Monday, August 31, 2015

Blogiversary Giveaway and SewPhotoHop Roundup


Blogiversary Giveaway

My Tablecloth skirt, made with one of the pleated Paris stripes from Smuggler's Daughter.

On my sixth blogiversary post I promised a giveaway, and here it is!

Susan, of Smuggler's Daughter Fabrics has generously donated a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers!

If you would like a chance to win the gift certificate, please leave a comment below. I will draw a name randomly in a week or so. This contest is open to international folks.

Thanks for your generous gift, Susan! And, if you haven't checked out Smuggler's Daughter yet, please do! (You can also follow Smuggler's Daughter on Facebook.) The story of why Susan used that name for her business is rather interesting...

Good luck!

(Do remember to check back to see if you've won. If I have no way to contact you, and I don't hear from you within a week, I will draw a new name. Thx!)


SewPhotoHop Roundup

I've mentioned that Rachel, of House of Pinheiro, organized a "SewPhotoHop" event on Instagram. As you can see in her announcement photo above, each day featured a theme topic.

Hundreds of people participated. In fact, as of this writing, almost 15,000 photos have been posted using this hashtag.

Yowza.

Here are the photos, with text, that I posted. I really thought about each topic. Though, on some days, I felt a bit rushed getting the image made and posted. While I enjoyed it, I'm glad it's over!

And what did I learn? What did I get out of participating?

Well... a couple things.

First, I quickly learned that Instagram prefers a square image, and it (very annoyingly) crops images that use a portrait orientation. I googled and discovered that Instagram's ideal image size is 1080 by 1080 pixels. OK, I can do that. I started cropping, collaging, and resizing my images, as well as adding text on top, mostly using Preview and Omnigraffle. This helped me improve some of my meager graphic skills!

Secondly, I "met" new sewers on Instagram. IG is a lively community with lots of enthusiastic sewers! If you've found my blog through Instagram... Welcome!!

Without further ado... the pics.

Day 1. Introduction. Hello! I'm Shams and I'm 57... Or 56. I can never remember and who cares?! I've been sewing since a little girl and blogging at Communing with Fabric for almost 6 years. I work as a tech writer but sewing for my uber busty body, in my kinda weird aesthetic, and blogging about it, is my passion! This is going to be an interesting month on IG! #sewphotohop

Day 2. Things I can't live without. In this order: 1) inspiration, and plenty of it, 2) time to create and 3) my beloved tools! (This is just a sampling.) #sewphotohop

Day 3: Colorful. I wear a lot of black but love to throw in a pop of bold color, especially red and lime green. Today I am wearing red tennies and the other pic shows a chartreuse poncho I just bought from Ping Wu, a contestant from season 7 of Project Runway. Long live color!

Day 4: Work/Play. I work as a tech writer for Google, so I am on the computer pretty much all day. The pic on the left was taken on May 2014 as I worked at a walking desk. At home, I am online much of the time, being a blogger, and all. The pic on the right was taken today. In between, I squeeze in as much sewing as possible! My kids, who grew up watching me work at home for most of their lives, pretty much declared they didn't want such a "boring" job. Little do they know! #sewphotohop

Day 5. Silhouette. I often say my shape is that of "a potato on toothpicks." In other words, lots up top and little below. I can wear skinny pants, leggings, and short pencil skirts made from wild prints or white. But I have to avoid wrap tops, waterfall designs and excess fabric or frills up top. I spend a lot of time on FBAs and altering top and jacket patterns but, for me, pants are easy. A recent study in the UK showed that only 8% of women have my shape and I sometimes envy pear shaped women with actual waists who can wear so many fun tops that look atrocious on me. #sewphotohop

Day 6: Pattern that changed your life. I think it would have to be my Tablecloth Skirt. Several years back a friend saw a Lynn Mizono dress on Artful Home's website for $500 and asked me how to copy it. I didn't know. But months later I was looking at it online and a flash went off in my head and I realized it was quite simple. I posted the instructions on my blog and it was a hit. I've made at least five of them myself. About a year later #VoguePatterns came out with a pattern for Lynn's dress, though it is now OOP. But you can use the pattern for the dress or the instructions for my skirt. It's a win-win! #sewphotohop

Day 7: Sew up close. A closeup from my last make. You can see the fringed bias edging (fringed with my thumbnails) and one of the snaps covered with a scrap of lining. #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @fabricgodmother

Day 8: Sewing playlist. I listen to TV shows or movies, generally things I have seen before or programs that don't require my eyeballs. Here is a sampling. #sewphotohop

Day 9: Stash. <ahem> Enough said. #sewphotohop (Note, I found this cartoon on Facebook without attribution, so I don't know who created it.)

Day 10: Who would I exchange closets with... While I wouldn't exchange closets with anyone, these women own the closets I would most like to plunder! Margy, Dorothy, Ann, Heather, and Sarah have exquisite taste and own wonderful shoes and accessories, including many art pieces, as well as stunning clothes, many of them self made. I am fortunate to have these women in my life! #sewphotohop

Day 11: Bucket List. I don't have a bucket list but I didn't have to think more than 2 seconds for today's topic. One day I hope to travel to Paris with Marcy and Katherine Tilton!!! #sewphotohop

Day 12: Motivation. I am equally motivated by garments I see in real life and by garments I see online. (Pinterest, anyone?) #sewphotohop

Day 13: Sewing space. This is where it all happens, baby! #sewphotohop

Day 14: Style. It's hard to choose but this pic, and outfit, sums up my style fairly succinctly. I am a bit goofy, geeky, funky, and don't mind standing out when I dress to my aesthetic. My clothes need to feature interesting "twists" and/or details; they must be at least somewhat flattering on my uber busty, waistless, and tiny-hipped figure and, above all, they must be comfy. This coat, which I call my "grommet duster", is made from pinstriped denim and features almost 300 grommets and funky bellows pockets. I started with a Butterick dress pattern. You can read more here. I have been twirling since I started blogging 6 years ago, and that represents me, too. :) #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @stylemakerfabrics

Day 15: Secret corner of shame. Oy. Some sewists collect buttons. Not me. I collect zippers. I adore zippers. Here is a pile of my zippers. Confession 1: These were on the floor. So after taking this pic, at least they went into a bag. Confession 2: They had outgrown the previous bag! Confession 3: THIS IS NOT ALL OF MY ZIPPERS! #sewphotohop

Day 16: Tiny vs Big. Did I mention that I collect zippers? #sewphotohop

Day 17: Proudest achievement. This was a tough one for me. My proudest achievement is raising two great kids. (Raising them is much tougher than giving birth to them!) And I wouldn't call this an "achievement", exactly, but I was mighty tickled when Vogue Pattern Magazine asked to feature me as a "Star Blogger" in their Dec 2013/Jan 2014 issue. #sewphotohop

Day 18: Sewing resolutions. I am not a fan of making resolutions which can quickly lead to a sense of guilt and failure. I have lots of ideas and I choose a project based on what has the most "juice." I like a challenge...even though they often intimidate me. :) #sewphotohop

Day 19: Boldest fabric. It would have to be this beauty, which has been aging in my stash since buying it six years ago. 100% wool, it has the look of Yohji Yamamoto. The large holes are the size of dinner plates. #sewphotohop

Day 20: Learning & Practicing. I am ALWAYS learning and practicing. ALWAYS! It's important to be fearless in taking on challenges. I learned this smocking technique and then used it at the hem of my pants. #sewphotohop

Day 21: Shades of summer. One of the summer-iest things I've made. I used a rayon challis border print from @britexfabrics on a 60-degree angle bias, and I sewed the entire thing by hand to control the bias better. It is one of my favorite things to wear on those rare days I find myself in hot weather. I also included a literal pic of my summer shades! (This pic was taken this summer when Mari of @Seamster patterns came to visit!) @plushaddict #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @ddisciplines

Day 22: Last thing I made. #sewphotohop

Day 23: Favorite sewing technique. This was almost impossible to narrow down, but I guess I choose mixing! Mixing fabrics, fibers, elements. The coat used a wool from @britexfabrics and I knit the sleeves and collar. The shirt used a fabric panel from @marcytilton as well as a rayon challis and two quilting cottons, one a batik and the other a Japanese fabric. #sewphotohop

Day 14: Worst part of sewing. DITHERING! Dithering is a huge part of my process. I also dislike taping patterns together. #sewphotohop

Day 25: Behind the seams. I finished this linen duster with bias tape. I positioned the Geisha's face so that she's "got my back" (on the back facing). #sewphotohop

Day 26: Labor of love. I guess I'd have to say my wedding dress, though I made an even more involved dress for my SIL a year later. The year was 1989 and I was 29. We had a garden wedding so I didn't want a train. I used glass pearls for the back because they had a better hang. I spent ages beading the lace with more glass pearls. I used boning, horsehair braid, the works. 'Twas a long time - a lifetime - ago! #sewphotohop

Day 27: It's been awhile. Several years back I decided to do at least one needle felting project per year. Its been several years! #sewphotohop

Day 28: Trims & Haberdashery. I don't use trims much except using a selvedge as a decorative edging. I am a fan of zippers, but I've covered that in other posts. So here I've decided to acknowledge some of the other hardware I've used. I love hardware! Toggles and closures of all kinds. Rivets. Grommets. (The denim duster has 2 gross of grommets.) Studs. Weird ass metal thingies-I never did figure out what those were for but I put them in my self drafted cowl. I love it all! #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @girlcharleeuk

Day 29: Eye level. This is what I'm looking at today. I'm hand sewing a binding. #sewphotohop

Day 30: Favorite era. This one! I'm not enamored with any particular decade and I love that today we can wear whatever we like, pretty much. But, if I could, I'd climb into Issey Miyake's brain and watch the 70s, 80s, and 90s unfold. Miyake, born in Hiroshima, survived the bombing as a child, worked under some of the biggest French designers, and opened his own design house in 1970. He started publishing patterns with Vogue in the early 80s. His designs were completely new and incorporated origami, complex pleating, and technology. His innovations are still being copied today and continue to look avant garde and fresh. He retired from his design house in 1999 to pursue research. He also created 100 black turtleneck shirts for his friend, Steve Jobs. :) I love you, #isseymiyake! #sewphotohop

Day 31: Last thing I bought. Some fun fabrics! The colors in these photos are a bit misleading. A) Perforated purple wool coating. B) Tattered white linen. C) Black (yes, black) textured cotton with mesh between each square. --- @houseofpinheiro, thanks for organizing such an interesting photo hop with such thought provoking topics! #sewphotohop

Bonus play: Buttons or zippers. I did mention that I love zippers, right? Even my glasses have zippers! #sewphotohop

102 comments:

  1. Fabulous and inspiring set of pics! And thanks for the intro to Smuggler's Daughter - it's about time I got some new fabric, so please enter me! ;-)

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  2. Thank you for playing Sewphotohop. Your pictures were great. Instagram now announced they are changing e square format to allow others like portrait etc. glad you enjoyed yourself.

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  3. What a spectacular display of all your adventurous talents. Wish I had 1/4th of your patience and fearlessness. All these lookback items are uniquely you. That famous Tablecloth Skirt .. so clever .. and is still on my bucket list, but my hips, my hips .. ;) Happy to be included in the drawing. Thanks, Shams .. and thanks to Smuggler's Daughter!

    ~Joy~

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  4. Thanks for putting all the photos together - it really gives a great sense of 'you'. I always admire your individuality and humour in sewing.
    Congratulations and thank you for six wonderful years.

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  5. Thank you Shams! I love the photos and the way you put them together. I'm so glad we get to know you thru your wonderful blog and your generous, sharing spirit. It's been such a great six years and I hope for many, many more. You're a jewel and a creative inspiration. Thanks for letting us peek at your life!
    And would also love to be included in the drawing, thank you and thanks to Smuggler's Daughter!

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  6. Oh, forgot to say I covet those glasses - they are totally you - LOVE them!

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  7. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! Please enter me for the giveaway.

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  8. Great set of photos - and I like that you showed them out of order!! Happy blogiversary.

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  9. What a great post. I learned so much about you and your achievements. thank you for sharing!

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  10. Your blog is a favourite of mine & I love the edginess you put into your garments. Pls enter me in your giveaway.

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  11. I enjoyed this post tremendously! Thanks---and your glasses with the zipper are fabulous!

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  12. I missed some of those on Instagram! Its getting busy over there now and some slipped by me. You are one of a kind! In the best way :)

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  13. Yep yep yep. Love the Smuggler's Daughter's wares! Count me in!!

    The SPH was FUN!! I barely participated but I sure watched all the awesomeness on IG. I am kind of in love with photo hops now. It really connects you with new-to-you sewers and hey, we're all obsessive about our craft and boom! You get sewing overload! What's not to love?!?! :)

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  14. loved the pictures! thank you for adding me to the giveaway

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  15. I was introduced to you by the great article in Vogue last year. I've been following your blog ever since. And of course on Facebook too. You are so much fun and an incredible seamstress.

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  16. Love your pictures! I should practise mine more.
    Please enter me in the draw...what a generous giveaway.

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  17. Happy blogversary! What a great post to top it off! That is. Treat in itself! Thank you for the generous giveaway!

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  18. I love your blog as you are always so inspiring, even if my sewing is not as bold as yours. I love the eye candy. I, too, have also enjoyed the sew photo hop and seeing what other sewers are doing. More inspiration!

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  19. What a great idea to show all the pictures together! You are fantastic!

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  20. I also LOVE your blog and follow it savoring every picture and every word. Sewing clothing has become a passion of mine and your creativity inspires me.

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  21. I love your blog and love watching what you come up with!

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  22. I love your blog & your sense of humor comes thru . I'm so glad I met you in line in Puyallup T the fashion show .

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  23. This is such a GREAT post! Love all the photos. Oh, and I'm a secret zipper collector also. I wonder what DD will do with all of them when she's trying to clean out my house someday!!?? AND I also would love to go on a Marcy trip before I leave this earth. Maybe, Maybe.......

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  24. As always, your posts inspire me. I love your style and the joy. Thanks for sharing your creations.

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  25. Words fail me to express my joy in reading this post, Shams. I think you have inspired me to join IG. Would love to be included in your give-away drawing. Karen

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  26. I love your creativity and style. Truly you are an inspiration to me and others who love to sew!

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  27. Wow, Shams -- what a fabulous set of images to pull together like this. Thank you for sharing! Off to Smuggler's Daughter to read about the name...

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  28. Love, love, love the tablecloth skirt! What a great match of fabric and pattern!

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  29. Loved reading the post and the pics. Great round-up. Love your blog.

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  30. I should mention how much I enjoyed the post first before thanking you for offering such a great prize.

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  31. What a terrific review you've given. Enjoyed every part of it! And thanks for the opportunity to enter the drawing for Smuggler's Daughter fabric. I LOVE the things she has and am eager to get my skills up to the level of sewing with such beautiful fabric. Thanks so much!

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  32. Loved your Day 11 Shams. I want to do that too! Please enter my name. I've just been to Smuggler's Daughter for the first time and will now share it with my sewing student list........Jane in Walnut Creek

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  33. That was fun! I love your off beat fabrics and you manage to make some very interesting clothing with them. Yes, please count be in.

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  34. What a fun photo tour through your creative six years! Please include me.

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  35. Good grief that photo blog hop was in depth and plenty of work! whew! y'all are demons to be able to crank it out, but so much fun to read ;)

    What a treat to see Mr. Miyake there, love his mind. As a fellow IT i thought this was interesting: "...only 8% of women have my shape ...". I suppose it makes sense that I have such rotten luck with RTW.

    Now go relax - after all that photo hopping you deserve it!

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  36. You are one of the most creative sewers I know! Congrats on your blogiversary and thank you for the giveaway.

    livingincolorblog [at] outlook [dot] com

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  37. Wow what a post! All those totally fab pictures PLUS descriptions!! I will go with you inside Monsieur Miyake's brain. I am working on a tunic from one of his patterns right now. I love him. And that research has churned out some great stuff!!

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  38. I'm happy to have followed your blogging. You are incredibly creative and manage to make garments and other things that really make you shine. Very inspiring.
    Happy blogaversary!

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  39. Wow, what a fascinating look at your history and what captivates you now. Thanks for putting together this most interesting read; I don't know how you find time for it all.

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  40. Congrats on your Blogiversary!

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  41. Love your blog, and especially this picture show! I'm so jealous you get to work at a walking station!! :)

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  42. Love the wedding pix! And the zipper glasses- where did you get those?
    What a great intro for new people.
    Smuggler's daughter would be the icing on the cake.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! Those glasses were by Karl Lagerfeld a few years ago. If you search for them, you might still find them. A friend recently found them on a British website and ordered them from the U.K. with plain lenses. She had a local optometrist turn them into reading glasses.

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  43. Shams, your love of fabric and design inspires me everyday!

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  44. What a wonderful photo hop! Yours is easily the most interesting sewing blog in my inbox, always a must-read. Thanks so much...

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  45. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I have followed your blog for the last two years and just love it!

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  46. Shams, your love of fabric and design inspires me everyday!

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  47. Love your blog - it's entertaining, informative, has great photos, interesting writing and is just a great gift to the blog-o-sphere! Today's post is just terrific!

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  48. What a wonderful post, Shams! Thanks--and of course I am happy to be entered in the contest for the gift certificate!

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  49. I love Buttons. I love how they feel in my paws, how they look, how delightfully artful they can be, and the fact that they are an ancient fastener. I collect buttons. I have jars and tins full of bake-alite and shell buttons, wooden buttons, and of course just about every style and shape of button somewhere in my sewing studio, my laundry room, my bedroom(yes, under the bed) and even in kitchen cupboards!
    I also love to sew and learn about sewing and see how others use this art form. Thanks Shams!!!! And, of course, I would be thrilled to win this contest!
    Did I mention that I also have a significant fabric stash......

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  50. Indeed I believe I first ran across you on sewphotohop. Love your personality and style!

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  51. Great post! Thanks for the memories and the inspiration! I'd love to become acquainted with the Muggler's Daughter! Please enter me for a chance to win the giveaway!

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  52. Thanks for sharing your SewPhotoHop;loved it. Fingers crossed -- I would love to win your drawing and sew something funky fun! Sue in MN

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  53. What a fabulous post and photos! Makes me feel I know you more! I love your blog as it's so individual. I'm not following on Instagram, so this is the first time I've seen these. Please enter me for the draw. Thank you

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  54. An incredible round up showing your astonishing talents with textiles and technology.

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  55. Always enjoy seeing your sewn, wearable art. Congratulations on 6 years of blogging.

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  56. congrats on your Blogiversary! And thanks for all the inspiration. Your technical skills and enthusiasm are truly inspiring.

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  57. It's so fun following your sewing journey.

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  58. My bucket list also includes a Paris tour with the fabulous Tilton sisters! Karen

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  59. Love your blog! Please enter me in your give-away.

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  60. We got married the same year as you!

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  61. So glad to find you on Instagram - your wedding dress is awesome! I love your style and use of colour.

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  62. What a great post! Love it! You are such an inspiration. I also want to trade closets with Dorothy, Heather, Margy, Sarah, and Ann!

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  63. Congratulations on reaching 6 years. Count me in for the giveaway please.

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  64. All of your photos were "sew" fun to check out. Thank you for the chance in the giveaway.

    determineddebby at gmail dot com

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  65. What a fun collection of photos, I can't even imagine making my own wedding dress. Thanks for the fab giveaway.
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  66. The things you make are not my style at all and that's what I like about your blog. Inspiration to stretch myself.

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  67. Fun romp through your Blogiversery! So much to learn from you. Thanks for sharing yourself!

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  68. I also want to go to Paris with Marcy!

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  69. Whoops, I read your blog yesterday then got sidetracked by a birthday party and forgot to leave a comment! I've followed your blog for years...hoping some of your talent & iinspiration will rub off on me. So far, nada! Thanks for being such a creative and original personality!

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  70. Jilly alerted me to this fantastic post. I'm so behind on my favorite blog reading! So delightful to see your collection of photos and interpretations of the daily themes. And thanks for the mention. I'm honored. Missed you last night.

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    1. Ann, I was so sorry to miss you the other night! It's been ages! I hope to see you at AIF!

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  71. Wow, what a fun read. I think I have been following you for many years now, congratulations on your anniversary.

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  72. Hi, I found your blog only recently. I hope to increase my sewing skills this year by learning from Sewists such as yourself and other resources. Thank you. I really enjoy your posts!

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  73. YOU are a fun-loving, colorful gal! I'd love to get to know you! Reading this post just made me smile and even chuckle! Happy Blog-adversary...never know how to spell that darned word, but still the wish is there and for many more!

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  74. Happy Blogaversary! You sure know how to throw a party! I loved you post. I'm definitely going to visit often for more fun. And the tablecloth skirt is great!

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  75. I love your skirt :) Happy Blogiversary!

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  76. Love your wedding dress. All your designs are simply smashing!! I pop in and out of sewing, but when I'm in, I love to read your reviews and the creative touch you put on outfits. Your glasses are so YOU !! Thanks for sharing and the little tidbits that make your blog human. Just shared a glass of ice with you reading your blog. Enjoy life!

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    1. That was ice tea. Haha silly me.

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  77. Happy blogiversary! Thanks for offering the giveaway.

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  78. I have learned so much from reading your blog. Thank you!

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  79. Happy Blogiversary! I truly enjoyed the "ride" in this post. And those glasses, talk about the frosting on the cake!

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  80. Happy Blogiversary. You never fail to yank me out of the sewing doldrums. The analogy of our stashes to the height of the Eiffel Tower is perfect.

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  81. Happy Blogiversary. I'm very glad I found your blog cause it is really fun and informative. I hope I win the Smuggler Daughter prize.

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  82. Shams, I was actually hoping you were going to give away one of your tablecloth skirts, maybe the striped one, heheheh Oh well

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  83. Wow, thank you so much and happy 'blogaversary"! Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist @ aol.com

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  84. Can you move to Long Island and be my friend??

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  85. Loved looking and reading all this! Please tell me where you got the little light attached to the top left of your sewing machine - am in dire need of one! Is it ok if I covet that red Featherweight? If I adopt you, will you share it?
    Martha Ann in NC

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  86. You are amazing Shams. The instagram posts really let your personality shine. Glad you'll be continuing the blog!

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  87. Happy blogiversary! I just LOVE your giant zipper!!!! And everything else!

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  88. What a fun post! I need to check out instagram more seriously...and someday I hope to travel on a Paris Tilton trip as well. Happy Creating!

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  89. oh my you put a lot of elbow grease into your insta pics. I just open the app on my iPhone and take a photo - then post it. IG should feel effortless. I am glad you are on IG now! It's a fun way to stay in the pool and doggy paddle when there isn't much free time for blogging.

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  90. Love your creativity and your blog.
    Sharon in the San Joaquin Valley.

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  91. You are so interesting! Zippers?! That giant one is so funny! Zany adventures!

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  92. I had not seen this post before--WOW what a roundup of pictures! My favorite is the one of you in your self-made wedding dress! Even then you were totally professional with your sewing!

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  93. Great dress! I´m looking forward to seeing you in it! Great tutorial on how to design clothes online.

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  94. Wow! I just followed your instagram feed. I have been reading your blog for a long time.We are the same age and I am also a geek. (this year I left my job as an Apple trainer for health reasons.) I mostly sewed quilts for a long time and am a writer. I jsut recently started sewing garments again and your blog is a real source of inspiration. thanks:)

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