Sunday, November 20, 2011

{Blogiversary} Supporting Independent and Local Businesses

One of the best parts of this year has been seeing members of our own sewing community start or expand their sewing businesses!  In addition, I've been able to connect with and support one of my favourite Scottish small businesses.

Here's a little recap of everyone I've worked with or supported over the past year:

Reproduction Pattern Businesses:
I just love repro patterns.  For someone who enjoys sewing 30's and 40's patterns, repro patterns are a great way to have access to very rare patterns that would cost an arm and leg to otherwise acquire.  Earlier in the year, I put together a list of sources for acquiring 30's and 40's patterns and listed several repro pattern sellers.  During the past year, I've had the chance to sew with patterns from Wearing History, EvaDress and Vintage Fashion Library.

 
1934 Wearing History repro gown that I made for Valentine's Day



Two outfits sewn from EvaDress repro patterns (1933 Butterick Repro pattern based on an early Katherine Hepburn movie and a 1931 suit pattern)
I've also hosted Wearing History and EvaDress pattern giveaways and I hope to work with this 1933 Vintage Pattern Lending Library pattern before the year is out!

Independent Pattern Companies
I've just loved seeing how both Colette and Sewaholic patterns have grown over the past year.  It's fantastic that both Tasia and Sarai are also active bloggers! I love that and I hope to use more of their patterns before the end of this year and definitely into next year!  This past year I made a Pendrell blouse and worked with Tasia to host a Sewaholic patterns giveaway and also had the chance to sew up the Parfait dress from Colette! 

  My Purple Parfait Pinafore (say that ten times fast!!) made with the Parfait Colette pattern.
Etsy Sellers
I buy quite a few patterns from etsy and really enjoy interacting with the sellers!  One seller that I bought and made up two patterns from was Miss Betty's Attic.  She kindly offered my readers a discount to her pattern shop! 




















1950's Patio dress and 1941 Sailor dress made from patterns from Miss Betty's Attic.
Another thing that Etsy is great for is finding high quality vintage items!  I had the opportunity to work with The Paraders Vintage to host a giveaway to their etsy store.  Both the ladies behind this business are fantastic and they are going to be launching their own online store soon!

Local Businesses
One of the most exciting collaborations for me is being able to work with Ness, a Scottish company that focuses on using tartan and tweeds in fun and fashionable ways!  I've been a huge fan of Ness since I've moved to Scotland.  You might say that I had a bit of a crush on them!  In my first year of sewing, I actually built a sewing plan around the colour palette of two pairs of Ness shoes and my Ness jacket.  One of the highlights of the year was meeeting the people behind Ness in person.  They are so lovely and I'm just so excited to be a Ness ambassador as I truly love their products and their vision and the fact that they are a small company doing exciting things in Scotland!

Giving the Ness 'Azure' bag (this week's "Bag of the Week") a test run while grocery shopping in our local South Asian food store!  I've paired my Ness 'Brooke' sweater with my very first me-made skirt!
Ness is currently offering my readers 15% off all items (of orders £50 or more) on their website!  Enter code XM4S at check-out!  They are also offering a 'Mix & Match' offer if you buy any combination of bag and wallet to get an additional 10% off (on top of the 15%).  If you've been thinking about getting any Ness presents for the holidays, definitely do it while it's discounted!!

Another fabulous local UK company that I had the chance to work with this year was Fancy Moon: Purveyor of Fine Fabrics.  It was so lovely of them to host a giveaway on my blog! I just adore their fabric!

 My 'Midcentury Madness' dress made from Fabric from Fancy Moon.

The Giveaway
One of the new independent online sewing stores that I haven't hosted a giveaway for is A Fashionable Stitch!  Many of you know Sunni from her blog and the store!  I've used several of Sunni's belt kits for my dresses including my 1941 sailor dress and my 1950's halter and skirt outfit.  I just adore Sunni (she is so lovely), I am in awe of her projects and I just love her store!  She stocks so many things that are hard to find (belt kits, horsehair braid, tailor's tape, wrist pincushions).  Sunni is very graciously offering one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to A Fashionable Stitch for them to get whatever they like!

This giveaway is open to all my readers anywhere in the world. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would get from Sunni's store with the gift certificate.  Enter your comment by midnight (London time) on Wednesday the 23rd of November for a chance to win the $25 gift certificate to A Fashionable Stitch. 

Thanks so much Sunni for your lovely generosity! And a big thank you to all the independent businesswomen in the sewing community--you are all such inspirations!

59 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your very impressive and interesting resume! BTW: were/are you a professional model? It's fun to see your versatile and stunning looks!

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  2. I've been eyeing Sunni's beltmaking kits myself!

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  3. Deb - no one can ever say that as far as 'buying small' or 'buying local', you are not doing your bit!You've had a very adventurous and creative time with all of these folks - quite inspirational. We have made the decision at our house to work harder at making local choices - yesterday (and this is totally boring, I realize and OT as far as sewing is concerned), we basically went 'round Robin Hood's barn' (as my Mum used to say) to get to our locally-owned hardware store to get a new sump pump and back flow valve. I'd never been inside the place (because frankly, the national 'big box' store is 5 minutes from our house) and it is chock full of very interesting things; quite the old fashioned hardware store.

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  4. Awww...thanks HeathersSphere! I've never been a professional model--I just enjoy showing off my me-made garments :) Doesn't hurt that I've got a great photographer (David) and a fabulous backdrop (Edinburgh) :)

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  5. I've recently started sewing and really enjoy reading your blog. One thing I love is the way you always have such a huge smile in the photos - that's exactly how I feel when I finish making something!
    This is the first time I've entered a blog giveaway... very exciting! If I were to win, I think I'd use the gift certificate for a sewing pattern. That's because all the things I've made (only six and a half garments so far) have been from patterns I've made up myself, and I'd like to have a go at using a proper one! I like the look of the Colette Macaron (who doesn't love hidden pockets?)

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  6. I would get a belt kit (or three).

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  7. Yay for buying local - I love independent businesses :)

    If I won I'd buy a few yards of horsehair braid and some of that gorgeous plum petersham ribbon!

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  8. Ooh, I'd probably go for a lovely new pincushion. Mine's looking a bit sorry for itself. Or maybe a Colette Pattern, since you can't go wring with those.

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

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  9. A recent shift to co-habitation is great, baring yours truly mislaying her pins all over the place... I should make myself a proper pincushion, but there are always bigger projects to stick my pins into on the go...and I fancy one of Sunni's lovely ones!

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  10. Belt kits and petersham ribbon. Both are so hard to find in stores!

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  11. I would get some belt kit and a pattern!

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  12. Petersham ribbon is what I'd get, you can only get it in black here, and not all the time

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  13. Actually, this post is a feast for my eyes! You see all these different shades, is so beautiful! And your idea of supporting small businesses is great. You are an endless inspiration!

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  14. I've got the toile for my new winter coat nearly finished and really need to order some of Sunni's hair canvas! Thank you and Sunni for the giveaway, both of your blogs are such wonderful resources.

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  15. Fantastic post, Debi! I discovered Ness through you and LOVE them! I would definitely stock up on belt kits from Sunni's store. :)

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  16. yay! sunni is my favorite indie sewing business i've discovered thus far (well, and colette patterns!). love her shop & she's such a sweetheart!

    i need one of her fancy seam rolls. i've been eyeballing them since she first debuted them to the world and i just love them!

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  17. You've done a great job supporting local businesses! If I won the giveaway I'd use it for hair canvas and tailor's tape since those are pretty much the only items I'm missing for my tailored coat project. I have a wrist pincushion from her shop that I love to pieces!

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  18. I would definately buy some horsehair braid for my next circle skirt.

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  19. I'm so incredibly jealous of all the great local companies you have close to you! O: there's nothing like that here and it breaks my heart </3

    As for the gift certificate I would probably indulge in the adorable Roma tomatoe pincushion aaaand the Colette Pattern No. 1015 | Violet because I absolutely cannot get enough of peter pan collars recently.

    xoxox
    mini-crini.blogspot.com

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  20. I'd definitely snap up a few belt making kits!

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  21. This is a tough call - she has so many useful items! I think I would get some horsehair braid for a circle skirt, and a belt-making kit, and maybe a pattern... and...

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  22. What a fab giveaway! I've been wanting one of her belt making kits for a while so I would definitely get that.

    I have very much enjoyed reading about and seeing all your beautiful makes!

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  23. Ooh, what a lovely giveaway! Thank you! I purchased a tailor's ham and seam roll from Sunni earlier this year and love them both! I would get a belt-making kit and lots of beautiful petersham!

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  24. You've had such a busy year - great round-up. I'd also love to get my hands on a belt making kit or two - I've not seen them for sale anywhere else!

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  25. If you must make me choose...I'd get Sewaholic's new Minoru jacket pattern. It's already on my list of "things I want to sew eventually"

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  26. Great roundup! I'd love to get involved with supporting local companies, but sadly there just aren't that many up in the north of QLD! So I'm just sticking to trying to buy from independent small businesses on the net :)
    I'd get a belt kit and some horsehair braid (possibly multiple amounts of both!) and some other bits and bobs like eyelet tools, etc, things that I just can't seem to find anywhere in town.

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  27. Omg such a great giveaway!!! I love the entire store! If I win, I think I would get the Sewaholic Pattern No. 1103 (Minoru Jacket) cause I always wanted to sew a hooded jacket. Hm or maybe the belt making kit. Oooo everything is so great, I can't decide!! :)

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  28. Oh wow...How have I never come across A Fashionable Stitch before?! I am in complete lust over their items. What I would buy with a gift certificate is a no brainer - $25 worth of self cover belt buckle kits! I have not found anywhere local (Melbourne, Australia) that sells them.

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  29. I think I'd get the hair canvas. Sunni has waxed so poetic and excited about it in her posts, I feel like I should get some for my sewing artillery. :) Love the giveaways for your blogiversary. Thanks so much!

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  30. You push great messages through your blog. It's wonderful to see so many independent businesses do well because of bloggers like you. Bravo! As for Sunni's giveaway, since I already have her seam roll, tailor's ham, and wrist pincushion, which I all adore, I'd have to say hair canvas and a Colette pattern (or two!). You've had so many giveaways, I'm not sure which one I'm hoping to win more. This one would be quite lovely though!

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  31. I would get a belt kit for a vintage dress I'm making and the Colette Parfait pattern - I love your version!

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  32. I love supporting the independent pattern companies you listed, as well as etsy, and local shops! Sunni's belt kits have really been tempting me lately, so that would be my first choice. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  33. I love Sunni 's store so anything would be great. Would love to try myself at a belt kit. Am enjoying your blogiversary, great to see how its all progressed over time.

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  34. This is such a great post for those of us who are new to your blog! It's so inspiring to see someone buy locally or from small shops. I live in an area where there is literally one fabric shop within 50 miles of me, so it's super helpful when bloggers post about etsy shops and other websites where I can order from! I love Sunni's shop and have had a great experience shopping there. If I were to win, I'd probably pick up the Pendrell blouse pattern. Yours is GORGEOUS! Probably some belt buckles too, since I'm always on the hunt for those as well!

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  35. Great giveaway! I'm not sure which one I would pick, but I would definitely want one of the great patterns. Thanks for the chance to win! pe_mayfield (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  36. This is awesome! I would definitely get the Colette 'Crepe' pattern. I have a fabric that would be perfect for that pattern!

    -Chloe
    csd6j@virginia.edu

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  37. I'd def get belt kits and tailors tape, sewing supplies are hard to come by in Sweden! I have a few projects coming up that would really benefit from a matching belt =)
    Thank you for another great giveaway!

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  38. My main problem with your blog is that I always gets so awstruck of it and then I compare to the very little I manage to make... :)

    But most of all it is very inspirational!

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  39. If I win, I'd snatch up the amazing Pendrell blouse pattern that I've seen so many beautiful renditions of on all these incredible sewing blogs and some horsehair braid for the circle skirt I'm working on.

    After visiting Sewaholic's site, I'm delighted to discover that such a talented sewing blogger lives in the same city as me!

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  40. I would probably get myself one of those beautiful pin cushions and then some things to make a belt.

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  41. I would probably get a belt kit since it is her forte and I should probably think about a belt to go with the shirtwaist dress I am still hoping to make once the holiday sewing is all done. And then I definitely want some tailor's tape. :)

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  42. Thank you and A fashionable stitch for such a lovely giveaway.
    I think I would choose the sencha pattern, but I also have several of the other patterns and belt making things listed on my wishlist

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  43. I'd never heard of the Vintage Pattern Lending Library! What a great website. Thank you for such a great giveaway! I bought my Colette Ginger pattern from A Fashionable Stitch, and depending on what I get for Christmas, I'd get the Sewaholic Minoru and/or the Colette Jasmine.

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  44. I would love to buy one of her seam rolls! (Perhaps she'll be restocking soon?) I'm also eyeing the hair canvas and the Jasmine pattern.

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  45. I've been eyeing the tailor's hams at A Fashionable Stitch for a while...

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  46. I love supporting small/local businesses! Count me in!

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  47. This year, my hubby and I have become very aware of trying to shop locally and support small businesses. Doesn't it make you feel good to do so? :)

    I would like to try out one of Sunni's belt-making kits.

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  48. Definitely one of the belt kits and a colette pattern, that would make me very happy indeed!

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  49. I would definitely get some Tailoring Supplies. I need some Hair Canvas and the Tailor's Tape for a jacket I am just beginning, I am still in the Muslin phase. I would like to try one of the belt making kits though since people have been singing their praises all over the online sewing world and my curiosity it piqued for sure. Thanks for offering this awesome giveaway!

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  50. Collette Peony pattern. Ooooh! :) Congratulations on your 2nd anniversary!

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  51. I've looked at homemade belts a half a dozen hundred times and thought "Boy I wish I knew where to start to make one myself." If I won (and even if I don't), I'd start with a belt and buckle kit--probably a big square one.

    b3master(at)menterz(dot)com

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  52. I'd love to get a belt kit or two. :)

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  53. Yay! Pincushions and belt kits. I have exactly one belt and it really only looks good with jeans, which I almost never wear.

    witch.knitter.am.i(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. Fantastic giveaway! I'd probably order a Colette Pattern - maybe the Beignet skirt or the Macaron dress. Happy blogiversary! Tabatha x

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  55. I've loved reading your blogiversary posts! So full of energy and inspiration. This is yet another lovely giveaway and I know id go for a fab belt kit, I'm loving self belts, but haven't gone so far as self covered buckles .. They really look ultra chic.

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  56. I would go nuts on belt kits and also get some horsehair braid, both things my local sewing shop doesn't carry.

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  57. I would choose one of the fabulous pattern from the shop! Thx for the giveaway!

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  58. I've had my eye on those belt kits for ages. ;-) Thanks for the chance to be in to win yet another awesome giveaway Debi! You spoil us readers a lot. :-)

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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