Endings are always bittersweet, and the big finale of this giveaway project is no exception. The sweet part, however, is only because I’m super excited to take a nap and relax for a couple days. Otherwise, I’m so not ready to see this come to a close. What fun it’s been! I have to say, too, that the fun really started a couple months ago when this idea first came up. Figuring out how to structure this thing, scheduling it, reaching out to brands, planning and making all the projects – that was nothing but a good time. I wish we could have done more!
For this last day of the Holly Jolly Christmas Giveaway event, we’re pulling out all the stops. There’s a very Christmas-y finale dress (ooh-la-la), a little sparkle (of course), a JOANN gift card (who doesn’t need one of those?), and a one-year subscription to Threads magazine (because learning is important).
Wait, I think I’m forgetting something . . . oh, yes, that’s right, today’s winner is getting a sewing machine! (I’m sorry, I just had to keep the suspense going a little longer!) HUSQVARNA VIKING® is giving one lucky sewist a brand new TRIBUTE 145M Anniversary Sewing Machine. I am absolutely thrilled that today’s winner is getting this machine. To really bring things full circle, I’ll tell you this: I entered a contest hosted by HUSQVARNA VIKING® a few years ago and won. And what did I win? The 140th Anniversary Tribute sewing machine. So, to whoever wins today: we’ll be sewing machine twins!
Here’s mine, sitting next to my H|CLASS™ 200S overlock machine:
This is a fantastic machine, and it can sew anything under the sun. I refer to mine as my “workhorse” machine, because I’ve really put it to the test over the years. Name the fabric and that machine has sewn it – and with ease. I sew all of my sequin and tulle garments on it, and I trust it to sew leather and thick denim too. No doubt this 145th Anniversary version is just as reliable, and it comes with a few bonus presser feet (gathering foot, clear piping foot, and the braiding foot – all helpful).
For today’s post, I wanted a finale dress that was both special enough to be considered a finale dress but also still my style. A few months ago, I found this delicious rayon/nylon blend ponte knit at JOANN. I’ve used the same fabric for previous projects and raved about it, so when I saw it in this rich, deep Kelly green I had to have it. I had no idea at the time what I would make with it, but I loved the color instantly. Fast forward to December and the finale dress I needed. I wanted something that was floor length with a mermaid style skirt, and it had to have sleeves. Enter, McCall’s 6886 for what is now the fifth time (see version one here and versions 2-4 here). Because I wanted a mermaid style skirt, I knew I could achieve the look simply by adding a circle skirt to the bottom of the dress. I was just careful to watch the proportions and make sure I didn’t make it too long or too short.
Today’s winner will also receive a $50 gift card to JOANN.
The beaded leaf appliques are from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I got them in July and, again, I was just waiting for the right project to fall into place. Without them, the dress is well fitting and pretty but a little dull. I like the placement of that detail because it highlights some curves in a very sophisticated, mature way, and it draws the eye up. The appliques are attached to the dress by hand. I absolutely love this dress, but I might remove the mermaid skirt eventually so I can get more wear out of it. Or, I might be able to just shorten it to ankle length. Either way, without the floor length skirt it’s instantly appropriate for a lot more occasions – and those gorgeous appliques need to be seen!
The last goody in this giveaway is yet another item that is not only exceptionally useful but also special to me. In college, one of my professors gave me a subscription to Threads magazine, and I’ve read it ever since. We live in a world of internet personalities and wannabes posing as experts – so information is readily available, but it’s not always the right information. Threads is not only the premier resource for how to do things the right way, but it’s also a consistently inspiring magazine to read. I particularly enjoy the tips from readers. I’ve picked up a number of helpful hints in that section. Today’s winner will receive a one-year subscription to Threads magazine.
My favorite professor (the same professor who gave me the Threads subscription) gave me a few boxes of her Threads magazine catalog a couple years ago, and they are now part of my cherished sewing library. She had not only read each one but made notes in the articles and tabbed helpful information. Some of the issues are from the 90s so the styling and fashion trends reflect that, but the information is no less helpful and inspiring.
A few of the issues from my professor’s stash:
The winner of today’s giveaway will receive:
Thank you all so very much for participating in this giveaway event. I’ll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of today’s giveaway along with a little recap and a look ahead and what’s coming up next week. I’m so excited about everything you’ve won, and I hope you enjoy it for a long, long time. Remember, get your entries in before 11:59PM central time today.
Congratulations to our day 3 winner, Cate R.!
On this 4th day of the Holly Jolly Christmas Giveaway event, you’re going to learn a couple things about me. (Also, another amazing giveaway is happening, yes!) The first thing you should know is that I have only three things in black: a vintage Calvin Klein wool blazer with a beaded shawl collar (it’s pretty spectacular), a basic cotton cardigan, and my new tulle skirt. That’s it, no dresses or skirts or blouses or pants. I know it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a few black items to my closet, but the color just doesn’t inspire me. For me, navy is much better alternative, and on top of that: how am I supposed to get excited about making anything in boring black when we are completely surrounded by such stunning colors?!
For as long as I can remember, my mom has been telling me that red is a good color for me. For about as long, though, I was all “red is too bold!” and “where will I ever wear anything red?” and “I can’t pull it off.” Fast forward to the holiday season of 2017 and I want all the red things. And one thing you learn pretty quick when you’re making your own clothes and then taking pictures in said clothes is what colors work for you and what colors you should stop wearing immediately. Things I’ve learned this year? I need more things in deep, rich green, white does absolutely nothing for me, and my mom was right. Red is pretty alright. So the lesson here is that you should always listen to your mama.
This is my second version of Vintage Vogue 8789, and my fabric is a poly/Lycra blend red floral satin from Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans. All I can is this: favorite dress of the year. The funny part about that is that my second favorite dress of the year was also made with fabric from Promenade. (You’ll see more about my favorites in my “hits and misses” round up soon.)
I found Promenade Fine Fabrics a couple years ago, and in that time I’ve not only bought some incredibly pretty fabrics, but I’ve gotten to know the owner, Cole. He has gone above and beyond, taking my orders over the phone, shipping things to me quickly, emailing me right away. This is a guy who not only understands the business and consistently stocks the best quality, most stunning fabrics, but is truly invested in his customers and loves to see them happy. As a former small business owner myself, I know what the grind is like and I appreciate the hustle. When I was putting this giveaway event together a couple months ago, Promenade was my first call – and the winner of today’s giveaway will receive a $100 gift card to Promenade Fine Fabrics.
Today (and tomorrow and Wednesday, for that matter) are a big deal in terms of the giveaway. I wanted to include as many companies that mean something to me as I could in this event, and that, without question, includes JOANN Fabrics & Crafts. We all shop there, right?! Going to JOANN is one of those errands I actually look forward to and enjoy. I like to go in the morning with a cup of coffee and thumb through the pattern catalogs, browse the fabrics, and stock up on notions and supplies. It’s the best. And, as you know, lots of HUSQVARNA VIKING® dealers are located in JOANN stores, so this was a great fit. JOANN has kindly given us a $50 gift card to send to today’s giveaway winner!
And, I just have to say, on a personal note, this is extra special for me. When I started studying fashion design in college I worked at our local JOANN. I lived in Phoenix at the time and our store was one of the older, smaller shops that eventually closed after a newer, bigger store was built. (My button stash officially began when I got hundreds of buttons on closeout sale when we were closing that store.) I absolutely loved that job, and the memories of going to classes during the day and working there at night are some of the best and most meaningful to me, because it was the beginning of my sewing and design journey. So this is a big time full circle moment, and I’m just really, really happy to have JOANN on board for this event.
The winner of Day 4 of a Holly Jolly Christmas Giveaway will receive:
Congratulations to our Day 1 winner, Katalin H!
By now it should go without saying that sewing is special to me. I enjoy everything about the process, and each piece I create is special. (That’s the goal, anyway. There’s still a miss every now and then.) I admittedly suffer from “I want to make all the things” disorder, but I also don’t want to waste my time on silly little nothing projects. I want to invest my time and energy into projects that – no matter how easy or difficult they may be or how often or infrequently I wear them – become treasured pieces in my closet. Double bonus if those things also make a thoughtful gift, and that’s exactly what the project in Day 2 of this giveaway event is.
This accessory came about because I had just enough of this gorgeous emerald viscose challis left over from a previous project, and I knew exactly what to do with it: a sophisticated, chic wrap. I also knew what I needed to make it really pop, and that was black lace. Emerald and black is such a striking combination, and of all the projects you’re going to see over the course of this event, this is one of my favorites. And, it happens to be incredibly easy to sew and makes a wonderful present this season. It can easily be made in a couple of hours, and the color and trim options are endless. I’d like to make a spring version in handkerchief weight linen with white lace.
My search for the perfect black lace began and ended with M&J Trimming in New York City. This is a company whose depth of inventory will make all your rhinestone, ribbon, and ribbon dreams come true. It’s a place I love to browse when I’m looking for something to catch my eye and inspiration to strike. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as a piece of lace to make an idea a reality, and they have everything you could possibly think of in terms of trim.
M&J Trimming kindly supplied me with the lace to bring this project to life (thank you!), and they are also giving the winner of today’s giveaway a $50 gift card. That will get you a lot of crystals, you guys. And you know how I feel about crystals.
I used Vogue 9249 to make this wrap, and it’s the second item in today’s giveaway. You know that Vogue patterns are my favorite, and this is another good one. It’s a super simple pattern (it’s just rectangles, folks), but I appreciate all the ideas for appliques and trim. My rayon challis version isn’t the warmest wrap ever made, but it sure is beautiful. A soft, lightweight wool would be a wonderful option for those of you who need a little extra warmth. (It snowed here in Austin for a half hour last week and we all went a little bananas. Texas doesn’t know what to do with that kind of weather.)
I get comments and questions quite often about how I know what fabrics to choose for my projects. It’s something I think I’m generally quite good at, but I have a few textile and chemistry classes under my belt to thank for that. I also have old textbooks and reference guides in my library, which come in handy when I have a question about something or need a refresher on a particular fabric. Resources like this are invaluable, and no matter how experienced you are or how many fabrics you’ve worked with, it’s a nice thing to have. To that end, the third item in today’s giveaway is a copy of The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory. It’s an amazing fabric guide with descriptions of fabrics and suggestions for how to use them. This is one of those books you don’t loan to friends – you may never get it back!
My friends at HUSQVARNA VIKING® are also including a few things to make projects like this easier: thread, a 5mm narrow hem foot, and knife edge applique scissors. Your life will never be the same once you have that narrow hem foot, and the duck bill scissors are pretty much the best invention ever.
The winner of today’s giveaway will receive:
Thank you to Debbie and the team at M&J Trimming for the gift card, and high five to HUSQVARNA VIKING® for the accessories. I’m telling you, we have some incredible, generous companies participating in this project and I’m thrilled to have them.
For the giveaway guidelines, go here, and remember to submit your entry before 11:59PM Central Time today. Best of luck!
Finally, thank you all so very much for the response to this event so far. I’ve read all of your comments and messages, and I’m just so happy to wrap up 2017 in such a fun way. We’re just getting started – see you tomorrow!