Friday, 13 April 2018

Book Review: Sew Your Own Activewear by Melissa Fehr


Over the next few weeks we are going to be reviewing our favourite books about sewing with stretch fabrics.  We'll also have a giveaway each week to win a copy of the book!

We start off with Sew Your Own Activewear by Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade.

If you aren't aware of Melissa, she is the undoubted queen of activewear!

Melissa has been blogging since 2002, designing activewear patterns since 2013 and regularly contributes to sewing magazines.

Whether she is completing marathons, winning medals in the World Transplant Games or just out for a run or cycle, Melissa lives and breathes (and wears!) activewear, so it's no surprise that her designs are well thought out, practical, wearable and comfortable.

Sew Your Own Activewear has everything needed to sew a unique sportswear wardrobe, using four basic sewing blocks which are included with the book as full size graded pattern sheets.  Each of these four blocks has a close fitting and loose fitting option so you can adapt each pattern to suit your needs (under layers, over layers etc.)

From these 4 blocks, Melissa gives detailed instructions for making 8 different tops and 5 different bottoms, so that's 13 patterns in 2 fit options.  With the book available on Amazon at only £13.54, that's just 50p per pattern (plus a gorgeous book!)

The book starts with a comprehensive guide to sewing techniques, fabric properties, selection and preparation, and a brilliant section on design considerations to make sure your activewear works for you the way you need it to based on your particular style and type of exercise.
Patterns include Hoodie, Active Jacket, Vest Top, Crop Top, Raglan Tee, Leggings, Cycling Shorts, Yoga bottoms, the book covers every item you need to get active! 

It has to be said that although these patterns are designed as activewear, most of the patterns will double as casual/lounge wear (just don't tell Melissa I am encouraging you to lounge around!)  The Raglan Tee, Hoodie and Warm Up Bottoms are especially great for everyday wear.

What really seperates Melissa's patterns from the pack are her attention to detail and expertise in design, like the secret pocket in the Raglan Tee to stash your valuables while you exercise or the chamois padding in the cycling shorts for all day derriere comfort!

The patterns are stunningly chic, from the assymetric zipper on the hoodie, to the curved shoulder design of the Winter Base Layer.

Each pattern has been thoroughly tested by Melissa and her team of active testers so you can be confident that they are well thought out and will do what they are meant to do - help you exercise in comfort and style.
The instructions for each pattern are clearly written, with helpful graphics for each step.  There are also stunning pictures of the finished garments to not only inspire you to make them, but to get out and use them as intended!

So whether you are looking for patterns to help you get active or just some beautiful everyday clothing, this book has you covered!
Our Lycra Spandex fabrics are perfect for most of the patterns in Sew Your Own Activewear and our Sweatshirt Fleece & French Terry fabrics are great for the Hoodie.  For casual wear (when you don't need the fabric to wick away the sweat), our Cotton Lycra fabrics will also work for most of the patterns.

GIVEAWAY!


We have a signed copy! of Sew Your Own Activewear to giveaway to one lucky reader, along with 3.5m of our Lycra Spandex fabrics (enough for a top pattern and a bottom pattern) to get you started!  Thanks to Melissa for providing a signed copy of her amazing book!

To enter, simply add a comment below with your email address and state which of the fabric designs below you would like!
 Goldenrod Teal Floral  Magenta Grey Ethnic Diamonds Orange Mustard Navajo Ethnic Orange Red Faux Snakeskin Teal Green Blue Floral Retro Red Dots on Black
We will draw one name at random on Friday 20th April at Midday and announce it in the comments of this blog.

Only one entry per person, comments must contain an email address and a chosen fabric to be entered into the draw.  

All entries will be added to the Girl Charlee Fabrics Newsletter.

Good luck!
For more ideas, patterns and tutorials, follow Girl Charlee's boards on Pinterest.

Don't forget to sign up for our email updates to keep up to date with all our New Fabrics, Sales, Giveaways and all our Knitty News! Click HERE to sign up!

Happy Sewing!

~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

117 comments:

  1. Letishaisaac@hotmail.co.uk
    Fabric choice 1

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  2. I have heard nothing but fabulous reviews for this book would love a copy. Fabric choice 5

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    Replies
    1. Hi Debs, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  3. yvonnekeyes@hotmail.com. The blue and white flower fabric looks good

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  4. I think the magenta diamonds looks great! julieblanchard1atyahoo.co.uk

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  5. Orange flowers! kate_rafiki@hotmail.com

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  6. Love the orange flowered fabric😍

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    Replies
    1. Hi Francesca, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  7. Finding anything to fit in the shops if you're tall AND larger (like me) is virtually impossible. Sooooo got to love any incentive to get me out and about to exercise or staying in and sewing if the weather is dodgy - tee hee! Blue is my favourite colour so choice of fabric is pretty much a no brainer too - bright breezy blue flowers it is then :-) dreamcatcher1@ntlworld.com

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  8. Cliodeprest@gmail.com
    Fabric nr 2!

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  9. Sew-Jules@hotmail.co.uk
    Fabric - magenta diamonds

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  10. jo_bailey87@hotmail.com the last fabric with dots on please ❤️

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  11. Fabric choice 5 - would love to make my own yoga wear and encourage my classmates to do the same! Charlie_mumford@hotmail.co.uk

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  12. sarah_leach@live.com
    Black with red dots! Would love to improve my gym clothes!

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  13. I've read good things about this book and love the spots.
    thetialys@gmail.com

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  14. Sounds like an excellent book that I would love to win. Along with the blue and Team flowered fabric. Katesterling951@gmail.com

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  15. What a great prize! Would love the spotty fabric!
    emie114@hotmail.com

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  16. Navy and orange Navajo fabric is my favourite. melanie_blake56@hotmail.com

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  17. Lovely book and as always quality fabric I would love the black dotted one for my fabric xx

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    1. Hi Izzy, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  18. It's a great book which I would love to add to my collection and would use fabric 2!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Luan, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  19. I’ve always been scared of the idea of seeing activewear but also so very intrigued. What a fabulous opportunity.
    Sewdivasews@outlook.com
    Choice: option 5 - Teal Green Blue Floral on Navy Single Spandex Knit Fabric

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  20. rutthegbunu@gmail.com. I really love Fabric choice 3

    Teal Green Blue Floral on Navy Single Spandex Knit Fabric.

    Thanks for great book.

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  21. Lynseyhunter@gmail.com

    Fabric choice 3 please! Such a great fabric.

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  22. All my fitness clothes are black or grey....the orange flowers (no. 1) would definitely brighten things up !
    marikajj123@gmail.com

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  23. sofiamanzoni@msn.com
    The Orange Mustard Navajo is gorgeous!

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  24. Bigden5@hotmail.com
    I am very much enjoying sewing with stretch fabric and would love the blue floral please.

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  25. I LOVE the goldenrod Teal. oonagh_quinn@hotmail.co.uk

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  26. OOooooh - I've never made any active wear but would love to use some of those fab fabrics to create something unique for yoga, I'd love the black ethnic diamond fabric please. domesticgoddess76@hotmail.com

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  27. This would be a wonderful addition to my sewing library and skills. I would like the blue floral fabric please.
    eileen.cohen@btinternet.com

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  28. I'd love to have a go at activewear!
    lindahinds@gmail.com
    I love the magenta ethnic diamonds

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  29. mail@joanwheeler.co.uk
    Decisions, decisions! All fabrics look great but love the blue flowers. Would love book to make own active wear and I can ditch the worn to death baggy stuff I wear to yoga!

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  30. Having first worn really bright leggings for running in the 1980's I am loving the return to funky fitness wear. I have never made fitness wear so would love the chance to win this wonderful book and some of the orange flowery fabric.
    sharynjfarnaby@gmail.com

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  31. Retro red dots please :-) robin_bankz@hotmail.com

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  32. Magenta grey ethnic diamonds. I am not comfortable posting my email address on a public page any more.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie

      No problem, if you could email us (sales@girlcharlee.co.uk) to confirm your entry.

      Delete
  33. Not very active but would love to be inspired by this book so I welcome the chance to win this book and, hopefully the red spotted fabric.
    austinahe@gmail.com.

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  34. Oooo... I have heard so many good things about this book! Polka dots all the way! Esther Essievic@yahoo.com

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  35. julsmaxpar@aol.com Fabric choice 4 please

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  36. I really want to get my hands on this book!
    My choice would be fabric choice three!
    katherine_raines@hotmail.com

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  37. Hi - I would love the blue flower print please. My email is daniellejames77@hotmail.com thanks!

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. Book looks great!
    Fabric choice 1
    grace.duncan.gd@gmail.com

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  40. This book is just what I need! Perfect addition for me! Fabric choice is orange snakeskin. rachel.williams1623@gmail.com

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  41. Looks like a brilliant book that would be so useful. My fabric choice would be the third one : orange mustard Navajo ethnic. My email is : valdaily@btopenworld.com

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. This is a good time to sew my own active wear. I love the teal blue floral
    T.mooiweer@upcmail.nl

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  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  45. Love this offer and having recently joined a gym, it would be great to sew my own workout clothes. Fabric choice number 3.
    catmadjulie@gmail.com

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  46. What an excellent book - so useful (2 daughters & 2 granddaughters!) Fabric 5 would be lovely. toni.leggate1@virginmedia.com

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  47. Oh, Definitely fabric #4 for me-it has a look of Missoni about it which I love! renewalkin450@msn.com

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  48. I LOVE the retro red dots! My email address is
    Pippy1958@icloud.com

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  49. I've got this book on my amazon wishlist, it looks fabulous!
    71lisa@gmail.com Fabric 2

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  50. jo@shooi.co.uk
    Fabric choice would be 5

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  51. This book looks great! I love the look of number 4... the orange and red faux snakeskin!

    Mel.blake@gmail.com

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  52. The teal green blue floral would be perfect for some yoga wear.
    Helen_gray@hotmail.co.uk

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  53. I am prepared to give anything a go and would love to try this. Love the diamonds. v.mcgeown@ntlworld.com

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  54. I's like the orange and navy please! sam.lamprey@bristol.ac.uk

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  55. Hi fantastic fabric have already purchased most of there and made garments from them I would love the orange and navy if i should be so lucky X
    SANDRABKR@AOL.COM

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  56. I'd love Orange Red Faux Snakeskin Ethnic Single Spandex Knit Fabric
    sonya411@sky.com

    Never done any active wear before.

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  57. I've just started making activewear for my daughter as she's started a fitness business so this would be just awesome - and earn me lots of brownie points! I think my favourite has got to be the Magenta Grey Ethnic Diamonds on Black it's such a great colour combination. annie@annick.co.uk

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  58. I love the Navajo Ethnic print - it's not overtly feminine, so it's more my style! bethlawson2016@yahoo.com

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  59. I love the spotted fabric.
    Gillian.omar@btinternet.com

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  60. Fijunk@hotmail.co.uk the white and blue flower print is lovely. Maternity active wear is hard to find and crazy expensive!

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  61. scarlett.small1@gmail.com
    Teal Green Blue Floral on Navy Single Spandex Knit Fabric

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  62. annabelgreaves@hotmail.com I love the beautiful flower design (first one)

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  63. Maybe if I make active wear that fits I'll use it and get active. The blue and white flower fabric is fab.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karin, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  64. Replies
    1. Hi Laura, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  65. Love the idea of "lounge" wear and making own for once. Prefer the black with red spot fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helen, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  66. I'm a disabled mum and really need to get active so I can attempt to keep up with the kids, I would love to make some active wear in the blue floral fabric, I'm sure the pretty fabric and clothes that fit well will give me the encouragement that I need!
    Abiwillshee@gmail.com

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  67. I love the retro red dots!
    Jo.gilliver@gmail.com

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  68. traceymw42@googlemail.com
    I would choose either of the floral fabrics, I absolutely love florals.

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  69. Livinginsong@gmail.com

    Oh my goodness, such an awesome giveaway! I LOVE the bright orange floral fabric - so happy and sunny looking! Crossing my fingers!

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  70. This book is in my wish list so I'll cross my fingers that you'll pick my name. And I've been eyeing your orange snakeskin fabric for a while! Thanks for a great giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Celine, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  71. I would love the challenge of making my own gym gear. Melissa's book sounds just what I need. I love the navy mustard and orange print- fabric 3. Great draw. Fingers crissed!
    allysoncastle@yahoo.co.uk

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  72. This book is also in my wish list. Love the idea to make my own activewear and also the orange Navajo fabric (probably for a short or a top).

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    Replies
    1. Hi Claire, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  73. I love the red dots hazelnutthread@gmail.com

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  74. I'd love the blue flowers - just the thing to make some new yoga outfits from! (astrid[dot]breel[at]gmail[dot]com)

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  75. My favorite is Teal Green Blue Floral on Navy Single Spandex Knit Fabric! Thank you for the giveaway!ninusikbel@hotmail[dot]com

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  76. Would love to win the book and fabric one as I could combine both my interests of sewing and yoga

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    Replies
    1. Hi Floss, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  77. The last fabric! I love polk a dots! I also love to workout and once my daughter graduates in May I will finally have time to learn how to make my own activewear!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Trish, please can you put down your email address to be entered in the draw (or email it to sales@girlcharlee.co.uk)

      Delete
  78. So hard to pick just one, maybe the second option just edges it

    HsHandcrafts (at) Gmail (dot) com

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  79. Love the red dots trying to only get fabric I will actually wear rather than curate. Email ashman.n@sky.com

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  80. This book looks fab. Black and red dots for me please!
    joannaelisabethbatey@yahoo.com

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  81. The book looks great, especially for a beginner like me.
    Fabric choice 2 please.

    Heatherknight1@btinternet.com

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  82. Wow book looks fab! Fabric no 5 blue/white flowers
    pamela7980@hotmail.com

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  83. I've always wanted to make yoga trousers but never dared try! Blue flowers fabric. @GrannySueMakes

    suzie_erskine@hotmail.com

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  84. I love the look of the book & think it's just what I need. I love the spotty fabric at the bottom. zoeflyz@yahoo.co.uk

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. Great to read that someone else was thinking more along the lines of "loungewear". Shh! Don't tell Melissa!

    Some leggings would look great in the orange Navajo ethnic knit print (choice 3).

    Good luck everyone!
    Craftywai@gmail.com

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  87. dasha.platt@ntlworld.com
    Fabric choice 2, Magenta Grey Ethnic Diamonds on Black Single Spandex Knit Fabric

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  88. beccy_juliusburger@hotmail.com
    Teal Green Blue Floral on Navy Single Spandex Knit Fabric

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  89. Finally a book that looks useful from start to finish and a blog that gives great extra advice, love it! If I was lucky to win I would love the retro spot fabric..stephjane63@aol.com

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  90. sewstainability@gmail.com and I would choose the fabric choice number 6 - the red polka dot fabric.

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  91. This book looks great!! sallifer@gmail.com love the third fabric, orange print :)

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  92. sharon.courtney73@gmail.com
    The blue and white floral would be lovely thank you

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  93. With two daughters and myself into yoga and fitness I would love to learn how to make active clothing for us all! Fabric 2 would be my choice 😁 karenbutfield@gmail.com

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  94. What a great prize!
    fatimak5@hotmail.com
    Fabric 2 would be lovely thank you.
    Good luck everyone.

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  95. The teal green blue floral is my favourite. jennylarking@gmail.com

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  96. I'd love the orange navajo! vanaehsa@gmail.com

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  97. The orange snakeskin is fab! tasharcampbell@gmail.com

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  98. Fab giveaway! Would love the teal floral fabric. corrineappleby@gmail.com

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  99. I could kit myself out for cycling to work, traveling in style! The red dot is classic. Clared2001uk@yahoo.co.uk

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  100. What an amazing giveaway the polka dot fabric is lovely.
    ffcatherinejonesff@gmail.com

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  101. The blue and white flowers please! My email is rachelalmost@gmail.com.

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  102. I would use the Magenta Grey Ethnic Diamonds, it is lovely. kimberley.longe@gmail.com

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  103. The Retro Red Dots on Black would be fun! my email is marjorieolliva@gmail.com

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  104. Wow! Really want to try sewing active wear. I'd love the Orange Mustard Navajo Ethnic Single Spandex Knit Fabric! �� My email is Leanne.bramall@yahoo.co.uk

    ReplyDelete