity for all us home sewists to stand together the help shape and change the future of the fashion industry on the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza textile factory collapse in Bangladesh.  I would love for you to take a moment to read about it and sign up to wear something handmade inside out (#insideout #handmadeinsideout) on the 24th and share on social media.  Over 120 people have taken the pledge so far!  You don’t want to miss out!!

Now for the juicy bit…

The Giveaway!!

To help get you ready for these two events and to kick-start your sewing mo-jo, I’m hosting a giveaway of Liesl & Co’s new Cappuccino Dress and Tunic Pattern!  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.

A while ago I wrote a Top 10 for Tuesday list of patterns similar to the Lisette Portfolio Dress (Simplicity 2245).  It’s this pattern that I used to sew the orange dress you see on my profile picture up there on the right.  Sadly this pattern has been discontinued but Liesl Gibson has updated and re-released the pattern as the Cappuccino Dress and Tunic under the Liesl & Co brand!!  Lucky for all us sewists!!  You can read all about the pattern here.

Liesl has kindly offered a copy of this PDF pattern to one lucky reader!  What a great way to kick off Selfish Sewing Week and Me-Made-May!

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me something fun!  The giveaway will be open until midnight on Monday 21st April (CET).  What fabric would you use for the Cappuccino dress?  How do you think the pattern compares to the original?  Do you have other specific plans for Selfish Sewing Week or Me-Made-May?  Have you signed up for Fashion Revolution Day??  I would LOVE to see some more names on the sign up!!  You don’t have to have a blog to participate.  To make it easy, all you have to do is click on the image below to take part:

Fashion Revolution Day. #insideout #handmadeinsideout

Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone with the giveaway!
Laura x

KCW wrap up and GIVEAWAY winner

I know I may be overdoing this whole Kid’s Clothes Week malarky but it’s always nice to have closure, right?  I really did push myself this past week to get on top of lots of projects I’ve had mulling around in my mind for a while now.  I’m happy with (most) of the results and, as you can see from above, Margot made out with most of the stash!  (Must now try to focus on boy sewing – shouldn’t there be a Celebrate the Boy series around the corner?!).

Amongst all that sewing how could I forget the giveaway?!  As part of the January Pattern Tour for imagine gnats, Rachael has generously offered one of her digital sewing patterns to one of my lucky readers.

Meridian cardi giveawayThat lucky reader is comment number six – Elizabeth from Lizzieville.  Congratulations, Elizabeth!  And, if you haven’t come across Elizabeth’s blog before you might want to check it out.  She’s been doing some awesome KCW sewing too.  I’m in love with this beautiful apron top.

Now, onwards and upwards.  What’s in store now that KCW is behind us?  Well, next week I’ll be sharing another Minerva Craft Blogger Network post as well as my contribution to Figgy’s Heavenly Collection Winter 2014 Tour.  Look at the amazing line-up of bloggers for this February tour!!

I hope you all managed to work through your sewing to-do list last week.  I’ve enjoyed hopping around seeing what everyone’s been making – I’ve got enough inspiration to last me a lifetime!

Thanks for reading!

Laura x

Meridian Cardigan Pattern Tour and Giveaway – KCW Winter 2014 – Day Two

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Whew – that’s a long title!  Today is the second day of Kid’s Clothes Week, winter 2014 but it’s also the day I’m participating in the imagine gnats pattern tour…and with every good pattern tour comes a GIVEAWAY!

Rachael, the one-woman whirlwind behind imagine gnats, is an independent pattern designer who makes perfectly stylish and comfortable clothes for children as well as women (and she even has an embroidery pattern).  I’ve made the Bess Top (which I love!) so for this tour I decided to try something for one of the little people in my life.

Here I present you with the Child’s Meridian Cardigan.

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

In case you’re interested, the trousers are Zonen 09’s Jacob pattern which you can read all about here.

If you were reading yesterday you’ll know that I’m keeping these posts short and sweet so as to maximise the time in front of my sewing machine.  I’ve asked myself a few questions that you can quickly read through before hopping over to another fantastic blog with more inspiring kid’s clothes!

What did you make?

Imagine gnats’ Meridian Cardigan – child version.  This is a downloadable PDF pattern with clear instructions and useful illustrations.  It’s made with knit/jersey fabric and there are instructions to make it a cardigan (like I did) or a jacket with a collar.  Rachael gives lots of options for button/snap placement.

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Size and fabric?

Unsurprisingly, I made a size 6 for my 6-year-old.  Her measurements were on the small side for this pattern and I think I could have got away with a size 5.  There is definitely lots of growing room here and, as you can see, the cut is quite generous.  She loves it though – more delicious fabric to wrap herself in!

This cardigan is reversible – did I mention that?! – reversible!  The solid side is a lush aubergine jersey from Minerva crafts.  The fabulous floral knit is from de Stoffenkamer in Gent.  I adore the colour palette of this fabric and my only regret with this make is that my daughter gets to be covered in beautiful flowers and not me!

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Did you enjoy making them?

Yes, I did actually.  It’s very easy and would be a great project for someone new to sewing with knits.  The sleeves are raglan so there’s nothing to set and there are no exposed seams (once you sew the two sides together you turn it right side out through one of the sleeves).  I was enjoying the process so much that I even took the time to hand stitch the sleeve cuffs together!

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Favourite part of finished garment?

I love the easy style of this cardigan.  The double layer of fabric gives it a nice weight and it’s easy to throw on and off in these cold months of layering many garments.  Margot likes the swishy-ness of it.

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

The part that made you swear the most?

I actually don’t think I swore once making this!  That’s gotta be a good sign.  My top-stitching all the way around went a little wonky but I’m still glad I did it because it keeps the layers together nicely.

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Music you were listening to?

Still listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  Saw them in concert last night here in Belgium and it was phenomenal!  Great music to sew by!

Sum them up in 10 words or less?

great beginner project for knits, perfect for layering.

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Would you make it again?  What would you do differently?

Yes!  This would make a great gift as well since you don’t need to know exact sizes and you really can knock this out in one sitting.

Next time I’ll give more thought to the button placement.  At the moment I haven’t added any buttons – I want to see how Margot wears it and what makes most sense in terms of closures.  As we all know, buttonholes are so final and I don’t want to get the placement wrong!

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Fed up of photos – wants to watch Harry Potter


Have you made any imagine gnats patterns yet?  Would you like to try one?  Leave a comment on this post and your name will be entered to win one of Rachael’s patterns.  You can see the whole collection here.  The deadline is midnight on Saturday, 1 February (Central European Time).

Meridian Cardigan (imagine gnats) // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading and good luck with all your sewing this week!

Laura x

GIVEAWAY – Mara Blouse Pattern (and Project Run and Play Signature Style)

mara blouse and jacob trousers - title image

This is one jam-packed post!!  We’ve got Liberty print, we’ve got a pattern tour, we’ve got signature style, and, best of all, we’ve got a GIVEAWAY!  Way-hey!

Mara Blouse

mara blouse and jacob trousers - top wearing

Before we get started with the pattern itself, I just want to mention the fabric.  Yes it’s Liberty, yes it’s Tana Lawn and yes, it’s covered with quirky, cool animals (complete with giraffes wearing sneakers/trainers and elephants carrying satchels).  This is quite possibly my most perfect fabric ever!  It even has okapis on it!  Who can resist an okapi?! (Did you know an okapi can wash its eyelids and ears with its unbelievably long tongue?!).

mara blouse and jacob trousers - top hanging

The pattern that had the honour of being used with this fabric is the newly-released Mara blouse pattern from Compagnie M.  This is the second day of an awesome pattern tour for this top and it promises to be full of innovation and inspiration (you can check out the full line-up here).  Marte has designed a beautiful and functional top which, I think, suits Liberty fabric beautifully.  I chose to make a top with long sleeves but you could also choose – flutter sleeves, cap sleeves or even a dress or tunic version (like Marta from doguincho posted yesterday).

With lots going on at the moment (and yesterday being my son’s fourth birthday) I almost didn’t join the pattern tour.  But, boy, would have I been kicking myself if I missed out on this!  Here’s what I love about the Mara blouse:

  • This is one of those patterns that not only guides you smoothly along the path to a well-sewn and beautiful garment (it even goes so far as to give you the exact measurements for perfectly spaced buttonholes), but also teaches you a few things along the way that will help increase your general sewing knowledge.  In particular, this pattern teaches you how to make your own bias, apply piping, and finish a long sleeve with a beautiful elastic cuff.  And, as if this weren’t enough, Marte has also posted some free tutorials to help with each aspect of this top.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - sleeve cuff

  • With so many stylistic options available this top is suitable for all seasons and can be changed in so many ways that it will always seem fresh.  In other words, you can sew this for siblings or close friends without them thinking they’re wearing the exact same thing.  Next time I want to try a contrast fabric for the yoke.
  • I’m in love small pleats/pin tucks under the yoke – a subtle detail that adds sophistication (just sew slowly when attaching the yoke to the this section – with the sharp curve and the pleats it’s easy to misalign the yoke and end up with the whole piece off-centre).  (And of course I love the piping – surely that goes without saying?!).

mara blouse and jacob trousers - yoke detail

  • This pattern ranges in size from 1 – 10 years.  I really appreciate this!  I see a fair few of these being made for Chritmas gifts!

As home sewists we are all spoilt for choice with so many amazing indie patterns available at the moment.  The bar keeps rising higher and higher in terms of how much we get from a pattern (fully photographed instructions, multiple style options, corresponding online information, step-by-step sewalongs, instantly downloadable, etc).  The Mara Blouse is competing at such a high level and really does deliver on every point.  I know Marte has worked her socks off to get this pattern right.  If you’re looking for something stylish, achievable (although not completely simple), and easily personalised for your daughter, grand-daughter, niece or friend then I highly recommend giving this pattern a go.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - top with bunting

Signature Style

mara blouse and jacob trousers - trousers

Project Run and Play is in its final week (how did that happen?!).  I participated in week one (pattern remix) but weeks two and three managed to slip by without my attention (I blame Selfish Sewing Week for getting in the way!).  Anyway, I’m back for the final week – signature style.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - on knees

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know my weakness for piping, Liberty print fabrics and Belgian pattern designers.  I’m pleased to say that this signature style outfit has all three…twice!

  • Piping has been added to the Mara blouse – subtle green rope-like piping around the yoke of the top – and also to the pockets of the trousers.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - button and pockets

  • In addition to the scrumptious Liberty zoo print, I also added some Liberty scraps to the inside of the pockets.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - inside pocket

  • And, in addition to the fabulous Mara blouse, the trousers are a pattern from Sharon at Zonen 09 (you can see another version and read the full pattern review here).  The fabric is a wool blend (I’m guessing here – I bought the fabric years ago in Bristol).  It has a bit of stretch in it which I didn’t realise until I started sewing.  I even fully lined them – a new first for me.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - mid-view

This outfit is perfect for my daughter because, as much as I love all her sweet dresses, I think it’s just as important to have wardrobe basics that will see her through winter in comfort and style.  I just wish both patterns were made for adults as well!


If my waxing lyrical about the Mara Blouse  isn’t enough to convince you to try it, how about a giveaway?!

back view

If you’d like a chance to win an instantly downloadable PDF pattern of the Mara Blouse, leave a comment below telling me the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belgium!!  Let’s celebrate the best of Belgium!  (And if you indeed are Belgian then perhaps you could tell me one great/cool/little-known fact about your country or city).  The competition ends at midnight (GMT +1) on Saturday 5th October.  I’ll choose a winner at random.

mara blouse and jacob trousers - top with elephantmara blouse and jacob trousers - mid view with buntingThanks for reading and good luck with the competition – I wish I could give a copy to each of you!

Laura x