Summer Sewing Patterns Giveaway

Did you have Needlework/Sewing lessons at school? I think I am probably amongst the last generation of schoolchildren who did. Wow, those lessons put me off sewing for a good long time… I was so scared of the teacher and her tutting as I failed to control the Bernina machine and messed up the setting of a sleeve for the 100th time. There was one girl in my class who always produced the most perfect finished projects, and the rest of us were constantly amazed at her outstanding sewing skills, despairing of our ham-fistedness. Looking back now, I realise that the level of skill was a bit of a give away, and that she had probably had considerable help from her mum (my mum had a full-time job running a business and anyway, didn’t really believe in helping too much with homework!) – I wish I had figured that out at the time, I would have felt a lot better about it.

I wonder if it is those early experiences of sewing that still makes me find opening up a paper pattern a little bit daunting. Fortunately, there is such a huge amount of helpful info on the web about sewing and interpreting patterns on the web these days – there is nothing to be scared of. All this reminiscing was sparked by the folks at Simplicity patterns getting in touch to ask me to be part of their Blogger Circle (you can sign up too – here are the details).


It prompted me to take a look at their website, which I haven’t visited before. There is so much good stuff there! All sorts of helpful advice about how to understand and read patterns, as well as loads of information about general sewing techniques. It makes me wish that the internet had existed back in the days when I was struggling with those school lessons.

Simplicity have kindly sent me some patterns to give away to Very Berry readers.


The patterns are New Look 6288, New Look 6323, Simplicity 1363 and Simplicity 1662 – a selection of floaty tops and skirts that will be fantastic for summer!

I will draw 2 winners – the first prize winner will select 2 of the patterns, and the 2nd prize winner will get the other 2. Just leave a comment before midnight (GMT) on Monday 23 Feb to be in with a chance of winning. I am happy to post anywhere in the world.

Good luck! 

64 thoughts on “Summer Sewing Patterns Giveaway

  1. I didn’t get to have sewing lessons at school, but one summer, my mom did sign me up for a class at a local fabric shop. I really enjoyed that, even though I think I remember making pants out of a white-on-white print…! O_o

  2. Love your blog and wonderful link! Loved sewing classes in school but felt I was held back all the time – there was no chance of doing anything different or wild – talk about having to be one of the herd!! Love the patterns and fingers crossed!

  3. I sewed a teddy bear in school that ended up looking like a formless yeti. I used one of my grandads patterns but I didn’t know what all of the markings on the pattern meant and noone would help me (the most help I got was my mum telling me “they’re darts” and I had no idea what that meant) so I ignored them. I wish I’d taken better care of that old pattern now though.

  4. I learned to sew first from my grandmother and she was in the school of Sew Perfect. I ended up hating sewing, the seam ripper, and my first project. Then in high school I learned from a “Looks Good on the Outside” 4-H Instructor which started my now 2 decades old love affair with sewing.

  5. Hoping for the two on the right! I had sewing lessons too but they were quite limited in their sewing content (which explains why it was called textiles instead I guess). We did simple stuff like cushion covers I think though I don’t remember taking anything home. I do remember making my own batiks, hand embroidery and tie-dying though.

  6. I hated needlework lessons at school where we did things like cross stitching around a gingham tablecloth… Not very inspiring aged about 9!
    Love sewing now but tend to wing it so I too am a bit nervous of patterns.

  7. I’ve used Simplicity patterns before but not for a long time. I’ve always found them easy to use, though. I never got on with the seeing machines at school, though, so until yesterday all my garments had been hand sewn. Yesterday, I made a skirt on the machine my husband have me for Christmas, a simple two-fat-quarters thing for my daughter, which, despite measuring twice, somehow turned out too big anyway. Oops!

  8. sewing at school what a drag. Everything had to be just so, every step checked by teacher before we could move on to the next step. I remember it took me a whole term to make a shapeless, string s trap petticoat. I didn’t sew again till I had left school and got my own machine (nana’s treadle)

  9. I too hated my sewing class at school (the tut tutting teacher et all) and ended up trading my cousin to do my work for me, ( I did her cooking class work:) I now work part time in a secondary school helping year 11’s with the technical aspects of their sewing projects and run sewing clubs for kids. I love what I do and I believe having a critical teacher in has helped me be a much better one. I love using these patterns and would love to win!

  10. I had sewing lessons at school – we had to make a skirt. Mine was in brown baby needlecord with tiny orange flowers. By the time I had finished it it fitted my little sister! Been scared of zips ever since as the teacher was so scathing about my attempt

  11. Like you I was one of the last to have needlework classes and a very good teacher that only taught that subject. I was also lucky as I had a mum who sewed and although she never really taught me I picked things up watching her as and she always used simplicity patterns.

  12. Remember standing in endless ques to have my sewing checked only to be crushed when Miss Armstrong would take one glance and say “it’s like the rocky road to Dublin unpick it” . I have never forgotton those words as the were frequently used. Yet I still loved my school sewing!!

  13. Your post brought back memories of my school sewing lessons which I have to say did put me off sewing for quite a long time. The Great British Sewing Bee has revived my interest though and I am now looking for some easy patterns to give it another go

  14. Oooh I love Simplicity patterns! I just ordered myself a bundle from their website a few weeks ago with the intention of FINALLY getting round to making some clothes! I never made clothes in textiles at school and in all honesty it’s a wonder we ever managed to make anything! One teacher to a class of 30 children, the majority of whom didn’t want to be there was never going to work! I did manage to make a bag in a class though and I still have it today! I’m still incredibly proud of it! My mum did help me a bit but only in giving the advise that my teacher wasn’t able to when she was trying to share herself out across such a big class!

  15. We did such a tiny amount of sewing it wasn’t really worth doing at all! I think it amounted to about 4-6 hours total as part of a carousel type set up alongside woodwork and food tech. I’m just really lucky to have an absurdly talented seamstress mother who still gets regular ‘help me fit this toile’ visits!

  16. Oh I had sewing lessons at school and found them very daunting I never seemed able to get the result the teacher wanted. They put me off sewing for many years but with the Internet and you tube I am now able to get some reasonable results. These patterns are lovely and I’d love the chance to win some
    Jackie x

  17. I agree, school sewing lessons didn’t do much for me either- I re-taught myself to sew a couple of years ago, but I haven’t been game to try clothing yet! Maybe these patterns would get me motivated to get over the roadblock!

  18. I too had awful experience with school sewing lessons! I was not one of the teacher’s favourites and spent most lessons trying to make the machines work with no help whatsoever! It was years later when pregnant with my first baby that I felt inclined to sew – making maternity tops and dresses was easy as back then it was all floaty floral tents !! Anyway haven’t looked back since and make loads of homewares but am still scared of ‘proper’ fitted patterns. If I win I might learn something and conquer my last hurdle in my sewing life!

  19. I remember making an A line skirt at school. The teacher was horrible to me and nearly put me off sewing for ever until I realised I could make my own New Romantic style clothing – oh remember the 80s!

  20. I remember sewing lessons in primary school in the 60s. The elasticated waist skirt I made wasn’t even good enough to cut up as dusters by the time I had finished with it! But onwards and upwards – I managed a gingham apron with cross stitch decoration at grammar school. Only took a year!
    Amazingly, I have come back to dressmaking via quilting. I am really enjoying the difference in techniques and can actually leave the house wearing garments I have made.
    I would love to extend my range by winning one of the Simplicity patterns!

  21. Makes me think of the knitting lessons we did too – remember knitting one glove but I was so slow I ended up taking the other home to finish over a holiday – never did – just handed the first one back to her and she marked me down for two! I think that is why I took to sewing better – much quicker Thanks for chance to win.

  22. I learnt to love sewing at school and continued through my teens and early twenties until work and family distracted me. I’m now back and love reading sewing blogs, including yours! I’d love to get started on those new patters so please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks ever so!

  23. I did have sewing lessons at school and my first project (in what would now be year 6) was a shift dress. I made a BIG mistake in cutting down the centre front which was on the fold! My lovely teacher rescued the situation by seaming up the front and covering the seam with ric rac braid. Fortunately now, my projects are more successful. The blogger circle sounds a great resource. Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. I had no sewing lessons at school but my mum tried to teach me. I gave up after the first garment, which was a simple collarless shirt – it seemed so much more complicated than I had expected! 30 Years later, I wish I had persevered, but I guess my interestes were just different ones at the time. Thanks for the giveaway – please enter me in the draw.

  25. I loved my sewing lessons although was probably quite mediocre, I made all my clothes as a teenager, then life, work, family took over and I only made curtains and the odd dress. I am now retired and the Internet has changed my life where craft and stitch are concerned, loving it and renewing old skills.

  26. I had sewing lessons in school. I had to make my pinafore for our 5th year uniform and a skirt. My very first thing was an apron for cookery which my mum kept. I must say my finishing aged 11 was brilliant. You can hardly see my hand stitching. Maybe these patterns will bring back the skill.

  27. We had two scary needlework teachers at school. I don’t remember anyone getting positive comments about their work, but I do remember a lot of sarcasm from one teacher and lots of shouting from the other 😦

  28. I’ve only just begun to follow your blog and I hope that I can be in with a chance of winning the patterns too! I did a tiny bit of sewing at school (we had to make a school skirt in horrendous navy polyester!) – it put me off for about 25 years! I came back to it as an adult when I did an evening class because I wanted to make a cushion cover. I was hooked instantly! Have been making bags for several years, and have just in the last year begun to make my own clothes. I am totally addicted…to fabric, sewing blogs and magazines, and of course the Great British Sewing Bee! I love it! I love the internet to be able to get so much help and inspiration, and have just joined twitter too! Looking forward to following you!

  29. I made all my own clothes when I was younger. Loved wearing something that no one else had. Unfortunately, I haven’t made anything for myself for years. I would love to get into it again and would love to win the patterns.

  30. We still did sewing and textiles at my school, I am not sure if they still do it but they did when I left gosh 12 years ago now but I did enjoy it I just did not like the teacher so I chose food and woodwork instead, I wish now looking back I would of carried on with textiles 🙂

  31. The last pattern I bought from Simplicity was a few years ago and it didn’t come out all that great but it did pique my interest in sewing. Since then, I’ve sewn little accessories such as bags and pouches but nothing reall for myself. I would love to make something that I can wear that I know for a fact will fit me.

  32. I loved did dressmaking at school and loved it, I would love to get back to it. I love watching the Great British Sew B on Thursday night.

  33. I always wanted to continue sewing st school but had to choose Latin instead! It didn’t stop me sewing at home though and the Latin..? My first ever dress was from a Simplicity pattern.

  34. I’ve been thinking of giving sewing another go, I have a machine but I’ve been really nervous about cutting into a pattern these past few years. I’d love a chance to try out those patterns!

  35. Sewing in home ec really helped me a lot. My very first sewing project other than hand sewn doll clothes was such a disaster it got thrown away, so having instruction was great.

  36. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and I would love to win a pattern. It would help get me back to sewing my own clothes.

  37. I got bored with sewing at school – we had to queue up to show the teacher after every line of tacking (who tacks?) and, consequently, making a simple skirt took an entire term!

  38. Needlework lessons at school terrified me; the sewing machines all seemed to have minds of their own and were alarmingly speedy! Just recently bought a sewing machine and the speed limiter is my best friend! Don’t have many patterns yet so thank you for the chance to win x

  39. I remember making a gingham embroidered mat and felt needle case at primary school then at secondary I made a pair of baby pink striped dungarees with ladybird buttons on the straps which were originally from my brothers dressing gown 😃

  40. YES and YES. Using paper patterns was in my generation! I love and still do use paper patterns quite a bit! These are very cute and would love to win! Thank you!!

  41. YES and YES. my generation was only using sewing patterns and I guess that is why I STILL love “paper patterns” so much! These are some very cute patterns and I hope I WIN. Thank you

  42. We had a ‘tutter’ too and she told my parents I would be very lucky if I passed my GCE so I was extremely happy to get a Distinction. It gave me back some confidence.

  43. I had a similar experience at school – her family friend/dressmaker was “helping her” finish those trickier assignments. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  44. My school sewing lessons put me off so much that I sought solace in ‘resistant materials’ instead (woodwork and metalwork). It took a good 10 years to get back in front of a sewing machine..!

We always love reading your comments... go ahead, say hello!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s