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Contests & Prizes : New Sewing Book Giveaway!

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As Silke and Blake have explained, we are all looking forward to the launch of Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts on April 1st. Yesterday I finally had the chance to look through a copy of the book, which I know is the result of so much hard work on the part of  Silke, Nick and the staff of our books department. I'm the first to admit I have limited sewing skills compared to many in our office, so I feel I'm in a good position to attest to how truly inspiring and accessible the book is. There's so much information, and beautiful images and illustrations on every page. I swear I learned five things I didn't know just flipping though it. (eg. in the fabric glossary - I never actually knew what 'chambray' was, nor what is correctly called 'raw silk'...) As Silke says, there are many different kinds of fabric projects included, printing (my favorite!), dyeing (soon to be my favorite?!), many kinds of embroidery and dozens of sewing projects for all skill levels.

Each of us will be posting about a project we love in the book, and after some deliberation I've chosen Batik, which I've never even tried, but I'm so inspired by this section that I think I'll make it a spring project... I love how it combines printing (in wax) and dyeing, I can't wait! I think I'm going to make some fabric and sew a simple dress from it- using this pattern, which I've always admired. (also in the book, of course!)



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would like to sew, along with your complete name and valid email address.
All comments must be received by 6 PM 3/23/10. We’ll choose two commenters at
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Comments (119)

  • Those look AMAZING! Especially with the repeating circles! I would love to get back into embroidery, my mother taught me to cross-stitch when I was in second grade (to make my First Communion pew banner!) and I've done it off and on since then, but nothing really challenging!

  • I love these batik pattersn. I've been sewing for my baby grandaughter and love to add creative touches such as this to make her wardrobe truly one of a kind. These batik patterns would be really cute and the skirt of a yoked jumper!

  • I love to sew/craft all kinds of projects. My children would always wear a homemade outfit for the holidays. I love to applique onto my projects, to make them extra special. My mother-in-law who lives with us, loves to make homemade bags. We just opened up a shop "Village Tool & Toy Repair Shop", which also sells American made products and of course my homemade sew/craft projects. I would love to have your inspirations to use from the "Martha Stewart Sewing Handbook".

  • my husband and i just got married last year. i am hoping to make us both new stockings for christmas. i can't wait to make new christmas traditions.

  • i love to sew simple tank tops and skirts. especially now that it's spring, i'm on the lookout for new fabric. i would like to get into appliqués and design my own patterns ..

    thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway :)

  • I would love to learn how to sew decorative items for my home and accessories.

  • I would like to get into sewing home decor items. Curtains, duvets, pillows, cushions... you name it, my house needs it.

  • These days, I’m all about felt. I had previously overlooked this fine textile but no more! I enjoy the process of taking a thrift store sweater and running it through the washer/dryer to create my own. Can’t wait to check out the new book!

  • Can't wait to see the new book. I'm getting the bug to sew again--I need some pretty, flirty Spring skirts!

  • just got a sewing machine for Christmas so i don't have to borrow my mom's anymore & i'm hoping to start sewing a few of my own clothes! especially skirts for summer!!
    plus i have recently gotten back into embroidery & would love some new ideas!

  • I would like to start doing some embroidery--can't wait to check out this book!

  • I have always wanted to learn how to make clothes, specifically for children. I'm due with my first baby in 6 weeks, and want to learn how to make clothes for him. I think it would be so much fun to start the tradition now of making handmade gems for my kids!

  • I recently started sewing again and am enjoying small quilted projects and making my own bags. I would like to learn more about ways to add visual interest - gathering, pleats, ruffles, dying my own fabric.

    I love the first encyclopedia and look forward to seeing this one!

  • I want to learn to quilt something other than simple square baby quilts. I sew lots of little projects like pouches and little softies so a quilt seems like a major undertaking. I think having Martha by my side would make quilting so much easier.

  • I'm completely self-taught and had only begun about 3 years ago. Starting off with easy projects like throws, I then dared to attempt a quilt. I know that there are gaps in my knowledge and would LOVE to get my hands on Martha's Sewing Book. Oh, I'm also addicted to fabric so it would be great to actually use it with some inspiration from Martha! Thank you!

  • I've kind of forgotten about sewing and gotten into other crafts, especially beadwork/jewelry making. I really like to make things and when you sew, you can make it your own way. People really seem to appreciate gifts that you make yourself.

  • I would love to be able to sew clothes for my daughter, for my friends' kids, for myself, for my husband. My mom used to sew clothes for my sister and I growing up, and it was so special.

  • I'd love to sew, but I've never made it from idea to actual wearable garment. I have a skirt that I started last March. yes, an A-line skirt. It doesn't get much easier than that- but somehow finishing it has escaped me.

  • Can't wait for the book. Looks like so much fun!!

  • i'm not a very experienced sewist yet, but i would like to learn to quilt and to make garments for my tricky-to-fit-off-the-rack daughters. and maybe garments for myself too...

  • Sewing is another medium with which to express my creativity...and I find particular happiness with seeing my projects displayed throughout my house and life.

  • After years of admiring other people’s sewing skills, I finally purchased my very first (basic) sewing machine–and I love it! I’ve started sewing paper crafts and fabric flowers but would love to explore new sewing horizons. This book is just the thing to get me started!

  • I just started getting back into sewing. I'd love to learn how to do things correctly! My favorite item that I did just the other day was a purse that I came up with in my head without a pattern. It actually worked out! I posted a tutorial on my blog.

  • I make handbags, and I'm definitely not a pro at sewing yet. This book would be an invaluable resource as my business grows!

  • My favorite things to sew are clothes for my daughter as well as little gifts for friends. I love making little sundresses for her and toys for my older son.

  • I am a beginner sewer and would love to pick up Martha's good habits! Can't wait to see the book!

  • One of the things i've enjoyed learning to sew over recent years has been heirloom sewing. I believe that the art of sewing heirloom garments does not need to die, and shouldn't. It's so fulfilling to complete pintucks, smocking an hemstitching and these techniques make such pretty pieces. Love it!

  • This book looks so wonderful! I have been wanting to work on printing my own fabrics, but also want to try dyeing. Looks like a treasure trove of inspiration!

  • I love to sew things for my family, particularly finding things my son will enjoy as he grows.

  • I want to learn how to sew - I would love to be able to make my own curtains! My mom used to make clothes for my sisters and me, I would love to be able to do that, too!

  • I am learning this entire "new-to-me" art of sewing. And what I am most excited about is learning to sew anything for my daughter!

  • I would like to sew dolls and doll clothes. Martha's craft book was great. I expect Martha's sewing will also be great.

  • This book looks amazing. I am a self taught sewer that is still learning by project. I enjoy buying vintage dress patterns on ebay and sewing them with graphic patterned cottons. I also like sewing curtains, pillows ect..

  • On a practical level, I'd like to learn to hem my own pants. :)
    A project I hope to tackle/conquer this year is make an attractive cover for my rabbit's crate. It's such an eyesore right now, but with the right cover, it could blend in (or stand out, in a good way).

  • I'd love to sew dresses for my daughter.

  • I really enjoy sewing clothing for myself. Recently, however, I have become interested in making baby clothes and toys for friends and family.

  • I am expecting my first baby in July and would love to sew curtains, pillows and other household items for the nursery. I have very basic sewing skills but I am interested in learning more.

  • I have enjoyed sewing all my life off and on. It is a skill that my mother taught me early on. I found it invaluable as a young mother to sew clothes for my daughter. However, recently I have been interested in making spring drapes for my home and would appreciate new ideas and techniques.

  • I love sewing just about anything- halloween costumes, tote bags, items for my etsy shop. i'd love to try my hand at a sundress for spring!

  • I'd love to try out some of the dying techniques. I've just discovered tie dye and would like to try something with a more sophisticated look.

  • I am moving in with my boyfriend in May, a cute little bungalow house in downtown Lawrence. The house has tons of windows and will need some cute curtains! Can't wait to get started!

  • I am a reasonably competent crafter, but this is an area that I am VERY interested in but a little intimidated by! There are several projects I’ve been procrastinating – mostly the creation of a new bedskirt and new curtains for my daughter’s “Candyland” themed bedroom. Aside from projects I need to do to improve my home, there is a great craft listed on the site for kids rooms that look like giant pumpkins. I desperately want to make one for my daughter! (And I imagine I would do that before I’d do anything else!)

  • I am all about learning to sew my own jersey/knit clothes this year. And per usual, some items for my kids.
    Sarah M

  • I would love to learn and do more embroidery sewing projects for the home. I work on a vintage Singer that my mom left to me. It was the one she always sewed on and working with it makes me feel very close to her. I would love to build skills in sewing and try to tackle more complex home projects and clothing. Being a stay-at-home mom, books are ideal for learning new techniques. I can't wait to peruse this entire new book.
    Lise Currie

  • I just got my first sewing machine, and I would love to make a baby-related project. I am expecting my first in June!

  • I am just starting to learn to sew. So my immediate desire is to try some simple home projects like window treatments, pillows, and chair covers. As I get more comfortable I want to tackle a quilt.

  • I am sewing some new accent pillows for my couches from a Martha template. I love sewing home decor.

  • i would like to sew some shorts for the summer.

  • I would really love to learn to sew so I can have custom decorations in my home without spending a fortune to have them made. I'd also like to dabble in clothing for the same reason, but it's a bit more daunting to me.

  • I received Martha's Encyclopedia of Crafts for my birthday and loved the endless inspiration and beautiful photos. I'm looking forward to more of the same in Martha's new book and would like to sew a set of cheerful gingham bistro curtains for my kitchen windows!

  • I can't wait for this book to come out! having just moved into a new house, I'm looking to make some tailored shades for the windows... I'm hoping this book has a pattern!

  • I haven't sewn since Home Ec class in middle school, so I'd like to start back up again.

    I'd love to sew dog clothes for my dachshund. Fun for me to make, but it'll be annoying for her!

  • I would love to sew dresses for my daughter.

  • I have beautiful material for both the front and back sides of quilt. Would love to know exactly how to make it. :)

  • i love making pillows

  • My favorite things to sew are for the home: cloth napkins, tablecloths, throw pillows, and drapes. I've recently started reupholstery projects - 2 sofas! - and I'm working on designing a ruffled shower curtain.

  • My daughter is getting married this year. I'd like to hone my sewing skills by making a few items for her wedding-a veil or hairpiece. I sewed for her when she was little and now this is my magnum opus for her!

  • I've been enthralled with stitching paper ever since my mom taught my sister and I how to use her sewing machine with lined notebook paper instead of fabric. I now use my stitched paper to create covers for my own handmade journals - which I also sew together!

  • I sew/embroider clothes for my small nieces and nephews. Just completed 7 sunsuits for my 2 yr old niece using leftover fabric from other projects. Sewing "little" clothes is so much fun as they come together quickly and look so adorable. She looks so stylish!

  • I inherited the desire to sew from my mother. She always wanted to improve her sewing, but she never had much time to do sew because she had to work and take care of me. Sometimes we would browse through the sewing section in stores and "ohh and ahh" over the patterns and patterns. Once we saw a mother who had made a beautiful, "Cinderella" dress for her daughter and I made a vow to myself that one day I would learn to sew for both of us.

  • I am a beginner sewer, self-teaching from books and anywhere I can get tips from. Sewing holds many inspirations for me, working with fabric, working with my hands creating items that can be worn or used in daily life. I just can't get enough of it.

  • I love sewing. I've been cross-stitching since I was little, and have just recently taken up embroidery too. I would really like to be able to make clothes for myself, I think that would be amazing!

  • I have been teaching myself to sew (mostly from blogs and books) for about 2 months. I've enjoyed making small bags and pouches - they're versatile and my many errors have been easy to hide. One day I'd really like to learn to make dresses.

  • I've recently started sewing on my mother-in-law's old sewing machine and so far, I've sewn a baby kimono shirt for my 10 month old, the little bunny from the March issue, and a set of napkins. I would love to have this book so I can make things for my little boy and our home. I have so much to learn!

  • I like to sew small patchwork items and quilts, but I am looking forward to learning new techniques for decorating fabric (such as batik!) not just sewing with it!

  • Twenty some odd years ago when I was in elementary school my mother used to make all me and my sisters clothes. She sewed all the time! I know the basics but have started learning more in the past couple of months - it would be great to win this book to motivate me!

  • most of my sewing these days is quilting related. i used to make clothes for myself (way too many moons ago) but then i got horses and my interests shifted outdoors. my craft interests are pretty varied ( from Beads to Weaving) and i'm game to try anything. LOVE to read about all crafts and pick up new tips and inspiration.

  • I can't wait to see this book!
    I just made a tote bag with instructions from the Martha Stewart website and it turned out great!
    I am just really starting to sew and appreciate the help!!

  • This will make a perfect gift for my mother-in-law!

  • I've been hand-sewing throw and decorative pillows for years now, but only because I've never owned a sewing machine! Now that I'm an 'empty nest'-er, I can perhaps finally turn the extra space into a craft room, purchase a sewing machine, do all that I've been missing - and expand my horizons!

  • I bought a sewing machine 7 years ago and have never used it. Every year, I say that I'm finally going to teach myself how to sew but I'm too intimidated. This book is the incentive I need. I would love to start with learning how to make pillows and curtains, and then graduate to felted purses made from recycled sweaters. I've bought several of these from local crafters and would love to design my own.

  • I love sewing my two girls their costumes. There is nothing like classic costumes. These days it is hard to find appropriate costumes especially for girls.

  • I have always wanted to learn to sew more than my patches on my Girl Scouts sash, but never got around to it. This summer I have made it my goal to learn how to sew things that I will actually use, and I think this book will be a great help! I need as much help as I can get and this book seems like it will be very beneficial for me to read.

  • I would love to explore the process of dying and printing on fabric. Then, add embroidery details to it. I am picturing a beautiful sundress.

    Fingers crossed. :)

  • I love to sew costumes for a local community theater group. I am sure the tricks listed in Martha's new book will come in handy for decorating the costumes.

  • I do lots of embroidery!

  • I would love to win. I would like to learn to sew a quilt.

  • Growing up, my grandmother always sewed. She taught me the basics but I never really got into it. My grandma has passed, and now I have my own sewing machine and I would love to learn some projects! This book would be perfect to get me started!!

  • I love to sew throw pillows so I can change up the look of my house seasonally!

  • I started sewing at my mothers "suggestion" when I was about 16 but the clothes I made just never seemed to fit right. I then started sewing small home dec stuff and now I do some quilting as well. I'm so inspired by all the blogs out there and also excited that there seems to be a fresh surge of interest in crafting and sewing. I've got my fingers crossed till tomorrow evening!

  • I love to sew clothes, I am not very experienced, but the idea of finding the perfect fabric and pattern to make something one of a kind that fits perfectly is heaven in my creative mind!

  • I've sewn simple things -pillows, curtains, stuffed toys. My goal is clothing and quilts! Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts sounds like the perfect next step.

    Thanks for the contest!

  • I am just starting to get my sewing mojo....right now it is a lot of quilts and home decor sewing. But I am hoping to soon expand my horizons into clothing.

  • i like to sew clothing for myself and gifts to spoil my niece and nephew. i'm currently working on an army of dolls for my niece and a jedi robe for my nephew's birthday. i'm sure martha's new book will have lots of great gift ideas as always!

  • I love to sew classic baby clothes, especially the classic styles that many babies still wear in Spain. But I am starting to move on and have recently completed a blind for my children's bedroom and plan on sewing at least one spring top for myself. But the one thing I would really love to learn is how to quilt.

  • My favorite thing to sew--little scented pillows for my drawers.(sachets)

  • I would really love to sew my first quilt soon! I also am very interested in embroidery. I can't wait for the new book. Very exciting!

  • I would love to learn to sew curtains and pillows, and other things for my new apartment. It is so much more gratifying to make things than to buy. I also love the new trend of ruffles. They make everything cuter!

  • I want to sew baby blankets for my sister's baby twins. After that I want another one for my baby :)

  • I'd love to sew a new top for spring! I just have to find a good fabric. I JUST-- like 30 minutes ago-- finished making a lunch bag, and it is adorable.

  • I have my 30th year high school reunion this July and would love to make my own classic summer dress - Laura Ashley style with great vintage florals would be great! When I was in 7th grade I learned how to sew my own clothes and did so for years - in particular, I made outfits for the holidays - Valentine's Day was my favorite! This is an outdoor affair in a beachy community so I'd like a fabric that won't stick to me in the humidity. Thanks! Patti

  • Love having a chance at this great book. thanks. I have myself always wanted to batik and just never got all the stuff needed to try it out. What I like about it is everything you would make would be one of a kind. Never the same colors or pattern.

  • I love to sew and craft, and cannot wait for this book! Having all that info and inspiration right on hand will be great!

  • I make felt food toys, felted wool sweater purses, and would like to learn to make clothing. I'm just a beginner, so this would be very helpful.

  • I love to make silk dresses for my daughters. I made two bridesmaid dresses for them last year in a spring green color. One was silk chiffon, while the other one was silk taffeta. I also like to create items for my home: pillows, curtains, etc. Looking forward to the new book!

  • I like patchwork, emboidery, knitting and crochet. iam interested in home-deco as well.

  • I've always wanted to learn how to quilt. Someday!

  • I am just getting into sewing, but love to make pillows, curtains for our home and playthings for the kids. I'm currently working on a felt playhouse for my two kids. Can't wait to see the book.

  • I have been sewing since childhood. Quilts are my newest obsession. And making new things from old things. Combining those two led to an awesome quilt made from old blue jeans for a graduation gift. I would love to be inspired by Martha's book!

  • I would like to sew an apron! I've been waiting 10 years for just the right pattern.

  • I love making mixed media tapestries - I paint on cloth and then sew these onto different fabrics and add beadwork. Martha's book would be a great way to learn new techniques to add to these!

  • I like to sew dolls of my own creation. I also like to sew bibs, blankets, and dresses for charity. I would like to learn to adjust patterns to fit me. I wear a 20 on top 14 on bottom have no waist. YIKES!

  • My mother is a designer so I have been sewing all my life, currently I am working on some aprons for my daughter's friends for a little party we will be hosting. The aprons are based on old school designs with ruffles and really cute fabrics. Would love the book.

  • I like to sew things for other people. I enjoy making aprons and baby accessories but I would really like to learn to quilt! I am a self taught sewer but still no expert. I feel like I just wing it most of the time.

  • I would love to start sewing dresses for my miniature long-haired dachshund. I think that would be a fun project to start in the sewing world!!!

  • I'm learning to sew and want to make a quilt for my son with fabric I picked out when I was pregnant...he's almost 3 now!

  • Ever since I was a child I have loved to sew. There is no instant gratification in a sewing project; instead there is the personal investment of textile choices, time, and the development of talent. Sewing is a tradition that has managed to never lose it’s hold in our hearts.

  • I like to sew because it's a practical craft, so instead of just costing money, it actually can save me money! My kids love everything I sew for them, so that helps too. :)

  • I quilt and make home dec/crafts. I'd love to do more pattern sewing, but I tend to lack the patience to fit everything.

  • when i was a child, my mother made me and my sister life-sized rag dolls with chunky yarn for hair & embroidered facial features...along with clothes that we could share with the dolls (i specifically remember a reversible jumper: wide-wale cordoroy on one side, a Liberty print on the other).

  • To create anything is an act of joy - but for me, I want to go a step further and attain the sewing skills neccessary to sew a variety of items of my own design. I am currently playing with some designs that turn sofies into cuddly greeting cards - with pockets for mini-messages and pockets for gift cards too! I am swapping my paper cutter for my sewing machine.

  • The coolest clothes are always hand-sewn -- ALWAYS!

  • I have been refashioning old clothes lately with my machine. I'm almost done with a colorful granny square sweater. I even designed some of my own squares. I love to make clothes for my son and his cousins. A future project is cloth napkins using scrap rectangles. I plan to do a block print on them and sew bias tape (from the thrift store) around them. I'm thinking a Charlie Harper inspired bird would look great.

  • I love to sew clothes & toys for my daughters and would really love to try embroidery. If only I had more time...

  • I like to sew because what a make is lasting. A quilt can be used for generations. There's something very special about this and it gives more meaning to my sewing.

  • We have lived in Romania as missionaries for the past ten years and have recently returned to the US. So many new craft, sewing projects and products have been developed that it is like a new world to me. I love anything creative.

  • I'd love to sew blankets, wall-hangings, mats, outfits, stuffed animals, bags, and other accessories. Still learning every day.

  • I adore sewing. It connects me to my grandma who I miss dearly. It is also a mini vacation from my daily work life. I can't wait to see this book!

  •'s done it once more! Incredible read.

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