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Hello Readers,
It’s been a year ….. one filled with joy, agony, gratitude, and everything in between.

Miraculously, 2019 managed to be a productive year. In spite of being away from home for several months, I managed to sew clothes I love, host Tunic Bible Workshops and Trunk Shows, record television episodes, and publish a book.

Recently, I posted my “Top Nine” to Instagram

but quickly realized I left out one of my true favorites from the year.

New Look 6524 is a shift pattern that I think was designed just for me. 😂 I’ve sewn it three times in three different types of fabrics and the fit is always spot on.

I made the navy shift for A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing and have not published a post about it yet, but it is sewn in a Ponte knit from Mood Fabrics.  I was inspired by a dress I saw in the window of a Dallas atelier.  It’s barely recognizable in the photo below, but the memory persisted until I finished. Julie and I found hosting trunk shows of our handmade wardrobes a unique concept for the sewing community, and one which has been quite enjoyable to us and our audiences.

We always pack as much as we can possibly fit into our cars or suitcases!The more the better has been our philosophy while sharing our sewing journey and connecting with fellow fashion sewists around the country!
Photos below are from shows and workshops in Kentucky, Florida and Boston.

In July, I filmed three additional episodes for the PBS series, It’s Sew Easy for a total of six. Two of the latest have been released – Other than being sick and bangs cut too short, they’re perfect!!

As Julie and I eagerly awaited for A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing to be published, we learned of its early release and hope you were not inconvenienced with booksellers’ inadequate supply which is under control now. However, it was a thrill to watch our book come to life!

Beth Briggs whimsical and lively fashion illustrations make me smile each time I open the book. We ‘met’ Beth through Instagram and loved her interpretations of our classic clothing. Beth beautifully understood our goal of inspiring vs.instructing readers with clever illustrated variations of the classics, 

and our book gallery consisting of popular online sewing bloggers is nothing short of amazing! 

During the Spring, Julie and I learned of the death of our gallery member, Vatsla Watkins. We had the pleasure of meeting Vatsla in Charlotte, NC where she planned a luncheon for our group. She was a lovely person, a talented designer, and we were overcome with sadness upon receiving the news of this gentle woman’s tragic death.

I am always thrilled to meet industry leaders who have inspired me! In February I had the pleasure of meeting Deepika Pradash, founder of the Pattern Review Website. PR Website was everything to me when I returned to sewing! I never sewed a pattern without checking members’ reviews, and the website was responsible for connecting me with many readers.

Kudos to Deepika for bringing over 400,000 members of the sewing community together! She truly revolutionized my approach to sewing 🙂

As mentioned in my last post, I was equally thrilled to meet the designers of McCall’s, Vogue and Butterick patterns, Jackie Polikoff, Carlos Correa and Doree Epstein. These designers are responsible for much of my wardrobe over the last eight years and it was a pleasure to thank them for their cherished contributions 🙂

My sewing goals for 2020?

I’m going to let the spirit guide me and sew without a plan. For the last few years my sewing has been tied to books, shows, and sponsorship fulfillments. It’s been wildly fun, but with commitments fulfilled, it’s time to recharge the creative juices and sew for pure pleasure.

I’m joining the Instagram January Jacket Project led by Julie Starr and Dorcas Ross.

Now in the seventh year, Julie and Dorcas host a self-guided, non-instructional group sew along of French Jacket makers where ideas, motivation and encouragement can be shared. By following #JanuaryJacket2020 or #JanuaryJacket you can find others who are participating.

Since I’ve made only one French jacket ever, I’m looking forward to the camaraderie and a little hand-holding during the process!

I bought the Oscar de la Renta boucle and silk charmeuse lining (not pictured) at Fabrics and Fabrics in New York’s Garment district. My buttons, trim and ribbon are from East Coast Trimming also in NY. (More to come soon!)

I sincerely thank you for being a supportive reader of Goodbye Valentino, for cheering me on through the peaks and valleys of 2019, and inspiring me with your own stories – sewing and beyond.

A special thank you goes to Julie Starr for picking up my slack after Katie was diagnosed with cancer. Whether it was completing a workshop I had to vacate, dealing with publishers or driving us to Florida, Julie was my rock in helping me avoid professional crisis. Katie has responded well to her treatments and we pray that 2020 will be a year of continued healing.

Yes, it was a most difficult year but we made it. 


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 H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R  T O  A L L  ! !


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