Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whimsy Week Day 2 – An Interview with Kari Mecca (plus another great GIVEAWAY!)

Welcome to Day 2 of Whimsy Week, where we will be celebrating the release of designer Kari Mecca's newest book, More Sewing with Whimsy! Join us every day this week as we share behind-the-scenes videos, excerpts and previews of the book, a special interview with Kari, and best of all - GREAT giveaway opportunities every day! We will announce a selection of different special "Whimsy" prizes each day this week. Reply to the posts of the giveaway(s) you would like to win and we will announce the winners next Monday, August 16, 2010.

Today's giveaway is a complete kit for the Sassafrass dress from More Sewing with Whimsy! (Dress kit makes sizes 2–8; pictured below) Head to the end of this post for more information and to enter.
On this second day of Whimsy Week, we are thrilled to bring you an insider's interview with Kari Mecca, the amazingly talented and creative designer behind More Sewing with Whimsy. Enjoy!


SB: Kari, thanks for taking a few minutes to answer some of our burning questions! We are thrilled to be celebrating the release of your new book, More Sewing with Whimsy. Let's start out with the basics; tell us a little bit about the book.
Kari: A second installment in my Whimsy Series, the book is once again is based on 3 basic patterns and unique embellishing techniques. Each Chapter focuses on a pattern, with 3 to 4 different projects with basic sewing and embellishing changes to create uniquely different projects. I am also happy to introduce my new “Whimsy Sticks” and “Going in Circles” tools. Using these tools, I have developed easy and original ways to make trims, flowers and quick flounces. The patterns included are: a square yoke, a round yoke and bottoms in 4 lengths. What’s really great is that the patterns are very easy to sew and both the square and round yokes are simple pull-over-the-head styles. No need to sew on buttons, buttonholes or plackets.

SB: How does this book differ from your first book Sewing with Whimsy? Tell us a little bit about your favorite features.
Kari: One of the biggest differences is that More Sewing with Whimsy is 1-1/2 times larger, a full 136 color pages! The yoke patterns have both top and dress lengths, the bottoms (pants) are in 4 lengths and there are several pocket styles. But my favorite new features are the “Change It Up” and “Flip Side” views. These are actual samples of projects showing how to make minor changes for yet another look to projects.

SB: From where would you say you get your inspiration for your sewing projects and designs?
Kari: It’s funny you should ask, the first chapter begins with just this question. The answer is really very simple, there is inspiration in everything, you just have to look for it! And remember, it may not be a chilling goosebump kind of a thought, it may just be a small detail that sticks in your mind. I suggest you make a creative file or box to keep clipped pictures, sketched ideas and notes. Then pull out your file or box when planning a new project.

SB: Hand-in-hand with inspiration goes motivation; as creative types, sometimes even though we have plenty of inspiration, we can't seem to motivate ourselves to actually keep creating! How do you combat this struggle?
Kari: Creating is a type of therapy, you have to make time for it because you're worth it! Crazy as it may sound, because I make time, I am happier and more energetic, therefore I can accomplish more! Positive energy is positively energetic!

SB: You have had your business Kari Me Away for quite some time; how did it all start for you?
Kari: I can honestly say I have been “in a business” since middle school! Whatever crafty endeavor I was engrossed in, I had my Mom pedaling to her friends and co-workers. After having kids, I did some custom sewing and then stumbled across smocking stitches in a book. I was hooked. I found a local smocking shop, took classes and found Sew Beautiful magazine. In one of the issues, Martha Pullen had a sewing contest for “The Most Beautiful Clothes in the World”. Well, up for any challenge, I entered and won 1st place for Girls Heirloom Sewing. After that I started contributing articles, started Kari Me Away and began publishing embroidery plates, patterns and books.

SB: Let’s talk favorites. What is your favorite article, pattern and garment from your books?
Kari: It’s hard to pick a single one but here are a few and why they standout for me. Sew Beautiful Article; I would say issue #100, a milestone issue that I was proud to have my pattern Sarah featured on the cover (this was also the first feature with rickrack flowers). As for my patterns; I would have to say Lauren’s Fairy Dress, it’s named for my daughter and because what girl doesn’t love fairies! As for garments in the Whimsy books: Rainbow Sherbet in Sewing with Whimsy – it was the dress that sparked the idea of using a basic pattern to empower sewers to not only create, but be creative. In More Sewing with Whimsy; If I had to pick just one, my favorite outfit is Flirty Girl! The girly flounces, fun print fabric, unique sleeves and “Heirloom Cargo” capris make it an all around winner for me.

SB: More Sewing with Whimsy features new tools called "Whimsy Sticks" and "Going in Circles". What exactly are these and how will it change flower and trim making?
Kari: Whimsy Sticks are a set of tools to make quick and easy looped trims in a variety of sizes. These trims can then be added to collars, hems, yokes, appliqués and more. You can also use the trim to make an endless variety of flowers and flower centers. Loops and be single or double layer and when paired with pretty ribbons and spaghetti trims, the results are astounding. They are the tool that takes the hand rolled rose to the sewing machine!

The Going in Circles tools are clever and easy circle and scallop drawing tools. Precise, quick and fun to use, you will never have to search the house for a perfect size plate, bowl or glass to trace around. Use to make flounce ruffles, swirl flowers, and scallop hems. Also handy for scrapbooking, school projects and drawing targets on pictures of anyone who uses fabric scissors to cut paper!

SB: What are some of your favorite go-to sewing tools?
Kari: In More Sewing with Whimsy I have actually listed my “Favorite 8” tools. They are: Whimsy Sticks, Going In Circles tools, basting glue, fray stop glue, monofilament thread, beading thread, and a ruffler foot.

SB: With the publication of More Sewing with Whimsy behind you, what's in the works next for Kari Me Away?
Kari: Look for my Bullion Whimsies DVD, appearances on Martha’s Sewing Room for PBS, new Whimsy Tools, new classes, a More Sewing with Whimsy DVD, and new patterns.

SB: What would your advice be for a true beginner of sewing?
Kari: Start with a simple pattern, read the instructions from start to finish before you begin and then “just go for it!” Also try embellishing a readymade item or start by taking a class – it’s always nice to make new friends with similar interests.

SB: Any last words of advice for our readers?
Kari: Simply….Live, Love & Sew!

We hope you enjoyed our interview with Kari! Be sure to check in with Kari on her blog this week as well, where she is celebrating Whimsy Week with a variety of sneak peaks and free downloads. By this Friday, you will have been completely showered in whimsy!

Today's giveaway is one complete kit for the Sassafrass dress in pink from More Sewing with Whimsy (sizes 2–8) to give away! To enter, reply below with your name and email address. We will announce the winner of this and the rest of our Whimsy Week giveaway prizes next Monday, August 16th. Entries will remain open until then!

Check back every day this week for more fun Whimsy Week posts and giveaways!

107 comments:

  1. Sharon Edwards
    theedwards6@gmail.com

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  2. Hi!

    What a cute pattern! I would love to win this kit! :)

    Thank you so much for entering me in this giveaway!

    Have a nice day! :)

    ~Mippy :D

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  3. What an inspirational interview!

    Karen KJRum@aol.com

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  4. I LOVE Kari's work!
    Ammie Cain
    ammie.girl@gmail.com

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  5. I saw this dress and so want to make it for my granddaughter. Hope I win.

    Nancy Nolan
    nanke526@aol.com

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  6. Kari,

    You are truly an inspiration!

    Kim Martin
    cazzincali@aol.com

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  7. I would love to win this kit.
    Angela Maddux apmaddux@yahoo.com

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  8. Love this dress!
    Eileen Maylone
    eileen@eileenm.com

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  9. Love it!
    Britni Tucker
    BritniLTucker@yahoo.com

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  10. Almost finished my granddaughter's version of the Sassafras dress!! Very cute!
    Great book!!
    nikki@houstonaamco.com

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  11. Kari...you are amazing!! I would love to win this kit, or anything of yours. Thanks for allowing us the chance to enter your give aways.

    Debi Erbes
    dkerbes@comcast.net

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  12. Love the dress and the new blog entries. I can watch these over and over again. Only wish is that they were in order on You Tube! Thanks for sharing this. I'm really enjoying it.

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  13. This is so beautiful, your talent really keeps right on blooming. Love your books and items. have to get an order in.
    thomisonc1@cox.net

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  14. Loved the Kari Berries class at the Martha Pullen School. I have both books and as a result Caroline will have fun new clothes to start school
    Carol Chenault
    carol@pclnet.net

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  15. Definitely want to try this dress. So cute!
    Leslie Pitts
    lpitts79@yahoo.com

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  16. Love it!
    Stacey Rorrer
    staceyrorrer@yahoo.com

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  17. I am drooling over this stuff! Just precious for the girliest of girls! Thanks for the chance!!!

    Emily
    1prince1princess@comcast.net

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  18. Love Kari's ideas. With new grand daughter this week, need to have as many cute clothes as possible in the works and this dress is just perfect for a "grandma" gift.
    Belinda
    bjwhipple@mchsi.com

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  19. I love anything Kari Mecca does. This dress is one of the cutest I've seen.
    Shirley C.
    clarkclay@bellsouth.net

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  20. Yeah! This one is great.
    mapakettlenh@msn.com

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  21. Marianne Sandrock

    ssandrock2000@yahoo.com

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  22. Love how you embellish clothing.

    Linda

    lindastein7@yahoo.com

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  23. Linda Holder
    lindakholder@yahoo.com

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  24. i'd love to make the dress for my dgd!
    rmangerer@verizon.net

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  25. I love the Sewing with Whimsy books and would love to make this dress.

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  26. I love this new book, and I can't wait for your Bullion Whimsies DVD!!

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  27. So incredibly adorable!

    Michelle Brown
    michellebrown1@mchsi.com

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  28. What a cute pattern! And what a fun giveaway! I'd love to sew this for my daughter!

    ericasweatman@yahoo.com

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  29. I enjoyed the interview with Kari, feels like I know her.



    sherriew1755@yahoo.com

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  30. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.
    Marlena
    designsmck@gmail.com

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  31. These new patterns look like so much fun! Thank you for the preview!

    Donna
    3dears@gmail.com

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  32. Thanks for a chance to win the kit! Can't wait to see all these new creations!

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  33. How precious! My granddaughter would look adorable in this!

    Michelle Norris
    michelle@campnc.com

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  34. Karen
    sewmommy at windstream dot net

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  35. Gayla A. Deal
    gaylaadeal@aol.com
    Sew Cute! :)

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  36. Victoria Winter
    vamdep@verizon.net

    Thanks!

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  37. Darling! So precious.
    Zelma Reid
    zm.reid@gmail.com

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  38. Such an adorable dress!
    Rebecca
    rwr128@aol.com

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  39. Stephanie Williams
    sjw5000@cox.net

    Wonderful designs!! Thank you!!

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  40. Such FUN clothes! Thanks for a chance to win this great book. Linda, huntoon4@myfaipoint.net

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  41. Julie Trickett
    jtrickett611@gmail.com

    Just gorgeous!

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  42. I truly do enjoy your work Kari.

    Laurie
    l@jandle.com

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  43. Oh my God! My niece's daughter would look very cute in that dress!

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  44. Love it love it!!!!
    Tamara
    sanch5@frontiernet.net

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  45. That is an adorable dress! Kari's work is wonderful.

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  46. Ok the computer and I are having issues tonight, I had to attempt the post a couple of times and forgot my name.

    Carol
    cshortteach@yahoo.com

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  47. Oh to be so creative!! Kari totally amazes me!! Thanks Sew Beautiful for this weeks blog...you guys are awesome!!

    Laurie Guidry
    ljg923@msn.com

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  48. Adorable!
    iloveblogcontests@gmail.com

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  49. Wonderful and whimsical. What more could a gal want!!

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  50. Totally inspiring.
    Jane DeBruin
    cynthiabear98@yahoo.com

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  51. Loved reading how you came to be.
    kris10benjamin@yahoo.com

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  52. cindy b cindyb001@yahoo.com

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  53. I have a great neice this would be adorable on! Thanks for being so generous!
    Susan Wilson
    grannysuesue@yahoo.com

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  54. I would love to win any kit Kari puts together. I've enjoyed being able to take class from her on several ocassions.
    Jean Glore
    glore@iquest.net

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  55. These are just the neatest kid clothes!

    Merry G.
    prissy_missy_50@sbcglobal.net

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  56. What a great interview. I was so excited to meet Kari at the class this summer, her booth was always packed! I love her designs.
    Mary Margaret in NYC
    helmm836@parsons.edu

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  57. I absolutely adore this dress and would LOVE to win a kit!!! Thanks so much!

    Shanna Smith
    shanrn@comcast.net

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  58. my tiny would look adorable in it (for about 5 mins before she went digging for worms!)
    Helen Wright helenjwright@hotmail.com

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  59. I have a brand new grandaughter and she will grow into this dress before we know it!

    vcook1977@cfl.rr.com

    Vicky Cook

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  60. This kit is absolutely adorable! I'd love to win it.

    Thanks for offering it.
    Mary/Maryg425@aol.com

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  61. I think your designs are just too cute, I have a grandaughter that I love to make dresses for. She just turned 3 in August. Can't wait to try one of your patterns.

    lenamarie005@yahoo.com

    Lena Hodges

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  62. I L[]VE this dress!!!! would love to win it. Not sure I can wait to the 16th to see if I win any of these generous giveaways. Fingers crossed.
    ilvtoys@aol.com

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  63. Woo Hoo!! I want one!! Love it!
    psaltery_sue@hotmail.com

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  64. Love my autographed copy of your new book and my Whimsy sticks! Class with Kari was just the best!

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  65. Kari's designs are always so distinctive. Sign me up for this draw for sure!

    Claire

    c_e_meldrum[at]cogeco[dot]ca

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  66. Would love to have
    kkweeks@embarqmail.com

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  67. I might be lucky number 70 to post
    Fiona Woolmer
    leopardgirl@bigpond.com

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  68. Just goes to show you that the garment itself doesn't have to be complicated. Kari's embellishments are spectacular.

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  69. This is such a creative dress; I'd love it for one of my granddaughters.

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  70. Too cute--I would be thrilled to win any of these prizes! Cassie pio@twinmounds.com

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  71. Thanks for the interview with Kari - very interesting! I would love to win this kit for my granddaughter.

    firstpeter1v3@hotmail.com

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  72. The dress is adorable! I can picture it on my granddaughter.
    Gita
    quiltnb@hotmail.com

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  73. ahhh! so adorable.

    Elise Woolstenhulme
    the.sweet.eats@gmail.com

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  74. Absolutely fabulous! Really enjoyed the interview...

    Belinda Karls-Nace
    designer@blueribbondesigns.com

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  75. I have all those fabrics for the sweet dress. Now I know what to do with them!!

    Dolores Holler
    bdholler@gvtc.com

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  76. Cute cute cute!! I love everything Kari does and I want to get my hands on that book so badly. I have the first one and love it!

    Sivje
    sivjegoose@sbcglobal.net

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  77. I have had the pleasure of taking a class from Kari...LOVE IT>>Lisa

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  78. Great book!!
    Sandra Bishop
    sandra6jdc@bellsouth.net

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  79. Rosanna, love them all, they're so cute!!!! rlcurrie@comcast.net

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  80. The dress is sooo cute!
    Kelly Stockstill
    thatkellygirl@yahoo.com

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  81. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    Martha
    pastryhaus@numail.org

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  82. Thank you for this wonderful blog.
    Colleen Leonard
    jleona@frontiernet.net

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  83. What a cute dress!

    smilepapers at gmail dot com

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  84. Nice interview! Thanks for sharing!!
    Kelly
    midnightsewin@yahoo.com

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. Sorry! I forgot to add my email address. This is such a cute dress. I am so enjoying the blog tour. Thank you, SB!

    niener987@comcast.net

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  87. Ah...what a dream it would be to win this one!!!

    arcopes (at) cox (dot) net

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  88. Lovely pattern
    Pam Hodnett
    p_hodnett@yahoo.com

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  89. Cute dress!
    bdbnchm@hotmail.com

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  90. I would so love to take classes. Will there be a utube on using the whimsy sticks...
    Bright smiles, Linda McKelvey
    Florida
    pietraduralinda@gmail.com

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  91. I have a little girl that would be thrilled to have that dress!
    Judith
    juditupp@yahoo.com

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  92. This is such a darling dress, and I love the fabrics!!!

    Cyrena Downing
    gdowneng@bellsouth.net

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  93. Sign me up!
    Kelly Stockstill
    thatkellygirl@yahoo.com

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  94. My mind is spinning with ideas just looking at the blog, I can't imagine what I would be like with the book! I've got to get them both! Thanks for the ideas.

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  95. So cute! I would love to win this.
    Chris
    Sewkrazy1@msn.com

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  96. Love her books and designs! Kathy kewscruggs@yahoo.com

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  97. wow! what an awesome contest!! thank you!!

    carrie

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  98. Susan Spiers spierssusan52@gmail.com

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  99. What a precious dress. I would love to make this for my granddaughter. Thank you & please enter me ... sewgrow@gmail.com

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  100. Oh, how I would love to sew this dress for my little four year old! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

    Lauren Klonaris

    lklonaris@att.net

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  101. Love it! Kari just keeps coming up with things that are absolutely beautiful!

    Hugs,
    Gina
    gina@fabricsilove.com

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  102. I would love to sew this dress for my little girl.

    Blessings,

    Rachel
    rachelf74@yahoo.com

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