I can hardly believe it, but Thursday, November 11, 2021, marks the 10th anniversary of my sewing blog! I had no idea when I launched CSews.com, that my blog would still be going a decade later. To celebrate my blogversary milestone, I’ll be giving away some great sewing prizes from stores and pattern companies that have special meaning to me. Read on to see why I selected these businesses and companies, or skip to the end for a summary of the giveaways and how to enter for a chance to win. 😉
When I began my blog, I wanted to learn a content management system. The publication I was working for at the time did not have a very good one. So I decided to pick a topic that would be completely different from work and that I knew I liked and that’s how my blog got started! My first post was about getting a sewing machine in 2009 and sewing again. Then I blogged about what I made, some of which I’ve highlighted below.
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics
I have the great good fortune to live in Berkeley, California, just a 15-minute walk from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. The store carries a wide array of indie patterns and so many, many lovely fabrics. I shop there often. In addition, as the organizer of the Bay Area Sewists meetup group, we’ve had meetups with the store staff during the pandemic. In celebration of my blogversary, the store is giving all my blog readers and Instagram followers 20 percent off all for the entire month of November! Just use the code BAYSEWS20 at checkout whether you are making your purchase online or in-store. If you are at the store, just tell the staff at checkout that you have a discount code and give them BAYSEWS20 to enter. Thank you Stonemountain!
This Berkeley institution holds a special place in my heart — not only because it’s within walking distance of where I live, but because it is an integral part of the Bay Area sewing community. For many years, Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics offered sewing classes. Then in 2016, they made the decision to stop offering classes and focus on fabric, indie patterns, and more. I interviewed Suzan Steinberg on my blog about this big decision back then.
When I became the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists meetup group in January 2014, I began organizing monthly meetups — everything from fabric and pattern swaps to sew-together meetups. I was always looking for free venues to meet. We held a Show & Tell meetup at Stonemountain in August 2014 when they still had part of their second floor devoted to classes. Since then, we’ve had some Stonemountain managers talk to the group about interfacing, fabric weight, and knit fabrics.
When the pandemic began, the store was closed to the public. However, their online store was open so you could still buy their merchandise, just not in person. Now I’m happy to say they the store is open to the public again so if you are in the Bay Area, you can enter Stonemountain and touch and feel all the fabric!
Stonemountain is offering a $50 gift card to my blog readers and IG followers! I contacted Suzan months ago when I realized this would be my anniversary year and asked if she’d like to help me celebrate. She immediately said, “Yes.” Thank you, Suzan and Stonemountain!
I learned about Needles Studio from Bay Area Sewists members last year. This small business in the South Bay is the only independent fabric store in the area. Needles carries indie patterns and a carefully curated selection of fabrics, notions and tools, and more. They also offer sewing and art classes. I love to support local businesses — and especiallly fabric stores.
Last year, I invited the store’s owner Erika, to talk to Bay Area Sewists and give us a virtual tour of her store at our Zoom meetup in September 2020. We were going through the fall wave of Covid so I wasn’t shopping for fabric or patterns in person. It was nice to see her store. Earlier this year she moved to a new location, still in the South Bay but in a different area. So we had Erika give us a tour of her new space at our August virtual meetup. Then Bay Area Sewists members had a discussion of foreign sewing patterns. Needles Studio carries plenty of non-U.S. pattern lines such as The Assembly Line, Deer and Doe, Merchant & Mills, and Papercut so this was a good fit.
When I asked Erika if she’d like to help me celebrate my blogversary, she immediated offered a $50 gift card to her shop. Thank you, Erika!
I only knew about the Big Four pattern companies – Butterick, McCall’s Simplicity, and Vogue – growing up. My mom usually sewed the first three, not Vogue, getting her patterns at Joann Fabrics, as it was called back then (no “crafts” in the title yet).
I think my entrée to indie patterns began in 2011 when I bought Christine Haynes first book Chic & Simple Sewing. Back then her sizes were limited to S, M, L — unlike today where her current pattern sizes go from XS to 4X (bust: 32″ to 57″/81 cm to 145 cm, hip: 33″ to 58″/84 cm to 147 cm).
I made Christine’s popular Emery Dress (left photo) in 2013. It was my first small bust adjustment. I was trying to make an everyday dress but it ended up being a bit precious because I added piping and a little embroidery detail to the collar, inspired by the fabric. I was a size (or two) smaller then. You can read (and see more photos) about my Emery Dress.
Of course I had to ask Christine if she’d like to help celebrate my blogversary with one of her patterns and she said, “Yes”! Christine is offering PDF pattern of the winner’s choice. Thank you, Christine!
Sew House Seven
The first Sew House Seven pattern I purchased was the Toaster Sweater (available as a PDF or a paper pattern). I got it in 2016 or 2017 but didn’t sew it until 2017. At the time, I saw more of version 2 than version 1 on Instagram. I made a mockup of version 1 in fleece and then made a reversible version 1 in a double-sided knit. That was a bit of a challenge.
Then I went on to make three more Toaster Sweaters but they were all version 2. I had leftover ponte fabric of this giant print and made a tunic-length one.
I also made version 2 in black french terry (so soft!) and a color-blocked one. Those two Toasters are blogged here.
Obviously, the Toaster is a favorite pattern of mine. I want to make a striped one next.
I contacted Peggy, the designer behind Sew House Seven, about celebrating my blogversary. She’s offering a Sew House Seven PDF pattern of the winner’s choice. Thank you, Peggy!
Friday Pattern Company
When Friday Pattern Company burst on the sewing scene a couple of years ago, their designs captured my attention. I especially liked the diversity of models and sizes. Plus I loved that they give back 5 percent of their proceeds to charity.
So far I’ve made the Joan Trousers in yellow ponte (no longer offered), Adrienne Blouse in a floral jersey, and Sagebrush Top in a fun print. I’ve also made a mockup of the Square Neck Top (PDF version) and I’m still deciding if I want to use the fabric I got for it or not. As you can tell, I like Friday Pattern Company designs and
I also interviewed Chelsea Gurnoe, the designer of Friday Pattern Company, on my blog earlier this year. We discussed her interest in fashion, design, sewing, and how her company got started. Naturally, I had ask Chelsea if she’d like to help me celebrate my blogversary, too. So, you guessed it, Chelsea is offering a PDF pattern, too — winner’s choice. Thank you, Chelsea and Friday Pattern Company!
A huge thank you to Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics and Needles Studio for their generosity and to designers Christine Haynes, Sew House Seven, and Friday Pattern Company. Here are the wonderful giveaways:
- $50 gift card from Stonemountian & Daughter Fabrics
- $50 gift card from Needles Studio (U.S. and Canada only)
- Christine Haynes PDF pattern of your choice
- Sew House Seven PDF pattern of your choice
- Friday Pattern Company PDF pattern of your choice
To enter, comment on this blog post. For extra entries, follow me on my Instagram account (@csews) and follow the instructions on that IG post. It will have the same photo as the one at the top of this post. This giveaway is open to folks worldwide, except for the Needles Studio gift card. If you live outside the United States, please say so in the comments so you will not be entered for that giveaway. (Needles only ships to the U.S. and Canada customers.)
This giveaway closes at 11:59 pm on November 11. Winners will be notifed on November 12 by email or dm on Instagram.