I’m celebrating my 1-year Blogiversary! Join the fun and follow a week full of posts about sewing folks who have inspired my last year – and contests associated with every one! Thanks for visiting; the contests closed on August 18 at midnight.

Let’s begin the Blogiversary festivities!

Today, I want to pay tribute to the book that helped me get over my fear of sewing garments.

Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes is the perfect book for a beginning sewist getting her sea legs on garments. I bought the book a year ago and sewed my first skirt:

The pattern and instructions couldn’t be simpler, and the skirt is adorable.

Then, I decided to try another book and sew more skirts. That was a bad, bad idea. Jumping right from a circle wrap skirt into an A-line, zippered skirt was hard (I write more about it on Sew Fearless’s blog tomorrow!). So hard that I lost my garment-making mojo. I put away my patterns and garment fabrics for another day and proceeded to dive right into quiltmaking (which, incidentally, I adore, and I’m glad I got diverted!).

But in the last few months, my circle of sewing friends have been making garments and encouraging me to do the same. So I picked up Christine’s book and tried again with this dress. I was skeptical that the shape would look good on me, but if I may say so myself, it’s adorable!

I’ve made two of these “Indian Summer” dresses now, and I also sewed the simple shift dress pattern:

Now I’m onto my first shirt and using jersey fabric for the first time:

I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough for the beginning sewist who’s interested in making garments. I am so grateful I found it, and I want to help another newbie out by giving a copy away now.

I do not have blog sponsors, so all my recommendations this week are solely based on my experiences. However, when I contacted Christine, she did offer to give away a free signed copy of her book to one lucky reader of my blog. I am so flattered that she would agree to help my little venture here – thank you, Christine!

Here’s how to enter: Click here to head over to my Facebook page (and why not “Like” me while you’re at it?), then come back & write a comment on this blog post. It’s that simple. You get extra entries by Tweeting about the contest via Rafflecopter.

The necessary legalities: No purchase is necessary in order to win. The odds of winning are based on number of entries. Contest participants eligible internationally; we will ship overseas. Giveaway participants release the blogger from any responsibility whatsoever.