Coming, Going, The Sewalong Begins and Bowls of Coffee

Since last week’s post, I’ve been working, working, working.  Thank you so much for your support, it really touched me that you’d respond the way that you did and I’ve been working twice as hard since then.   The days fly by in a blur- shipping, emails, Red Velvet production thundering along, sketches, suppliers, thread, needles, finding time to make cookies with my daughter and birthday present shopping for my niece…  The other morning I poured myself a bowl of coffee instead of cereal.  Then, once the coffee was in an appropriate vessel, I topped it off with orange juice instead of milk.

You know, it was surprisingly delicious…

30 Minutes a Day Sewalong Hummingbird Headline 1

The Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong kicks off today!  The flickr group is already been a hive of activity, with people sharing fabric choices and getting tips for proportions and sizing.  That’s what most of Day 1 is about- getting together all the Hummingbird project tools, notions, and supplies and sorting out the Top sizing.

Picture 8

Now, honestly, the Top goes together in about an hour or even less for experienced sewists and we’re stretching it out to five days.  I know many of you participating in the sewalong are more experienced, and might find the pace a little slow at first.  It’s perfectly ok to make multiples or get ahead if you want (each completed Hummingbird Separate counts toward your House’s points), but in the interests of maintaining my sanity I simply can not keep pace with you.  I will only briefly answer questions that I know are addressed in sewalong lessons several days down the line.  Do ask questions, though!

More specifically- Skirt Fitting Day is on Day 9, or next Tuesday.  I have a whole lovely set of photos and troubleshooting tips for you that I’ll publish then.  If you upload skirt fitting pics before then, I can not respond though your Head of House may and you should trust her advice. Thanks for understanding!


Last Wednesday, the Aussie Hummingbird and Cabarita orders came in- finally released from customs!  I dropped everything and filled a couple hundred orders:

As far as I know, most people have received their patterns for the sewalong.  If you haven’t and you’d like to join in, please please email me (Stephc at 3hourspast dot com) and I’ll send a pdf your way.  The unfortunate pieces J are in transit to me and to Leila, so we can then ship them very soon.  It took a couple of days to print them, cut them, and send them out- we didn’t want to hold the shipment of your patterns, opting instead to send the pieces separately.  Click here to register for us to send you a paper piece J or to find the 4 page pdf download.

That paper...

That paper… I’m glad we made the change…

After that whole “Piece J” debacle I was not excited about this batch of patterns.  That is, until I handled them.  Our new printer had sampled out a variety of patterns to me before I decided to work with her, and this paper impressed me then.  It’s translucent and lightweight but durable, dream paper.  When I unpacked the Hummingbird and Cabarita patterns, I was excited all over again, to my surprise.  I hope you like them, too.

The Tiramisu and Bonny paper patterns were delivered late this afternoon.  No trouble at customs, and no missing pieces!  I know what I’m doing tomorrow!! (shipping)  I can’t wait to have all the presale orders cleared out and sent to your sewing rooms.

I also have a class tomorrow night, a brand new crop of lovely baby beginners who will all go home with nicely sewn shopping totes.

PIeced, striped peplum

And- I found time to sew this weekend!  I sewed a few things for my family (my poor husband has been asking me for pants since last October and now he has two new pairs!) and made a great start on my Hummingbird Dress.  I needed to sew, it had been too many days and my fingers were itching.  I cut my peplum stripes the opposite direction to the stripes on this peplum:

Dress dress dress!

I thought it would help show two different ways and how to accomplish them, so if you decide to play with stripes you can.  I cut plain elbow length sleeves with extra wide binding bands, and I’m playing around with a softly draping bow in the front.  I love a nice dramatic design detail!  Naturally, I’ll be sure to publish the drafting guide for creating my riff on this design using the Hummingbird Top pattern.

I think I might find time to sew it on Wednesday and do a nice Finished Object post!  That’ll be nice after all the computer and shipping work I’ve been doing lately….

Picture 9

Ooooh and check out this excellent pale blue piped Hummingbird Pink out of Germany…. I love it.

Picture 10

And did you see Leila’s Tiramisu CulottesDid you? Should we try to get her to write us a hack?


    • I like being busy to be sure. :) And I think I’m happiest about RV, she’s shaping up beautifully and when I show her to you she’ll be already printed. Imagine… ;)

    • Where you located, Lyn? I think most of Australia has their patterns now, though there’s a lag with NZ. I think most of Canada and the US has theirs too…

      • I am in Denmark Western Australia and mail always seems to take ages. Not here today, should be soon.

  1. I’ve been offline busy with work / being sick (still am) and missed hearing about issues with customs and the printer (customs has been a pain in my backside for school a few times too). I can however report that I am uber impressed with the quality of the new patterns. I was able to collect my mail when my friends popped over to take me out on the weekend and when I brought my patterns upstairs I opened them immediately. There was much excitement – even the boys were impressed with the difference in paper quality between the Pavlova and the Hummingbird. Discussion ensued about the paper weight and then the colour coding on the instruction sheet. Well done Stephanie! You rock my little part of the universe!

    • Oh I’m sorry to hear that Dianne! :(

      Yes, it’s been one little snag after another. But the patterns are all out now… I sent your Tira and Bonny this morning… :)

      oh! So glad you loved her! That’s great. When we were working on the pattern, I imagined a little cloud of Hummingbirds flying around a la Snow White or something.. hehee. I won’t make all the patterns in color, but as this is four distinct cuts and it can be tricky to distinguish between views then this would be a pretty way to organize things…

    • Yes, it’s much nicer than the former paper. Now I feel like that’s one big area of the process sorted, we can focus on everything else. :) I’m really enjoying the production work for RV, knowing precisely how they’ll be printed…

  2. I agree! When I felt the paper, I actually got excited to cut and cutting is my least favorite part of sewing. It’s beautiful! I can’t wait for Bonnie to arrive!

    • Oh good! We try to incorporate useful notes and etc in the design of the linework and I think the paper highlights this really well. Glad you like it too.

      Bonny will be completely shipped to all orders within 24 hours. Australia went out this morning, I was very pleased to say “Bon Voyage” to them. :)

  3. Yes, the new pattern paper is fabulous!
    And YAY BONNY BONNY BONNY. I am DYING to have a fabulous 40s-ish nautical outfit for the lindy exchange I’m going to in two weeks. !!!!!!!hflbdhgshagslkhsjkfdh

    (i’m just so excited but hey bright side awesome in action swing pictures will be taken of said outfit and will turn up in the gallery surely)

  4. Mmm, orange coffee. You know, some people pay extra for flavoured coffee! lol

    I’m glad to see things are coming together, even if it means you’re extra busy. Granted, you seem very happy while busy, so maybe that’s not a bad thing. Other than the lack of sewing time, I guess. :) I’m excited to see your Hummingbird dress! I tried on something similar at a retail store, and while I loved the design, the fit was way too big around the shoulders and it was made out of the cheapest, thinnest knit fabric known to man, and clung to all the wrong bits. *sigh* This is why I sew.

    I’ve torn apart my sewing room to start reorganizing it, and I’m pretty sure I’m already going to fall behind a day or two in the sew along. Case in point, I’m not entirely certain where my Hummingbird pattern is in the ginormous pile that was the contents of my sewing room. But with a tidied sewing space, I’ll catch up (and then some) in no time! So excited to sew!

    • You know, it tasted strongly of chocolate orange, though (I think) there was no chocolate involved…

      Ewww about the clingy fabric… I used a pinstriped lycra/rayon knit… It has fairly good body and recovery but I felt it was just a wee bit too clingy when I put her on yesterday… I think I’ll make a contrast double peplum, then I’ll have more fabric covering my backside and we’ll see a nice thick black 4-leaf clover shape… :)

      I’m sure you’ll catch up easily. We’ve covered sizing the top, tracing/not tracing and cutting….

  5. Being in business for yourself certainly agrees with you… you look AMAZING in these pictures. Amazing.

    I know that has nothing to do with the amazingness of your patterns… but hey. Everyone likes a compliment. :)

    • Thanks, hearthie, I’ll take that compliment. :) I love wearing that shade of blue.

      I was also really, really happy to have those patterns through customs.

  6. I’ll echo others by repeating that you do seem quite happy here! I give all credit to the paper. Maybe just a little to the bowl of coffee. And YES Leila, HACK TUTE please!! :D

    • Heh… Some time ago I found these giant mugs at Ikea.. I think they’re intended as beer steins, but I have coffee in them every morning. I do love my morning coffee…

  7. I agree, the new patterns are brilliant! Super duper robust and easy to read.
    We appreciate your hard work Steph, but you must take time out for yourself now and then, or you will make yourself ill – trust me, I know.

  8. I too will say I LOVE the paper the pattern and instructions are printed on. I was showing it off to several ladies in the community and they were all amazed. When I explained how the sizing works they were even more impressed.
    Thanks for all you do to bring us such excellent stuff. I’m so excited for this sewalong!

    • Nice- I’m glad they like it, and you too! That’s what keeps me motivated. :) I’ll keep working on excellence, and we’ll see what happens.

  9. I am a relatively inexperienced sewer and very slow, so I appreciate the pacing of the sewalong. :) If the past two sewalongs are any indication, I know I’ll be learning so very many things along the way. I hope to trace out my pattern and fill my project box today, while packing for our family vacation. :) Steph, so glad you got some fun sewing time this past week. And you do look fabulous in those shipping pictures. (oh, and I sewed up the Cabarita top over the weekend – must post a picture – and my husband couldn’t stop raving about how good I looked. :))

    • Oh wow- while packing! I can see that’d work out well for when you get back, way to think ahead. :)

      It was really really nice to sit and sew for my husband. They’re also samples for a later pattern, and it was good to just sit and go over the instructions and etc one more time.. And he has some new things to wear now, very pleased with himself… I think he’s forgotten about shopping as an option.

      • Woohoo! Packing is just about done and pattern is traced! Ready to cut when we get back from our trip. By the way, that Day 2 post on cutting is awesome!! Thanks for all the detail. Oh, and my husband is so impressed with what I’ve sewn that he’s now asking me to make him something. I’m telling him he’ll have to wait until there’s a Cake pattern for men and not to worry, Steph’s working on it! :)

  10. Have to agree with FionaM here, don’t forget to take some ‘me time’ too, but I’m pleased that all your hard work is coming together for you, XXX

  11. Hi there:-)
    Well, I can’t wait to start on the sewalong proper. I’ve had my hummingbird (flounce) fabric picked and prewashed ages ago (long before receiving the pattern;-). I just found fabric in my stash today for the hummingbird top, a light wool and I think I’ll sew contrasting and patterned neck and armbinding to break it up a little. I better get that fabric prewashed pronto. Obviously since the sewalong is starting, I managed to get distracted and traced the tiramisu pattern yesterday…. but now I’m off to tracing the hummingbird separates. Oh yes and I wanted to say how much I love the new type of paper you’ve used for the pattern, it’s just lovely! I hate flimsy regular pattern paper, so this really is up my alley :-)

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