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 3

Congratulations to our Day 2 winner, Stephanie N!

One of my favorite parts about blogging is being in a community of like-minded sewists. It’s so comforting to know that I can say things like “I love fabric” and “I should buy this fabric, right?” and “another floral fabric? here’s my credit card” around you guys, and you just get it. You understand. I can tell you all about the cool fabrics shops I visit and post videos on Instagram Stories of my fabric stash without worrying for one second that you’ll judge me or wonder why it’s so important to me. We’re all friends here.

In a perfect world, I would be able to shop for fabric whenever I want with no concern for money. (I’d wager a guess that most of us feel this way.) Instead, I have to be thoughtful about my purchases. Sometimes I splurge, but most of the time I buy things when I can and when they’re on sale. It’s all about balance. Sometimes I buy things for a specific purpose, but mostly I buy fabric because it’s pretty and inspires me and I have to have it. (Also, my average “buy” amount is 4 yards. I get that question a lot.) When I was in college, I discovered an online store called Fashion Fabrics Club, And I never looked back.

I was the first in my class to find this little gem of a fabric shop, and things quickly got out of hand in the best (and funniest) way. For broke college students in a major that required fabric and supplies purchases, we took whatever help we could get – and FFC has really amazing prices on fabrics. Searching and finding just the right fabric on that site is also like a treasure hunt, so it was even more exciting to find exactly what you were looking for. I’m pretty sure we all showed up to open lab at one time or another with an FFC package that had just been delivered – too excited to open it by ourselves.

Over the years, I have gotten some of the prettiest fabrics from this place, and I knew they would be a perfect fit for this giveaway project. So, the winner of today’s giveaway will be getting $100 gift card to Fashion Fabrics Club – and I’m a tad jealous because that will get you a lot of good stuff. You will have fun spending that, for sure!

Top row, left to right: Vogue 9104, Vogue 8789, McCall’s 6696

Middle row, left to right: Vogue 8379, OOP Vogue, Vogue 8772

Bottom row, left to right: Butterick 6446, Vogue 8788, my design.

Fashion Fabrics Club was also kind enough to provide me with the fabric I used for this project, and it’s one of my favorites of the year. This is a polyester chiffon with tone on tone pearlized daisy sequins. It is absolutely gorgeous.

As with all sequin projects, it’s best to keep it simple. Don’t over complicate it, stick with clean lines and just a few seams. Having already made a sequin dress and skirt this year (both of which were underlined) I kept thinking about doing something a little different. The beauty of this fabric is that it doesn’t scream special occasion so you can get away with it during the day. I used an old, out-of-print unlined jacket pattern, made a couple of adjustments to eliminate some unnecessary seams, and got busy. I love how well this piece came together, and just like the wrap in yesterday’s post, it makes a great gift. (And yes, I know I’m wearing this differently than it’s been designed without the “collar” turned back, but I think it’s a little more modern and fresh this way. Plus, you see less of the wrong side of the fabric.)

I’m a big believer in learning and practicing and always striving to be better, so books and resources are a big part of that. To that end, in today’s giveaway is a copy of Couture Sewing Techniques, which I think is a must have in every seamstress’s library.

Also important? Irons. Irons are super essential. HUSQVARNA VIKING® is providing today’s winner with a SINGER Expert Finish1700 Watt Steam Iron.

The winner of today’s giveaway will receive:

  • A $100 gift card to Fashion Fabrics Club,
  • Couture Sewing Techniques, 
  • and the SINGER Expert Finish1700 Watt Steam Iron.

Big, big thanks to Johari at Fashion Fabrics Club for being so awesome and happy to join us for this giveaway project. I am a customer for life, so hurry up and restock the sateen prints for me! 🙂

And, like I’ve been saying for years, HUSQVARNA VIKING® is the best – and we’ve got even more in store for you to win next week. (Big stuff is coming!) Remember, we’re taking the weekend off so we’ll see you at noon on Monday with three more days of giveaways. Thank you for participating, and 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!