Monday, 28 April 2014

Threads Magazine... An App on the Android Platform (At Last!!)

Threads is Available Now for Android

Looks like Threads Magazine have finally gotten around to producing an Android platform app (available via Google Play) for digital editions of the magazine (yay - at last). This is 2 years since they launched the Threads Insider digital service.

Which means that those of us on Android smartphones/tablets have now caught up with our iPad / iPhone wielding chums ;)

If (like me) you are already a print magazine subscriber and get the hardcopy delivered to your door... then fret-ye-not, as the tablet app editions are FREE for us! Similarly if you are a paid-up Threads Insider - then just click on the app links (see this page)to get started.

Hardcopy magazine subscribers will need their customer number (on the mailing label on the outside envelope of your magazine); Threads Insider members need their registered email address.

I've yet to try it out. I only noticed the Google Play/app info. earlier today - with a little section on the top near the banner of the Threads website saying "Now on Google Play for Android Devices" in red text.

So, I need to wait until I get home tonight to have a play around with things on my phone. And, here's hoping that I can get it to work on my Amazon *
Kindle Fire HD too (*the Kindle tablet is based on an adaptation of the Android operating system). I checked the Kindle store online today & there's now sign of a Kindle version of the app - I hope that Threads Magazine remedy that soon (and that it doesn't take a further 2 years LOL?)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

PRIMA Pattern, May 2014 - Easy Dress

The May 2014 PRIMA Magazine has just landed at the end of last week onto the shelves in the newsagents. 
(As per standard for the publication of magazines, each issue comes out during the month prior to the date printed on the cover - so this specific issue came out during early April.

PRIMA Magazine - May 2014 - Cover

Usually, any non-subscribing customers who wish to receive the monthly *FREE pattern need to telephone through their requests by the end of the month printed onto the front of the actual magazine. E.g. for January's pattern customers would have needed to telephone Prima by the 31st January to place their order in time.

Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (04)

For the May 2014 issue though - Prima Magazine have issued the actual pattern with the magazine itself! Hurray! Long may this continue - although somehow I feel it's a one-off in the wake of the popularity and success of BBC TV's series 'The Great British Sewing Bee' programme. (I remember years ago when Prima always included the sewing pattern in the centre-fold of their magazines.)
Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (06)
The pattern comes with the both the 'Regular' and 'Handbag' sized PRIMA Magazine options

It even looks kind of like a "proper" envelope pattern - being packaged in a medium (roughly C5 sized) envelope.

Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (06)

Therefore, the only way to get the May 2014 pattern is to: 
a) be an **opted-in subscriber, or...
b) purchase a copy from your local newsagents in person (before they run out).

Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (05)

For May 2014, Prima Magazine are offering a casual, easy-fitting dress or tunic in a choice of lengths, with either short or three-quarter-length sleeves. Four looks from one simple pattern.

Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (02)

The dress comes in Sizes 10 - 20 (UK).

Prima Magazine - Pattern, May 2014 (03)

*The standard process for ordering the free monthly Prima Magazine patterns is to call a special telephone line. Therefore, their patterns are technically free - except for the costs you will incur telephoning the special order number - which changes each month. See more in my old post here on tips for ordering their patterns: PRIMA Magazine: How to Order Their Sewing Patterns.

**Prima Magazine subscribers can opt-in or out of receiving the monthly free sewing patterns (guess which one I opted for ;) LOL!).

For my some of my NEW thoughts on PRIMA Magazine's sewing patterns - and how I'd personally like to see them change to make things better and easier for sewing-fans - please see this link here Claire's Tuppence Worth... .

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

THE FINAL!!! BBC TV's The Great British Sewing Bee 2014

Okay sewing fans... are you as excited as me?

Well you should be - tonight is the final, and the 3 lovely amateur sewing ladies battle it out for the coveted crown of Britain's best home sewer 

Find them all on Twitter here (in alphabetical order by 
first-name): Chinelo @Chinelobally, Heather @heatherjacks9, and Tamara @thegreenthimble 

Left-Right: Tamara, Heather & Chinelo - The GBSB 2014 Finalists
Image Source: via @Sew_UK on Twitter

To quote the BBC's own website:
Quote "The Great British Sewing Bee reaches its climax as the three finalists enter the sewing room for the very last time.

Sewing expert May Martin and Savile Row's Patrick Grant must decide who will take the title of Britain's best amateur sewer. They set the contestants three tough couture-themed challenges.

The first surprise pattern tests their hand-sewing skills, when they are asked to make a man's tie. It sounds straightforward but, as it is couture week, the judges expect nothing less than perfection. For the alteration challenge they give the finalists a choice of wedding dresses from which they must produce a child's bridesmaid dress. Finally they are asked to fit a stunning made-to-measure couture gown for a model they were not expecting.

Family, friends and the other contestants are reunited in the sewing room to see one person crowned the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee 2014.
CLOSER Magazine (UK)
It being the final & all - this week is "Couture" week (eeppp! - so pressure then eh?). The 3 challenges are to be as follows:

Challenge #1: Hand Sew a Men's Tie
                     Here's some FREE patterns for Ties - Men's Tie: Colette Patterns, *Boy's
Fishsticks Design Blog (*I've made the Boy's tie myself for Christmas 2013 here)  

Challenge #2: Refashion a Child's Bridesmaids Dress from a Wedding Gown 
                     Here's some tutorials I found via Pinterest for refashioning:    
                     Prom/Bridal Dress into Little Girls Dress-Up, and
Skirt into a Little Girls Dress. (It seems surprisingly hard to find a Wedding -to- Child's
                           Bridesmaid dress refashion on the web... but to make from scratch these 2 patterns from Simplicity

                           are cute 1510 and 9497, or McCalls M6829 or M6685).

Challenge #3: Fit a made-to-measure couture gown for a live Model

Even though the contestants themselves already know the outcome (what with it being filmed in advance & therefore the winner already being decided by the judges; plus all those concerned being sworn to secrecy until the programmes are aired live on TV!) I want to wish all 3 ladies the best of luck - and long may their needles be sharp & their thread never ending! Whomever wins shall be very deserving, and I'm sure that they all feel sew enriched for having had this wonderful experience (stressful though it may have been at times :)!).
I have thoroughly enjoyed viewing this series - even more so than 2013's launch series too - especially as it had 8 episodes (twice as many as the first series), and I have been drawn in by the friendly, lovely & co-operative nature of all of the contestants. And, it gladdens my heart to see sewing as a creative outlet and worthwhile craft taking seed in the affections of the British public :)

All the contestants for GBSB 2014.
Image Source:
So, be there, or be square a 'Fat Quarter' peops! 
BBC 2, 8PM (UK time) tonight.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PRIMA Pattern, April 2014 - Semi-Fitted Dress

Apologies to anyone reading this post thinking they have a strong sense of "déjà vu"! I accidentally published this blog-post originally in March, having gotten my schedule a little mixed-up (my bad!)

The April 2014 PRIMA Magazine pattern is available to order by phone until the end of this month.
PRIMA Magazine - March 2014 - Cover

For April 2014, Prima Magazine are offering a semi-fitted, elbow-length sleeved dress.

Prima Magazine - Pattern, March 2014 (01)
An elegant semi-fitted dress with notch neckline and above-elbow sleeves. Sizes 10 - 20 (UK).

Prima Magazine - Pattern, March 2014 (02)

Prima Magazine - Pattern, April 2014 (03)

See my old post here on tips for ordering their patterns: PRIMA Magazine: How to Order Their Sewing Patterns.