Hi friends! I'm so, so sorry for the delay in announcing the lucky winner of my Flamingo-print jerseygiveaway. I got back from Cyprus late on Wednesday evening, was back at work on Thursday, took the boyfriend out for a belated birthday meal in the evening (I missed his 30th birthday by a day and I'll never live it down), spent Friday evening preparing for a flat-full of friends, entertained said friends Saturday day time, celebrated the boyfriend’s birthday in the evening...and now, after the clean-up operation, I'm finally catching up with myself!

But you don't want to know about my hectic shenanigans! You want to know if you're a winner of course ;o) After taking out a couple of duplicate comments and a reply of my own, I was left with 114 entries to the giveaway. My most popular giveaway yet, so thank you all for entering!!!

And the winner is...the gorgeous Andrea from Four Square Walls, who is tempted to make a cardigan with the jersey. Congratulations Andrea - I'm a huge fan of your blog and I know what a good home the jersey is going to! I'll be emailing you soon regarding your postal address.

In other news, since I publicly denounced the accumulation of new fabric, new fabric just can't seem to stay away from me. And I'm not even seeking it out that much, with the exception of the Birmingham Rag Market meet-up of course. Anyway, Cyprus never disappoints and this time I really struck gold people!

I was given the most special silk yardage, which was handwoven by my great grandmother in the late 1940s. She even nurtured her own silk worms that produced the silk! I already have plans for some of this which will be revealed as part of an exciting project I'm launching in January!

I also had the great fortune to be handed down some stunning 1930s fabric from my mum's aunt – these are a delicious mixture of silk, rayon, cotton, linen and broderie anglaise. So, so beautiful!

And finally, I also got to visit the one fabric store that always catches my eye, but has been closed on other visits. It's been there since the late 1950s and I managed to get some cool 1960s fabrics for a mere 2 Euros per metre.

If you're concerned about my storage issues, don't be! While I was away, the new furniture for my sewing room arrived and has already been deftly built by my boyfriend. I now just have to invest a little time organising and I should be left with a really great and clutter-free sewing space.

Gosh, sorry for going on...I guess I've missed bending your ear! Hope you've all been keeping well and  have been making time for creative adventures.
Lots of you seemed to like my Flamingo-jersey-turned-Renfrew, which reassured me that I'm not alone in loving 'interesting' prints. So to thank you for making me feel less like a freak, I have two metres of Flamingo jersey to gift to one lucky reader!

This giveaway doubles up as a bribe to keep you sweet while I pop over to Cyprus tomorrow to visit my family for a week. And it's also a way of spreading the love, as I'm feeling incredibly fortunate to have recently won Megan Nielsen's epic birthday giveaway (I'm still gob-smacked). 

So not just one, but three good reasons to host a giveaway!!!

This is open to any reader anywhere in the world. Just leave a comment telling me what you'd make with your Flamingo jersey, by midnight (GMT) Wednesday 21 November. Don't forget to include your email address if it's not on your blog! The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday 23 November.

Good luck! I'll just leave you with a reminder of how cool you too can look if you're the lucky winner ;o)

In layman's terms, yesterday was bloody awesome! Fifteen fantastic ladies joined Kat and I at the Birmingham Rag Market - from as far and wide as Bath and Merseyside no least - for what was our first ever go at organising a meet-up. Despite my initial nerves, the day was an absolute pleasure in every way, thanks to the easy-going, genuine and good nature of everyone who came.

As an organiser, my mother-hen instincts seriously kicked in and I didn't take as many good photos as I would have liked. I'll summarise the day as best as I can, but if you're after quality photos, you'd best keep your eyes peeled for related posts by blogging friends - all listed at the end.

Kat and I met our brood at Birmingham New Street train station, armed with handmade name brooches and edible goodies to keep their energy levels nice and high.

First we hit the Rag Market - inside and out. Annoyingly, the fabric and notions stalls are really spread out, so it does make for a bit of a 'messy' experience.

After a couple of hours we were more than ready for a sit-down and some lunch at the tried and tested Cafe Soya. They reserved a big table for us at the back and I bet they were very pleased they did by the time we left!

Sitting down for lunch gave everyone a great opportunity to chat and get to know each other a bit better. The conversations were definitely flowing freely, which was lovely to see.

It also gave us all a chance for one MAMMOTH swap. I totally didn't manage to capture the sheer volume that people brought with them, but trust me when I say, it was HUGE!!!

These pictures really sum up what I love about our kind. We're excellent at sharing and not at all afraid to get stuck in! I'm going to guess that super-organised Claire supplied the scissors, then Helen and Rachel got down to business sharing out some fabric.

I did extremely well out of the swap. Not only did I manage to giveaway all but one of my swap items, but I also received some truly wonderful things back: a super cool Hawaiian print cotton from Katie, a beautiful seersucker print from Karen, a really useful bobbin organiser from Claire, a precious lot of vintage notions from Mellie and some pretty floral canvas and funky salmon jersey from Kat!

Re-fuelled and with swapping out of our systems, we proceeded to terrorise the good owners of the Fancy Silk Store and Barry's Fabric Superstore. I'm not joking when I say these shops are overwhelming when you don't have a particular purchase in mind, but an unmissable experience nonetheless.

Now, I'm not intentionally trying to make you all even more jealous, but it's only natural that you would be. The owner of the Fancy Silk Store was so impressed with the size of our group, that he gave us each a free pen. BOOM!!!  

I wasn't quite strong enough to resist buying stuff altogether, but I was relatively reserved and I did keep to my promise of staying away from florals and animal print!

Finally, here's a beautiful group shot (minus myself) - have you ever seen so many happy faces in one picture before?

Here's a list of attendees in the order that they appear in the group shot, from left to right and back to front:

Roisin - Dolly Clackett

Alice - Moonbeam

Helen - Sew Stylish

Helen - Helen Made

Suzy - Suzy Sewing

Kat - Krafty Kat 

Charlotte (sadly not pictured as she'd left by this point) - Keeping track of things 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you ladies so much for making it a very special day. It was fantastic to catch up with familiar faces and and great to meet new ones too. Hope to see even more of you next time ;o)
When I saw Dixie DIY's new freebie last week – the Hot Cocoa Sweater – I instantly knew it was for me. I also just happened to have the perfect double knit (animal print of course!) in my stash, but the only downside is that Dixie's pattern is only available in one size / her size at the moment. Although I'm bigger in the chest than the lovely Dixie, I'm probably slightly narrower in the shoulders, so I decided to go for it and hope for the best. I'm so glad I did, I've definitely got myself a keeper!

I love the raglan sleeves and asymmetrical hemline and it's perfectly snug for this colder weather. The best things about this make are that it was a stash-buster and it was simple and quick enough to whip up whilst my sewing room is undergoing major surgery. 

This pattern has clearly written instructions and is deliciously simple to make, with just four pieces. The cuffs and neckband are cleverly assembled and attached just like Sewaholic's Renfrew, so you get a really neat finish. The hem is just turned up once and stitched which reduces bulk - you don't have to worry because knits don't fray. The only change I made was to add 3 inches to the front and back length, as I wanted a bit more coverage for my 'junk'...hehe! I kept everything else the same. 

I know I'm going to get lots of wear from this sweater. In fact, guess what I'm wearing to the Birmingham Rag Market meet-up tomorrow?!? Which is rather fitting really, because that's where I bought the awesome fabric from when I visited back in May

Are you tempted by Dixie's pattern? Or maybe you've already made it. What did you think?