I frequently fill in forms that promise an opportunity to win a holiday, or something to do with sewing. But I do so knowingly – the company’s main aim is to promote their product and collect email addresses. I was on the mailing list of William Gee because I had bought some pocketing material. It was good quality and a fair price and it came quickly in the mail. But I find it hard to get enthused about white cotton fabric that never sees the light of day. It is stable. It is closely woven and thick enough to withstand wear and tear. It is not so thick that it shows. So William Gee is a firm I would go to for a dependable but not awfully exciting product. That is fine. When I saw that they were offering a chance to win a parcel of various haberdashery items I thought “why not?” and answered a couple of simple questions. So did 700 other people. Which is quite interesting if you ever want to run a quiz, prize draw or give away.
And, on this occasion, much to my surprise, I won!
Marketeers will tell you that giving a free sample to try – be it a skin cream or a soya yogurt – is the best way to get people to buy. We rarely purchase something we have never tried before, without a trial or personal recommendation. But haberdashery? Is there any difference between suppliers? Bias binding, a zip and sewing threads are pretty standard, and you do get what you pay for.
So what was my prize?
I will show you what I won in a moment. Everything was packed in a one of three boxes and this gave me a real sense of going through someone else’s selection of trimmings. Like getting your grandma’s bits and bobs and finding some real gems in there. The selection was nicely put together and the quantities were generous, but some of the items were neither “all the rage” as Beatie put it, nor truly vintage.
However all sewing enthusiasts love and need interfacing, bias binding, ribbon, rick rack, separating zips, jeans zips, buttons, braid, little bows, elastic, lining, interfacing – what an exciting gift. And one I was thrilled to get.
There were some great items in the boxes and I opened and examined the contents with a great deal of interest, excitement and gratitude. So here is what I plan to do. Once a month I will make something entirely from the box (except for the fabric – which I have more than enough of already!) As I seem to have gone off the boil a bit with my sewing I am hoping this haberdashery haul will stimulate my sewing creativity once more (alongside Ruth’s charming gift perhaps?)
My first project is to create a pleated skirt using a pattern in Sew magazine. The red and white sample is made up in a John Kaldor linen (£16 p/m). I decided to use my piece of John Kaldor linen (£8 p/m from Simply Fabrics), adding the interfacing, white bias binding and zip from William Gee. The pattern calls for a 9″ invisible zip but I will do a hand-picked one on this occasion (and will shorten the zip too). It looks like a simple job so maybe something I can accomplish over the Easter weekend. I might even have time to work on my coat.