Fall Cleaning Giveaway: Part 3 [CLOSED]


This is such a great book. A great, great book. And the two patterns that immediately drew me in were first, the dress on the left:


And next, the giant bow top:


Herein lies the problem. I am simply not a giant bow kind of gal and quite frankly, I think I can self-draft that other dress. And as I looked through the book carefully, I realized that none of the clothes really felt right for me. I was drawn to the photography, and there must have been a part of me that wanted to be more “feminine” as the title promises. Chances are, however, that I will end up squirming with discomfort in the clothes. I’ve been doing this a lot for the last couple of years — asking the question, “does this feel right?”

So, as part of my fall cleaning/purging I am offering up this gem of a book for someone who can actually strut the pretty clothes in a way that I never will. And bonus: the book is in English!

Now, for the question, I was thinking back to my university days. I initially started out as a Mass Communications major with a minor in Business. Initially is the operative word here. The Mass Comm program was, at the time, an incredibly competitive and selective major that required an extensive essay for entry. It was essentially Journalism school, and being that my college was in Los Angeles, there was a prominent media/broadcast journalism component to it and was regarded as one of the top programs in the nation. Long story short, I got in. And then I found out two of my roommates got in as well (the third roommate was a math major and scoffed at all Liberal Arts). I’ve talked before about my reluctance to compete with people I know and this put me in a quandary. As silly as it sounds, I did not want to be in direct rivalry with my roommates, so I decided to switch to the lesser known and quite openly mocked Interpersonal Communications major. When you’re 18, you make decisions like that. The course load for Interpersonal Comm heavily incorporated Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy as well as core Mass Communication classes.

I remember thinking, “Dude,” (remember, I was 18) “what have I done?” At the helm of my first day of the required class stood the professor: she of a beehived coiff, pince-nez and a bristling energy that you could sense yards away. She handed out multi-colored packets with a child-like drawing of Β — I don’t even know what it was — something on the cover. The packet contained sheets and sheets of daily exercises with questions like “What did you dream last night?” and “If you couldn’t fail, what would you do?” and “Name three strengths and three weaknesses that you’ve never told anyone. Why don’t you tell people?” Some of it was way out there and beyond wacky, something like “If you could be an alien, what kind would you be?” More child-like illustrations accompanied each sheet along with lots of stars and curlycues. I listened skeptically as she listed her credentials from MIT and described her stint at NASA. That seemed to explain the alien part. And I eventually figured out that the packet was meant to help me explore parts of myself that I would never openly discuss. The idea being that you couldn’t truly connect or relate to other people unless you knew yourself.

I obediently worked on the sheets since I’ve always been a good student and attended all the other requisite communication classes. Meanwhile, I was taking Micro and Macro economics and Finance/Accounting for my Business minor. Which I hated. I quickly sussed out that I was doomed when it came to any business aspirations.

And secretly, I loved my Interpersonal Communications courses. The major was so ridiculed among my peers that I had to put up a front that I too found it a waste of time, but in actuality, I discovered that what I was and still am deeply interested in is interpersonal relationships. And multi-disciplined learning. So although I ended up with a Business minor (a mystery, since I stopped taking the required classes but my academic advisor told me I qualified), I took so many education courses that I should have had an Education minor.

I’ve read that people rarely end up pursuing careers directly in their field of studies. I meandered a lot too, but I was thinking of how I have consistently utilized an overwhelming number of the lessons learned from my classes in my scattershot career — this, I think, is the point of a Liberal Arts degree and I don’t think it’s ever a waste of time to study what you love. It will inevitably prepare you for a variety of opportunities. And obviously, that weird packet from Interpersonal Communications 101 or what-have-you has unconsciously become my source for these giveaway questions. Vital life skills, wouldn’t you say? But back when I went to college, it only cost $3000 a year and I could justify (at least to myself) that I could study anything I wanted. I worked and paid my way through school, but I worry that K will have a far more difficult time when the question of higher education comes up; I have no idea if we’ll be able to save enough money for what is bound to be an astronomical amount for university costs in 2025, and I don’t know if it’s even feasible for students to pay their way through college anymore unless they have Warren Buffet-esque investment skills.

But that’s a subject for another time, and my giveaway question is this: not what kind of alien would you be, but what did you study in college/university? Or perhaps a better question is, what was your favorite subject in school? It could be from university, high school, preschool, whatever.

I will keep the giveaway open until next Thursday, October 9th and will announce the winner the next day and yes to international folks. Good luck!


60 thoughts on “Fall Cleaning Giveaway: Part 3 [CLOSED]

  1. Oh how I love that book. Unlike you, I have big plans to sew 10 styles from the book. (you can exclude me for the giveaway as I’ve got it already.) Back to the favorite school subjects, Always maths and English (as a foreign language) for me before university. Then I majored in linguistics in university with a business minor as well….I learnt a few languages during the years (Japanese, Spanish and French) but they are merely faint memories now….will there be another giveaway for your least favorite subject at school? I can produce a much longer list. πŸ˜€

  2. I studied marketing. I don’t work directly in that field but I still find it interesting and useful.

  3. At University I studied Engineering (and International management, afterwards) and I was always attracted to physical sciences and thermodynamic (sounds much more boring that actually is, trust me). Then when I started my professional life, I did some advanced studies on Human Resources and Psychology. I can go on with my long list of loved subjects – in fact, I believe that our passion for learning new subjects should never end πŸ™‚

  4. Hmmm, don’t know if I’m a big bow type either, but I like the dress on the front cover.
    University was veterinary science. No option to take any subjects outside the field of study which I guess I would never have had time for anyway.
    Fav subject: Parasitology. Absolutely fascinating.
    Check out the life cycle of Dirocoelium dendriticum http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicrocoelium_dendriticum
    You couldn’t invent something that weird!

  5. Up until my last year of high school, I would have said that my favourite class was always English (in whatever form). In my senior year, however, I discovered psychology, and then anthropology, and my heart sang! I, also, am most drawn to matters of interpersonal relation and communication, so probably, the class I’d most enjoy is one I never took, linguistic anthropology.

  6. I studied math. But it was at a liberal arts university, so I had all these extra requirements. Much to my surprise, I totally fell in love with philosophy. By the end of my 4 years, I had enough philosophy classes for a minor (except my univ didn’t offer minors…weird).

  7. This book! The front cover dress and bow pattern have been starring me down forever to buy this copy! Lol. Back to school though…I studied international business and could not wrap my head around any of the classes so I took photography…. And then I studied interior design and loved it! My fav class in that program was CADD….it was so simple to me to transfer the design unto the computer….which is really weird but meh…math always came easy to me when it was time for school…. πŸ™‚ that and the art class you had to take to learn perspective….mad me realize I could draw and how to better my ‘technique’

  8. I love this book! I already have it and made the dress on the cover for a wedding. It’s adorable πŸ™‚ (Obviously I’m opting out of the giveaway too, I was just so excited to see this book that I couldn’t help commenting!)

  9. Thanks for sharing!! I was an English major, also studying art history, asian-american studies. But my field is waste, recycling, and environmental Ed lol! I loved it all πŸ™‚ and now I’m studying to become a western herbalist!

  10. The book looks beautiful. I too had some interesting switches in college. I graduated with a Spanish major. But initially I intended to be a teacher and had a math minor. I dropped the math minor my senior year when I decided not to be a teacher. Ironically I now home school my kids. I do love being able to speak Spanish though. That lead (instead of teaching) to a job in community health care that I really enjoyed until I started having kids.

  11. Well I majored in English when I went back to school because I love to read and love to write even more. And writing about what I read? Heaven! But then my profession is to teach ballet, so there you go! Lovely book!

  12. I love the designs in this book! I studied nutrition in college, and they were my favorite classes. Although I didn’t really enjoy working in my field. I probably should have pursued the more lucrative field of pharmacy or business. But now as a stay at home mom, and as a daily eater, nutrition was a perfect choice . Now, if only i could apply it to sewing. Haha.

  13. I studied economics… I don’t know why… I am terrible at numbers and i have never been interested in economic stuff. But after that, I studied marketing in England and i loved strategic and relationship marketing. Has a lot to do with interpersonal relationships as well!

  14. I have studied Economics and Translation Studies. Economics was ok, back then I did not know what I would like to do with my life, so I thought it would be very useful. And I was right, it is appreciated. When I finally realized that I love languages, I started Translation Studies. Now I work in a field I love!

  15. Love the story, and would love the book! My ‘career’ has been scattered. I studied science, majoring in plant science and . . . Photography. Weird. Then honours in plant science and half a PhD in the same before realising it was a silly idea. I now work for myself as a graphic designer.

  16. I loved math and physics at school, then studied geophysics and made my phd in geophysics and volcanology. Earth science rocks

  17. i studied architecture at the university, but the class that i loved the most was my contemporary dance class in high school. we had a wonderful teacher! and i learned a lot about myself – so much more than in any other class!

  18. I studied Political Science and Italian in undergrad and ended up with a Law degree. I should have taken more Art classes, where my real heart lies…

  19. i started college convinced i was going to major in art history and study italian so that i could do a junior year abroad in rome and graduate and go right into a curatorial job at the metropolitan museum of art (big dreams, no?). after one year of italian i realized it was not the language for me, so i went back to studying japanese, which i took for four years in high school (yay for not conjugating verbs!) and while i enjoyed art history, i realized that what i was really doing in college was spending all my time in the theater, which was my minor at the time. so, at the last possible moment, i switched my major and minor and got to devote my last year of school to theater. and that was the best decision ever.

  20. I loved my literature classes in high school and my speech class in college was such a hoot! Interpersonal communication sounds pretty good to me.
    I’ve been drooling over this book so I’d love a chance to win it! Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. Accountant here. Strangely enough, I hated accounting as a unit to a point where my mom had to hire me a home tutor to keep my grades up. Nelson was funny and witty, totally opposite of what an accountant (and ltutor) should be. And he made sense! Suddenly those debits and credits in to profits and losses and balance sheets and budgets totally gelled. I aced the subject and have made it my career. Sometimes its not the subject, it just takes a special someone with a heap of patience to help you see that no matter what the subject, there is joy in learning πŸ™‚

  22. Didn’t like to admit it then, but my favourite subject at high school was maths, there were right or wrong answers, unlike English, which was subject to imagination.

  23. I have a degree in business management and pre-law…but if I could do it all over again I would have gone into a creative field or gone to art school.
    Thanks for the give away!

  24. I studied Economics and Spanish but became an epidemiologist. My favorite class in grad school was infectious disease epidemiology. Which comes in handy these days with all the Ebola news….

  25. My favourite classes in high school were art and music. I studied music performance at university and grad school. Using my hands, for music or for making, has always been my favourite pass time.

    I can totally relate to you changing majors because you didn’t want to compete with your friends. That’s exactly how I ended up choosing the double bass as my instrument. I didn’t want to play clarinet like all the other kids. I’m not sure how pleased my parents were with my decision, but it’s served me well in life!

  26. I did a Bachelor of Arts (which sounds like the Australian equivalent of a Liberal Arts degree) majoring in Multimedia Studies incorporating areas such as Communications and Art and Design Studies. Like you a bit of a mixed bag and stangely I did lots of subjects with teachers-in-training so there was an unofficial education flavour in there also. A mixed bag but ultimately it has proved to be a good combination πŸ™‚

  27. The book is in English?! I’ve always wanted to try a Japanese sewing book but have been too intimidated.

    In school I studied biology. I wanted so badly to be an English major so I could read and write all day. I should have gone for it.

  28. From my university time, I loved two subjects the most, biochemistry and microbiology. The first one because the DNA magic and the second one because the pretty color palette the micro organisms can grown -also I think I have the best teacher ever since she didn’t only tech me how to recognize bacteria but about life-. However, after all that “biological affair” I ended up doing a Master degree in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing -actually the title is quite longer than that, but that will do :P- and I adored to look the earth from above, all the immensity! wow really beautiful indeed. Although this field of study is full of maths -which I’m not so friends with- those satellite images were full of beautiful colors and I could be hours working/enjoying them. Plus the maps I made were very helpful for environmental purposes! πŸ™‚

  29. I was an American Studies in grad school. I loved the development of American architecture! I would also love any Japanese book in English.

  30. I studied and loved history and English… Then spent years (15!) doing anything but history and English related things…retail, policing, international relations. Finally, I embraced my love of English and history and I am a secondary school teacher. I love it. I only wish that I had had your plastic packet of personal insight when 18 so I could have possibly pursued the career I love, rather than the career(s) I thought I should love… But didn’t!

    Long answer – because I loved your story. Thank you.

  31. Favorite subject was math. I wanted to be a physics nerd…and tried desperately, but failed. I love math and calculus and the like. Oh…and art. Loved art class. And learning the pottery wheel is just awesome..everyone should try a pottery wheel class.

    I would love this book! thanks for the giveaway. I really like the feminine look of the bow dress on the cover..and would like to make it as a blouse maybe…

  32. My favourite subject was art. I had amazing art teachers that floated around the room in their own little world, allowing us all sorts of freedom to try out equipment and mediums to our hearts content. Or while her back was turned, sneaking out in the sun to catch a few rays with my best friend!

  33. Reading your worries about k’s tuition fees later in life, reminds me how lucky we are in Denmark.
    Here all education is free, even universities are free for danes. When you’ve finished your first bachelor and masters you can even decide to do another one, and you will get free entrance into your second choice too if it is still open for intake once all the first timers have been accepted.
    Yes we have some harsh entrance requirements and you need to get with the program once you have been accepted or you will be kicked out from university, but everyone has equal opportunities. And not only that…
    In Denmark every student gets a monthly student grant that is administered by the government during their studies. You can get up to 6 years of what is essentially pay just for studying. Again you need to get with the program and not fall too far behind in your studies, but the system has built in safeguards for students who become ill, so that he they are unable to follow their studies for a period the state will give them extra months of student grants equalling the time they’ve been unable to follow their studies…
    Even writing it here makes it seem a bit unreal for me…

    Anyway. My favourite subject in school was history, specifically ancient history. I went on to study archaeology in the middle east, specialising in prehistory. Unfortunately for me I have seriously bad joints, and archaeological fieldwork was not for me so I changed subjects just before writing my master thesis and took 2 extra years studying culture and communication.
    Unfortunately for me there aren’t a lot of my dream jobs around (museum – exhibition – communication dream job) so I now work at the danish technical university.
    More boring, but also what allows me to own a house and see my kids every day.

    Oh, and I don’t need the book thank you. I already have too many sewing books taking up space and I never have enough time to sew. πŸ™‚

  34. Hmm, well in college I did a business degree. As for my favorite subject. Hmm, that is tough! One of my most memorable was probably studying Ancient Civilizations in the 12th grade. I remember two significant things from that class — my friend and I teamed up to do a presentation on some naval wars (not sure which ones… Greek perhaps?) and brought with us a tub of water with origami boats that we used for props. It was lots of fun, LOL. Then on our very last class, on the very last day of highschool, our teacher insisted that we had to do a mock exam. It would not be graded but would just be to help us with our finals. My friend and I convinced the entire class (including prefects/school presidents) to rebel and instead, the entire class wrote stories about our teacher, incorporating her into ancient history things we had studied. It was very memorable, LOL.

  35. I got an electrical engineering degree and sort of using my degree for my current occupation. But I think my favorite class was Industrial Arts, or “shop class”, the one where you learn how to use tools and create/build things with wood, plastic and all sorts of materials. To this day, I still like creating things and try to find time to sew and bake. My husband actually has all the basic tools to work with wood but now it’s trying to find a time to build.

  36. I did an a level called fashion and fabrics. It was marvellous. I got to sit And sew whatever I wanted at school, it was brilliant! We also looked at history of British fashion (alway fascinating) the science behind fashion, how fabrics are made up and dyed etc, and design theory. I loved my teacher too, she was very cool. I wish I could resit that course. I would nail it now!! Xx

  37. For my undergrad, I majored in Classical Studies and Anthropology. My favourite class was Archaeology Lab Methods – I got a real kick out of learning how to make stone tools at university. I also loved doing artifact illustrations and photography – looking back, I was always drawn to things that were practical, hands-on, and involved making something. I also have a master’s degree in Archival Studies, although after 2 years working as an archivist, I came to the realization that I am not naturally a person who finds satisfaction in organizing things – like papers – which is highly unfortunate for an archivist. I do, however, enjoy doing research involving documents that someone else has catalogued:)

  38. i think my favourite subject was when i was at senior school and took art GCSE. i loved going into the art block classrooms which were essential huts that you get on a building site and just spending hours sketching, painting or even pottering (literally). it was incredibly peaceful to just sit and concentrate on spaces inbetween objects and it was the only exam i have ever looked forward too.

  39. Hi Sanae πŸ™‚ I have this book too! It is so cute πŸ™‚ I made a few things from it but sadly none made it into regular wardrobe rotation! I studied (and now work in) architecture πŸ™‚ I love it! But my favourite class at uni was probably ceramics! It was so relaxing and I had the nicest teacher.

  40. I have a BS in Mathematics and training in nuclear power. And here I am today, a social worker. Cray cray!

  41. English all the way! I started off psych for about a semester in college, but it wasn’t really for me. I liked reading and writing, so that’s what I went with. I always felt like I had the most fun major.

  42. I had quite a meandering study career as well, starting off in Textile Design, switching to History of Art combined with Law. Then, switched to English Language & Lit, then General Literature and finally majoring in Theatre Studies. I used to love the literature/history of culture, but on the other side I was very happy in more exact classes, like accountancy and maths. Homo universalis perhaps?

  43. I studied nursing in college and after graduation and a short lived nursing career, I realized it just wasn’t for me sadly!!! After spending some time at home raising my children … I became certified in yoga and began teaching, Which is was more satisfying to me

  44. You have such a way with words – I’m surprised you didn’t study English in school! The alien/NASA connection comment made me laugh. I majored in linguistics, which I loved, but later thought was a bad idea since I never had plans to work in anything linguistics-related. Fast forward several years. I now have two children with autism who don’t speak and struggle with communication, and I’m finding that many of my college days theoretical lessons are translating into real life applications for my family. I believe that no knowledge we gain is ever lost.

  45. What I studied in University was economics (I have an M.A.), international development (another M.A.), and I started but quit a Ph.D. in Political Science, focusing on international development again. I had never thought I was creative or an artist, and so I focused on academics. Now, I think that is one reason I am finding sewing so rewarding… learning that I have a creative side makes me feel so good. And I really wish I had done things to explore my creative side more when I was younger – like take that Drama class at University I really wanted to take but didn’t because I thought taking English was more responsible. But better late to the creative pool than never!

  46. This probably sounds really nerdy in comparison but I have always wanted to be a doctor, as far back as I can remember and that was my goal throughout my younger life and my light at the end of the tunnel whenever things went bad. I never really faltered with that and went to medical school and am now a surgeon. Well, a part time surgeon. In my other life I am a mom and avid sewist.

  47. Hmmm…found your comment re sewists having a science/maths background interesting. Some sewing projects can be pretty puzzling at times! I love drafting patterns and/figuring out new patterns, but dislike repetitive work.
    I studied Actuarial Science and now work in the actuarial field…not hugely exciting but pays for fabrics/haberdashery :-). Although history and maths don’t feel like natural partners, I’ve always loved history and love a good historical novel!

  48. I had a short but hugely unsuccessful stint at the University of Washington, where I studied (I use the term loosely) anthropology, astronomy, art, Spanish,…and a few other random courses. After a long break from school I ended up in flight school in Florida and became a pilot. But my art classes were always my very favorite, since I was very young. Just not encouraged in my family as a valid career path! But I do think the combination of my flight training and creative side work well for sewing.

  49. I have a degree in business, with a major in MIS (management information systems). My second degree is in education and I taught high school business classes (teaching software in a computer lab) for many years. Now I work in web content, in the field of interior design and I blog whenever I can squeeze it in. So I’ve been working with computers forever! But my favourite class was a printmaking class I took while getting my education degree. It was with a bunch of future art teachers and they were the coolest!

  50. I already have the book but I’ll answer your question anyway! My undergrad degree is in journalism/mass communications with a minor in French. It should have been a major in French — I have enough credits — but my advisor screwed up and let me take classes in the wrong order so I was missing a prerequisite for the major and would have had to take an extra semester (and delay law school by a year) in order to get it. Then I went to law school and am now a practicing attorney! And believe it or not, my journalism background has served me very well in this field. Love hearing about your background!

  51. I was an art education major all the way through. My graduate degree is an Interdisciplinary Master of Arts. Sounds much like your Interpersonal Communications major! To be totally honest, I went in to art ed because I loved making art. I have always loved to just make things. There are not a lot of fine arts degrees that result in paid positions, however. So the education part was secondary for me initially. But when I did start teaching (almost ten years ago now- ack) I found that I really loved the education part. It took a little while for me to build up my confidence that I was a decent educator. Now I just really enjoy what I do everyday. The kids I teach make it all worth it and it is a really satisfying job. My minor was Printmaking.

  52. My favorite classes in high school were my Family and Consumer Sciences classes (think Home Ec.): child development, nutrition & foods, sewing, etc. I loved these so much that I also studied Family in Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) in college once I realized it was still an active, viable career (I was determined to study something that would lead pretty directly into a career)…and I loved it. I loved the personal finance classes, sewing classes, child development, marriage and family relations classes etc, etc.. And I loved teaching those classes to high schoolers once I’d graduated and found a job. Some days I wonder what it would have been like if I’d done something else, but I can only think of maybe one other career that I would have enjoyed as much. So there it is! πŸ™‚

  53. I was a Human Development major with an art minor. The HD major was interdisciplinary and included courses from Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Education. The art minor was a fluke – I took so many elective art classes that I qualified for the minor. I’ve been in my career of wayfinding and design for 12 years and it took me several years to realize that it’s a great utilization of my liberal art studies!

  54. I want this book!

    Ok. I’ll try to keep this brief
    B.A. English and philosophy
    B.F.A. Printmaking photography, art History
    M.A. Italian Sudies
    Ph.D. Italian Studies (in progress)

  55. I srudoed music and math. I don’t do much with music at all, but I wasn’t ready to give it up yet then. Math formed the basis of what I needed to study for what I cdo now.

  56. I have a Liberal Arts degree from Evergreen (yes, I lived in Washington, too!) but I actually attended 6 different colleges to get it! Aside from my nomadic ways I was also quite the dabbler as a student, taking courses in anything and everything that caught my interest, from environmental science to African American literature to human sexuality to world religions. What all of my coursework had in common was that it led me to a deeper understanding of the human experience. I eventually focused on a combo of gender and women’s studies, photography, documentary filmmaking and something resembling cultural anthropology. I have an almost completed masters in photojournalism, which gave me the chance to put all of that curiosity about the human experience into action. But by far my favorite individual class was one I took my first semester at community college, when I was 16 years old. It was titled Death and Dying and covered everything from the practical process of dying to cultural views about death to more spiritual topics like near death experiences. For my final term paper my teacher connected me with a woman he knew who had had a very dramatic near death experience- being pronounced dead, travelling to the liquid rainbow, and being called back in order to remain on earth to care for her young son. 20 years had passed and it was still a potent and present force in her life. She told me she had no fear of death and knew that when her time came she would finally join the universal energy of that liquid rainbow.

  57. I got masters in geology. But, the subject I always loved and that fascinates me to bits is biology and nature in general. I am convinced that in some parallel universe there is another me living in forests and studying wolves.

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