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Category: giveaways

holly jolly christmas: day 4

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 8789and 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.

Also included in today’s giveaway is a copy of The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting (I’ve been recommending this book for ages), and a pack of thread and scissors from HUSQVARNA VIKING®.

The winner of Day 4 of a Holly Jolly Christmas Giveaway will receive:

  • $100 gift card to Promenade Fabrics, 
  • $50 gift card to JOANN, 
  • The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, 
  • and a pack of thread and scissors from HUSQVARNA VIKING®.

Good luck!


holly jolly christmas: day 2

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:

  • a $50 gift card to M&J Trimming,
  • pattern Vogue 9249,
  • The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory,
  • and an accessories pack from HUSQVARNA VIKING® that includes thread, a narrow hem foot, and knife edge applique scissors.

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!

 


holly jolly christmas: day 1

Today is the day! Holly Jolly Christmas has officially begun, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off this huge giveaway event. Tulle skirts have been one of my favorite things since, well, forever, and it was one of the most popular items I sold when I was in business a few years ago. I love this skirt all the time but especially for the holidays, because it’s just so dreamy and flirty and fun to wear – and I promise there’s not much else that’s more fun to dance in. (Read the tutorial for making it here.) In the tutorial I mention waiting to serge the center back seams until after the tulle has been basted to the underlining – which brings me to the first item in today’s giveaway: a serger. Yes, the incredible HUSQVARNA VIKING® H|CLASS™ 200S overlock machine! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve talked about this thing this year, but it’s a lot. I spent a few years without a serger – and it’s totally doable – but, gosh, they sure do make your sewing life a lot easier. This serger is an absolute workhorse in my studio, and the hundreds of garments I’ve made over the years have pretty, clean seams because of this machine.

My version of a tulle skirt is simple but effective: it’s layer after layer after layer of tulle. The difference in this skirt and others you may see online is that mine is cut using 108″ wide tulle so that there’s only one seam (it accommodates the length of the skirt). When I was developing this method a few years ago, I spent a lot of time looking for 108″ tulle – and at that time it wasn’t as readily available as it is now. In my search one day, I stumbled upon Online Fabric Store. They sell, among other fabulous things, 108″ tulle by the bolt in various colors. There’s 50 yards on one bolt, so that was perfect for me because I could squeeze out at least two skirts with that much. It’s also a great amount to share with a friend or split among various projects of your own.

So, along with the H|CLASS™ 200S overlock machine, today’s winner will also receive a $100 gift card to Online Fabric Store. Between the tulle and the gorgeous home decor fabrics and the supplies available (batting, thread, foam, zippers and more) you’ll have no trouble filling that shopping cart with pretty things for new projects. They have amazing things!

The projects you’ll see during this six day event were all made using commercial patterns (two favorites, three newbies), with the exception of this tulle skirt. I drafted the pattern myself (a super easy circle skirt), and while I don’t draft patterns from scratch as much as I used to, it’s still something I do quite often – but I definitely spent a lot of time altering patterns to correct the fit or add length or change style lines. In order to do this successfully, there are a few tools I must have on hand – and the third bundle of goodies in today’s giveaway is a few of my favorite pattern drafting tools: pencils, pattern hangers, rulers, Sharpies, tape, and a hole punch. I’m especially in love with the two rulers: the 18″ straight edge (it will never break; believe me, I’ve tested more than my share of rulers over the years), and the flexible curve. I use that thing all the time to measure waistlines, necklines, and any design line with a tight curve. It’s much, much easier to use a flexible ruler in those areas than it is a straight edge.

So the winner of the Holly Jolly Day 1 giveaway will receive:

  • the H|CLASS™ 200S overlock machine from HUSQVARNA VIKING®
  • a $100 gift card to Online Fabric Store,
  • and a bundle of patternmaking supplies.

See the official rules here, and best of luck! The winner will be announced tomorrow!

Many thanks to HUSQVARNA VIKING® for the donations for this event, and special thanks to the kind folks at Online Fabric Store for the $100 gift card.