My First Liebster Award!

liebster121This week I am in the midst of making my Flora dress which has been quite a saga but is now close to being completed. So it’s a good time to catch up on my very first Liebster Award!

I have had this blog and been sewing for slightly over a year now and I’m so pleased that I have been nominated for a Liebster award. When I started blogging I couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever read my blog and its still amazing to me that people do come and take the time to comment. Thank you for coming and reading – it makes me feel amazingly happy!

So – the Liebster Awards are given by bloggers to other bloggers – which is a lovely thing. There have apparently been various sets of rules over time, but the awards seem to be focussed on blogs with fewer followers and they are a great way for people to share information about themselves and what their inspirations have been and find out about other blogs.

I was very kindly nominated for an award by Helen at Justsewtherapeutic – I have been following Helen’s blog for a little while and loved her Liberty Cambie. In her Liebster post she had a beautiful picture of the Peak District near her home which looks idyllic!

Helen had the following questions for us:

What was the first thing you ever made?

When I was at school in our first needlework class we made a bag – it was two rectangles sewed together with some handles added but it was the first time I really used a sewing machine and I actually used the bag quite a lot. I carried on with needlework throughout school and that gave me the basis for making clothes for myself when I was a student. I stopped for a long time but I’m really glad I started again last year.

If you could only ever use five patterns again which would they be?

This is a tough one for me as I haven’t sewed up that much in the last year – so far my favourites have been

New Look 6843 skirt patterns – this was the first thing I made last year and I have made about 4 or 5 skirts using this pattern in the various different styles. It is a totally basic A line skirt but I got a really good fit the first time which gave me a boost to keep going.

Colette Sorbetto – I made a couple of white linen versions with sleeves in Me Made May and I have plans for a few more. This is a great wardrobe basic and totally versatile. And free!

Grainline Archer – I have made two so far and particularly love my white one which I wore several times in Me Made May. I want to make a popover version with a placket and a sleeveless version at some point.

Deer and Doe Plantain – I started with the long sleeved version with elbow patches and I recently made three summer t-shirts (not yet blogged). Its another great basic pattern and also free!

Sinbad and Sailor Hepworth – the perfect work dress for me. I have versions in navy blue and lilac linen and wear at least one of them every week. This is my ideal silhouette and the dress comes together very quickly!

Greatest sewing achievement?

When I was a student I made a full length coat with a lining and full skirt using a Vogue pattern and some kind of ponte type knit. It was exactly what I wanted and although I had never lined anything before or had any idea about sewing knit fabric it came out pretty well (in my opinion at least!) and I wore it for several years. Sadly it was in a bag that was stolen one night.

Greatest sewing failure!?

I have blogged a couple of failures – my first Anna came out way too tight – I have learned to size up on By Hand London patterns rather than hoping for the best when between sizes. But it was still wearable and I have given it to my sister. I also made a Lola that ended up with horrendous wavy seams – I actually wear this over jeans at weekends and ignore the seams! I think the only thing I could wear but don’t is an Anna dress that I made from polyester. I hated the fabric so much after sewing it up that I didn’t wear it and have steered clear of poly fabrics since then!

How much fabric have you got in your stash?

I am definitely growing a stash – my desire to make things outpaces the time I have available! I would say it is about two feet high surrounded by bags of scraps that may or may not be enough to do anything with. There are only one or two pieces that I no longer plan to use though so I may work through it one day.

How did you learn to sew?

My mum sewed quite a bit when I was younger so it was something that I grew up with and after I learned properly at school I co-opted the sewing machine and eventually got my own.

What summer sewing projects are you planning to tackle?

A bit of a mixture – I want to make a Belladone and I am in the middle of making a Flora. When it gets hot enough I think about shorts and I am also going to have another go at trousers as my favourite RTW capris have fallen apart. I also have to make a costume for my daughter to go to Comic Con which could be a huge undertaking. I have a bag full of organza, satin and sequins waiting for me to get started!

Do you make a muslin or dive straight in and wing it?

I usually make a muslin for a dress or anything that might be fitted. I tend not to bother on T shirts or loose tops. I tried to aim for wearable muslins but sometimes it is just easiest to use a horrible old duvet cover and sew it up quickly (and I usually baste a zip in!).

What would be your perfect weekend?

Plenty of time to sew, having someone else cook an evening meal and a long lie in (simple pleasures – I am a working mother so this is about all I have the energy for at weekends!)

Favourite film, book and album?

Film – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – can’t count how many times I have seen this – love it every time! Book – ‘Life before Man’ by Margaret Atwood – I first read this when I was in my teens and I come back to it every few years and find my sympathies have changed and my view of the characters has shifted. Album – I think ‘Moon Safari’ by Air is still a huge favourite – I don’t get tired of it ever.

I’m aware that some people may have received one of these awards several times so I don’t want to impose on anyone to do all the questions again – but in the past year I have found a few blogs that I have really enjoyed so I want to thank them but they can feel free to either answer the same questions that I did or not!

Carolyn at Allspice Abounds

Katie at  The Creative Counselor

Sophie Lee at Two Random Words

Sarah at Notches and Notions

Maeve at MaevesShed


Thanks again Helen for nominating me and for reading my blog!






4 Comments Add yours

  1. Carolyn says:

    Louise, congrats on your award, and thank you so much for nominating me! 🙂 I’m glad we found each other’s blogs, and I always enjoy reading about your projects. Good luck finishing up your Flora, can’t wait to see!


    1. mrszandstra says:

      Thankyou! It’s still amazing to me that by deciding to start sewing again last summer I found a whole world of people sewing and sharing projects and generally being lovely! Can’t wait to see what you make after your blazer!



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