Capital Chic Patterns - exciting new launch and a giveaway!

**This giveaway is now closed - the lucky winner was Alexa from Almost a Hippy**

You guys! Have you heard the exciting news?!? The supremely talented Sally, of Charity Shop Chic fame, has literally just launched her very own sewing pattern company - Capital Chic Patterns. Having exploded onto the scene with a very glamorous debut collection, she's offering a generous giveaway for you guys, outlined at the end of this post. First, however, an exclusive interview with the lady herself!


You're hugely popular online for your outstanding re-fashioning skills, so how did that evolve into pattern design and drafting?

It was a natural progression for me. I’ve been interested in pattern making ever since I started sewing seriously a few years back. Since then I’ve learned everything I can about it through a variety of mediums and it’s still something I get really excited by! My background is actually engineering, so pattern making really appeals to the maths geek in me. I love the feeling of seeing something in a shop and mentally deconstructing the 3D shapes to figure out how to make it for myself.

I’ve incorporated pattern making into my refashioning projects as much as I can over the last few years, but really wanted to do something with more scope. Seeing some of the wonderful independent pattern companies doing so well made it appealing to start a company, but I was very wary of turning something I love into a business – a lot of people advised me that if I turned it into work I would end up hating it. So it took a lot of thought before finally deciding to go for it.

What would you say sets Capital Chic Patterns apart from other independent companies?

Firstly, the aesthetic of the designs is a bit different. I wanted the patterns to be fashion-forward but wearable designs that people would feel comfortable wearing to the office. I’ve deliberately styled them away from the vintage/retro look because I felt like that sector was already really well represented by independent pattern companies.

The other thing I really wanted to address is the difficulty. Personally, I constantly aspire to sew better, so I was a little frustrated at the number of ‘absolute beginner’ patterns out there. I wanted to offer something for people who are looking to move on from beginner stuff and really get their teeth into a project! So, the new collection is aimed at sewing intermediates. The designs are a little more challenging than what you’d find in beginner patterns, but don’t be put off, there are fully illustrated instructions included to help you learn new techniques. 


Your debut collection is very glamorous with formal undertones. What inspired the designs?

My major influences are the catwalk, the red carpet and all the stylish Londoners I see every day. For example, the White Russian quilted sweatshirt was inspired by a RTW one worn by the wonderful Kathryn, whose style I really admire. Meanwhile, the Martini dress was most definitely inspired by the red carpet, and designers like Chanel, Giambattista Valli, and Victoria Beckham.

Ultimately, I wanted the patterns to be something I wanted to wear, so my existing wardrobe (and the gaps in it) was an influence as well. As another example, readers might recognise the Cosmopolitan as a more refined derivative of a dress I made last year, which in turn was inspired by a Louis Vuitton design.

I know it's like asking you to choose between your children, but do you have a favourite pattern from the collection?

Tough choice! It’s got to be Martini, though. When I came up with the idea for a dress that looked like a skirt and crop top, but without the risk of flashing your midriff, I wasn’t sure it could be done. The design I wanted posed quite a few technical challenges and it took me a long time to work out how it should all fit together. It may look like a simple shape, but that’s actually quite deceptive – the lining changes between a lining and an underlining in places, and there are more advanced techniques, like boning, involved. Writing the instructions for this design was a lot of work, but I’m confident they are easy enough to follow for the intermediate sewer. I’ve worn my sample garments many times over the last few months and I feel great in them as the shape really flatters my figure.


Anyone who enjoys a night out will notice you've named your patterns after cocktails - where did that idea come from?  

Well, I love a good cocktail (if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you’ll know I’m still a huge ‘Sex and the City’ fan). And the patterns include cocktail wear, so that works. There are so many different cocktails with different ‘personalities’ that already meant something to the reader... it was a natural fit really. It’s likely that future collections will also be named after cocktails, but never say never. At the very least, it’s been a great excuse to sample some of my favourite drinks while posing for pictures!

In terms of using one of your patterns, what can customers expect?

Customers can expect a well thought-out pattern that comes with clear, fully-illustrated instructions. The instructions explain the more complicated techniques in detail to help you master them. Going forward, I’ll also be writing extensively about many of these techniques on the brand new Capital Chic blog. I am hoping to offer things like sew-alongs on the new blog, too.

All the patterns have at least two variations for versatility. I’ve also tried to make sure that the patterns print in the minimum number of pages to avoid wasting paper! The sizes are nested for easy grading between sizes, and the pieces are laid out without overlapping, so there’s no need to trace them if you don’t want to.


I know it's early days still, but in anticipation of a great reception all round, what's next for Capital Chic Patterns?

Firstly, if there is a demand for it, I’d love to expand the size range of the patterns so that more people will be able to make them. I’m aware that I’m starting with a very limited size range, but this is due to my minimal resources at this stage; I’m a one-person start-up. I’m hoping that if the collection is a success I’ll be able to cater for a wider range of sizes in the future.

Beyond that, I have a lot of ideas for future collections! I’d love to take on trousers – personally I love to wear trousers but haven’t got much experience sewing them because there aren’t as many patterns available, so maybe that’s something I could work on. I’d love to do a collection of party dresses in time for the office Christmas party season too – watch this space! 

Finally, what can die hard Charity Shop Chic fans expect from their favourite blog?

You can rest assured that I’ll still be sourcing the ugliest possible garments from charity shops and thrift stores across the world and turning them into fashion, for your viewing pleasure. I’ll also be continuing to share my thrifty purchases restyled into fashionable outfits. Charity Shop Chic is something I’ve worked so hard on over the last few years and it’s become a really important part of my life, so it’s not going anywhere. 

In the near future, I’m planning an extended series of refashions inspired by the movies, plus more on Scandinavian textiles as I learn more about the pieces I brought back from Sweden. I also have two pieces from a Portuguese flea market coming soon, so stay tuned!


Sally, thank you so much for satisfying our curiosity by  sharing the story behind your new venture! 

Friends, enjoy browsing Capital Chic's debut collection and choosing your favourite pattern! Come back and tell which one took your fancy before midnight (GMT) on Thursday 3 July. I'll select a random winner shortly after the closing date and Sally will send on your lovely new pattern! This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere...just make sure you leave your email address so that we can get in touch with the good news!

Coming up soon, my Capital Chic Bellini blouse, which I was fortunate enough to pattern test. 

114 comments:

  1. Martini is definitely my favourite! It's nice to hear it's a little challenging - something for me to really get stuck into. This is so exciting for Sally! Such a beautiful collection.

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  2. Wow, this is so cool! What an amazing first collection. I think Martini has to be my favourite - that cropped top is so flattering!

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  3. What a great collection...just what I've been looking for! The White Russian lion has my heart though...I wonder how hard that would be for me. Time to skill up!

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  4. Bellini is my favourite - and I'm looking forward to seeing yours! This looks to be a fab collection and I wish Sally every success.

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  5. Very exciting to see new indie patterns! Love all of this collection, but my fav would probably be the bellini blouse. I'm looking forward to reading your pattern test on that too.

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  6. all of these patterns look amazing but bellini is definitely my favourite. congratulations on such an awesome first collection and thank you for the giveaway! :) beththegulfmini@googlemail.com

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  7. Thanks for introducing me to this designer. I absolutely love Martini. It's perfect for both work and after 5 events. I'd love taking on the challenge of a boning project with a design such as this one.

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  8. Congrats Sally! It's good to see more and more indie patterns out there! I like the champagne skirt simple but flattering flare.

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  9. Wow, amazing designs. Difficult to choose just one! Champagne would be a great addition to my wardrobe.

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  10. Wonderful to see some new patterns! I love the Martini too, it's just a bit different from everything else out there! ponymidnight@gmail.com

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  11. Ahh these are so pretty. My fav is the Bellini blouse, very cute collar :) hellozoeb@gmail.com

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  12. Love all the patterns, but they don't all fit with my current life, however I still would like to make the Cosmopolitan :-)

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  13. The Bellini blouse! Very sweet :)

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  14. The Bellini blouse! Very sweet :)

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  15. Yay! Such a great collection - it definitely fills a gap in the indie pattern scene :)
    I love the Manhattan skirt!

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  16. I like the bellini blouse and the martini dress but the blouse the most the sleeves. An amazing first collection.
    nicolina dot docksjo at gmail dot com

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  17. Champagne.. In a glass and as a skirt.. Done well sally

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  18. tha martini is stunning, but the white russian lion is so fun, too. (naehconnection at gmail dot com)

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  19. I love the Martini! Very cool.

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  20. I love the Bellini blouse - so pretty and such a great wardrobe basic! I also like the Manhattan skirt with the jagged hemline - though probably slightly lengthened!

    Louise

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  21. It's a tie between the White Russian and the Martini but probably the White Russian simply cause it's something that my pattern stash is missing!

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  22. I love this collection. Tough to choose a favourite but I do like Bellini.

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  23. I think I like the Manhattan the best-I don't have a need for much office wear at this point, but that skirt looks like it could be good for my "artsy professional" work aesthetic.

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  24. I love the Martini dress- so chic!

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  25. The Bellini Blouse is my fav. What an adorable idea the collar is . Count me in the draw please

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  26. I'd love to try the white russian! I haven't seen a pattern like that before!

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  27. Martini is definitely my favorite of the pattrns. Absolutely gorgeous!

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  28. The whole collection is great, but Bellini is definitely my favourite, especially with the scalloped collar.

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  29. I like for me the bellini blouse, but my daughters would love the martini dress! Thanks! racurac2 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  30. Oh its so hard to choose which one is my favorite but if pushed I'd say the Martini - such a beautiful design.

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  31. I love the White Russian sweatshirt! So so cool! They are all amazing though!

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  32. So excited about the new line. I love Bellini, but Martini has got to be my favourite! Can't wait to see what Sally comes out with next

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  33. These patterns are a nice addition to th market and I like the fact that they are different from the retro/vintage vibe. My favorite is the Martini!

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  34. The Martini dress is my favorite, and I might even be brave and make the crop top to go with some high-waisted shorts.

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  35. It's a gorgeous collection! I absolutely love the style of the Martini dress and also the White Russian sweater.

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  36. I am smitten with the white russian top! Love all her designs though!

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  37. What a lovely collection! I think the martini dress is my fave though they'd all fit in with my work wardrobe very nicely, thank you very much ;)

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  38. Bellini has caught my eye. First, I love embellishments, and second scallops have worked their way into my heart of late. Yes, it's a winner.

    Thank you for writing this article. I may not have stumbled upon it if you hadn't.

    Cheers,

    Lyric
    http://www.sewcroandquilt.wordpress.com

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  39. The Martini dress is easily my favourite, it's gorgeous.

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  40. I love the Bellini blouse! I love the scalloped collar. jenna (at) horner (dot) org (dot) uk

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  41. Fabulous idea. I wish Sally all the luck in the world! I'd love to win the Martini dress pattern. Cocktails plus sewing equals WIN!

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  42. Lucky you getting to road test the Bellini. It is a lovely pattern.

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  43. Ooh, I love her blog, I'd love to be able to repurpose garments, so thanks for bringing it to my attention! I dig the Champagne skirt pattern best I think~!

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  44. I got to join in :)
    My favourite must be Manhattan version A that is one gorgeous skirt :)

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  45. What lovely patterns. I love the cahmpagne pattern. Great for work but also great for nights out

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  46. I love the Cosmopolitan dress! I can imagine being able to use it to make all sorts of variations - I'd love to use it to even make a silk negligee! (I hope that's how you spell it haha)

    My email: georgia_lloyd [at] msn . com

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  47. Martini is my favorite, especially the separates option. And sounds as if I would learn loads too
    jmrbs31(at)gmail(dot)com

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  48. I'd like to have a go at the Bellini ;o)

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  49. Martini! I'm a sucker for a good dress.

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  50. Without a doubt: Martini. Love it!

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  51. The Martini dress is my favourite. But I love the others too.

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  52. Now this is what I've been wanting from the indie pattern companies! I'm really digging the Manhattan's jagged hem.

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  53. My favorite is the White Russian. I love the fox that you can applique on the front, it makes it both fun and stylish. batresyohana@yahoo.com

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  54. Martini is my favourite, although bellini is a close second. Lovely new patterns!
    Lyn (donny_born@hotmail.com)

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  55. What a great collection! I'd start with the Bellini blouse, as it would fill a big wardrobe gap, but Champagne and Martini would be next.

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  56. Ooh, this is a hard choice, lol. I love the Bellini, but I think I'd go with the Champagne for practicality - I know I'd get a ton of use out of such a cute skirt!

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  57. I'd like a cosmopolitan please! Thank you

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  58. I think they all look great - if I had to choose one that would fit in my wardrobe and get worn I would choose the Bellini.

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  59. It's got to be the Martini. It's just gorgeous. I've been looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding, this would be perfect. I do love the White Russian too, cosy.

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  60. Love the Bellini blouse. I could imagine making lots in different colours, for both work and casual wear. joannefox330@googlemail (dot) com

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  61. Martini is by far my favorite, not sure I'll be able to pull it off, but I'd like to try :)

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  62. I love the white russian - suits my non-business/running around after kids life! However i also love view A of the manhatten with its funky shape. Would love either pattern! (jenniferdubois@hotmail.com)

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  63. I'll have a Martini please ;)

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  64. I love th manhattan skirt, the patterns all look wonderful

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  65. I thought it was going to be the Belini, but then I saw the White Russian. I, am, dying. I want a White Russian with a fox, one with a lion, and one without...and then maybe a few more? If I don't win, I'm definitely buying!

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  66. It's such a lovely collection but I really love the Bellini blouse. Thanks so much for the giveaway and good luck to Sally.
    alexa.c.duff@gmail.com

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  67. great Interview, good to read more about Charity Chic. I'd love to have a go at the sweatshirt :)

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  68. The Bellini Blouse is my favourite! Loved the interview and am very excited about the Capital Chic Collection!

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  69. Thanks for sharing an interview. I'm so excited about the little details and advanced techniques in this collection! The whole line is great but, Martini is definitely my favorite.

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  70. Lovely patterns. Champagne for me, I think!

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  71. My favourite pattern is the Bellini blouse! It's so cute and chic :)

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  72. So exciting! I've been following her for quite a while now and love what she does, so I'm ecstatic!
    I reaaaaally like the White Russian sweatshirt, that lion head!
    birgit.vangoethem@hotmail.be

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  73. Amazing collection! I really like the Martini dress, and it sounds like quite an interesting one to put together too.

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  74. Great interview!! Personally I'm in love with the martini dress, but I think it's a little bit to advanced for me :) I love the white russian as well with the lion on top :)

    Curious to see your bellini :)

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  75. For me the Champagne is top of the wish list :)

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  76. Lovely, lovely collection!! I love all of them, but most all Bellini, Champagne and White Russian. :)
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

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  77. I love this collection! For me it has to be Bellini as I love the collar

    nevermindthebobbins@gmail.com

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  78. Really nice new collection! My fav is Champagne, closely followed by Martini.

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  79. I really do need to try Champagne, I love those cute flounces!

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  80. The Bellini looks like such a versatile blouse -great for work!

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  81. The white russian would be my choice of drink.. i mean pattern.

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  82. My favourite is the Bellini blouse. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  83. The Bellini blouse is my favourite. Thanks for the giveaway! (And, I'm sorry if this is a duplicate comment - I don't think my first one posted)

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  84. white RUSSIAN! I'm in love with the lion and it matches my name :)

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  85. I'd go for the Manhattan - can't resist a pattern named after my home city! Plus that curved hem looks pretty edgy - love that detail. :)

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  86. Completely blown away by the Martini pattern... I mean - wowsa!
    sushi(at)telenet(dot)be

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  87. The white russian would be a great winter staple. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  88. The Martini looks amazing!

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  89. While I love the Martini, I really don't need another dress right now, so I'd have to go with my other favourite, the Bellini.

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  90. the Bellini is my fave; looking forward to your version!

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  91. I particularly love the Cosmopolitan dress - it is a beautiful shape with interesting darts, and would be extremely versatile - able to be worn to many different events with just a change of accessories!

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  92. I love the Martini dress. Looks like it could be really flattering on a whole range of shapes including mine!

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  93. The martini dress! It's gorgeous

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  94. Cute! I'd choose the Bellini blouse, looks like a style I'd wear a lot. :-)

    macska at gmail dot com

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  95. Cosmopolitan for me all day long... just happens to be my favourtie cocktail too ;0)
    black-amanda@hotmail.com

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  96. I think the Martini dress is sooo classy and will be my favorite. Even though I am plus sized, it would still be very complimentary to my shape.

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  97. The whole collection looks amazing but I really want to try the White Russian - so cool! powell2317 at hotmail.com

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  98. I'd really like a Bellini, if you please.!
    I really enjoyed the interview, and I love the names of patterns!

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  99. I absolutely love the chic on trend silhouette of the martini dress- definitely wouldn't look out of place on the red carpet!!

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  100. I'm absolutely obsessed with Martini! I've just gotten back into sewing and will definitely be making one once I am more comfortable with my skills. I want it NOW, though!

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  101. I think the Bellini is adorable! Thank you for the give away! : ) visionforaGodlyhome@gmail.com

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  102. The HunniBadger2 July 2014 at 19:36

    I am absolutely in love with the Martini Dress pattern. I can't wait to make one!

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  103. I would love to add a martini dress to my collection!

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  104. My favorite is White Russian!

    paivi.ahlfors@suomi24.fi

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  105. White Russian, hands down! I love me some raglan sleeves :)

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  106. I love the White Russian, but they are all great!

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  107. Oooh the Manhatten looks interesting.

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  108. The Bellini looks right up my street please.

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  109. I love the Bellini, White Russian and champagne. I also love the look of martini but don't think it's really me- but still a gorgeous creation.

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  110. I love the Martini. It's beautiful .

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  111. The Bellini is gorgeous! I wasn't sold on this collection until I saw your make of it, I must admit.

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