Friday, May 17, 2019

I received my May/June issue of Sewn! Woohoo!!

My contribution is about my sewing love, Burda magazine :) There's a Q&A and a walk through of how I prepare patterns.  And apparently, there are still some issues available!

You can order the next issue, July/August, HERE. This link will also take you the subscription option (which I just subscribed today!).
Coat is Burda Magazine 10/2012 #113 and sweater is 10/2015 #109

Sewing Update!

I've been having fun with my Cricut Maker, but am soooo itching to sew. I pulled out a bunch of spring/early summer clothes and my TNT B5760 skirts are a little too big. I'm not going full alteration - e.g., removing the waistband and all that. I'm going to take them in through the hips and hopefully that'll carry me for awhile :)

I've also started working on the hem of my poor, 3-month old WIP, Butterick 6641. 

Lastly, a sewing friend let me borrow an old Burda and last night, I traced a pattern! 12/2009 #121 (a henley tee). Pattern #120 uses the same pieces but longer for a tunic (mini dress on me at that length!) and a hood. Adding that to my 'maybe' list for fall, depending on how this tee turns out.

I traced it off last night and added seam allowances, which definitely took longer than normal. I'm going to try to cut the paper pattern out today and the fabric tomorrow. I'm optimistic!

Random Sewing Thoughts:

I have talked a lot about my analytical/logical/problem solving nature + sewing. This meant I caught on to a lot of stuff quickly. Mostly technical (construction) stuff because that's how my mind works.  

I love sewing. And I love the sewing community. And I know y'all mean well but...I'm not a teacher. I get a lot of requests for tutorials and videos and, "you should start a YouTube channel!" I know it's from a warm place! But I literally cannot. I lack the patience, and when things are clear to me, I lack the ability to understand why it isn't clear to you too! [flashback to teachers always trying to get me to be a tutor] And I have no desire to be a sewing figure. I'm selfish! I don't want to spend my sewing time documenting and filming and editing! :-p

I draw a blank when I post something and someone asks if it was "easy". What does that even mean?! Not only is it dependent on the person and their skill level, but also on the desired result. 

I sew a ton of knits. I think a knit tee, like the one proposed above, is SUPER EASY! But others will struggle with the neck binding or getting nice hems. I don't think buttonholes are hard because my machine is a CHAMP at making them. Welt pockets? Eh. The concept isn't very difficult. Good welts? Perfect welts? I break a little sweat every time I sew them because I WANT PERFECT WELTS! 

The other thing I notice often is judging a pattern by rather or not someone had to make adjustments. 


Now, there was a discussion going on on PR about a Grainline pattern. I described my experience with the Scout (shudder) and the Felix (eh). I can't judge a pattern by *my* need to FBA (bust, butt, bicep). Or adjusting for my lack of (protruding) hips. I will openly discuss things that I think are off - the Felix shoulder seam sitting WAY back or the crazy low armholes...the quizzical front crotch curve on the Lander pants...the scary armscye on the Clare coat, for example. 

But otherwise, the adjustments I have to make for *my* body don't really mean anything -- mayyybe if we have very similar bodytypes...e.g., Andrew (SewtoFit) is in much better shape than I am :-p and more hourglass, but I find we make A LOT of the same adjustments. I often check if she's reviewed something before sewing...or similar sizing. Sue (Sue Parrott) and I almost ALWAYS choose the same size for the upper body. I check her blog a lot too.  

But the expectation of sewing a pattern "out of the envelope" should be pretty small IMO. Sure it happens and maybe you're lucky to be spot-on with the block for that pattern. But most of us are adjusting something because most of us sew to have clothing that fit US and a standardized (whatever that means) pattern isn't going to go that far.


If you're a Burda mag subscriber, you've no doubt heard about GLP News folding. Their website has been updated to state that they have found a new North American distributor so fingers crossed. I need my Burda!!! 

In signing up for SEWN, I realized I am not subbed there, Burda, Ottobre and Threads. But it's all such valuable content! And I think my 3 months fabric free (save for my 2 pieces at Craft South) has paid for all of these! LOL!!!

Not sewing related...

I've been on the fence about these DNA tests. I read things. Everything. And I immediately wrote off Ancestry DNA because you are not about to tell me that my DNA is no longer mine once I send it to you. Nope. I really wanted to do 23 and Me but their partnership with GlaxoSmithKline is another big ole NOPE. The only thing worse than BigAg is BigPharma. No. No. NOP!. 

I'm curious less about my genetic makeup - our ongoing joke is that my husband decided I'm 33% African and 67% central American. And now I've decided that I am 84% African and he is only 76% African so we'll see! :-D I am REALLY interested in the family tree part. My dad didn't know HIS dad and carries his stepfather's last name which means we aren't REALLY a part of that family. We found out WAY later that his mom was adopted so that's another biological link missing. So who even knows!!!

Minneapolis is turning into a pool this weekend apparently. I'm hoping to get my fabric sorted and organized in the basement since we'll be inside (yeah, we moved here in June of 2018. Still hasn't happened).


  1. And I thought I was the only one who had a massive fail with the Scout T! Love your blog, so glad you are recovering. Keep on moving forward!

    1. Thank you!! I felt that pattern was atrocious!!! I do plan to give the Lakeside PJs a try. I bought that way back when when I first started sewing. We'll see.

  2. I enjoyed your comments about what is easy for you vs what others find easy. So much sewing is obvious to me for the same reason it is to you. I also can't say what is easy for someone else. I like some sewing challenges but not others, and if I achieve something difficult for me I feel pleased. I do, though, enjoy seeing how happy people are when they finish something and they're proud of it, no matter the level of complexity.

    1. I am right there with you, on all accounts. I think I end up interacting with newbie sewers a lot because the excitement is just so palpable! It was a LONG time before I stopped feeling like, "OMG I MADE A THING!" after every completed garment :)

  3. Not everyone is cut out for teaching or making tutorials, especially video. It's not just knowing the material, it's good visual and sound quality, good editing, and being able to explain clearly *to many people*. And then there's the whole personality/voice thing that might be even harder to explain why I like some (Nancy Zieman & Shirley Adams - love them forever) and others not so much (nope, not going to name names on that!)

    Good luck on the fabric organizing!

    1. Hahaha! But you're right, all of our preferences differ. I read a lot. I read everything. I read fast. I hate the new trend of news stories being video clips. :eyeroll: I just want to read the danged story!!

      When I first started, Craftsy was *it* and I bought a couple classes but quickly realized that wasn't my speed. But the beauty is, it takes all kinds and there's something for all of us!

  4. Your article in SEWN was amazing! I'm glad you subbed. There is some awesome sewing going on in those pages from a wide variety of sewists. I love that Michelle is constantly looking over the sewing community to spotlight various sewists.

    You pointed out all the reasons I don't like the ancestry kits but the one that did it for me is that the cops are now using the results to tie people to crimes. Yeah I and I'm encouraging my family to stay out of those databases!

    Hope you get your fabric all organized!

    1. Thank you so much! I was so super excited!!!! And I am glad that I'm subscribed too!

      Yes. My husband wanted to do Ancestry and I read to him all of the possible uses - including giving your data to the government or law enforcement when asked because now it's theirs! Nooooooo thank you!

  5. What a great-looking feature in SEWN magazine!!! I think the topic of the article fits perfectly with you! You are making progress in your journey back to sewing, and I am glad to hear that. I hope it continues!

  6. Congrats on your article! So exciting! And I totally agree about being selfish with sewing time... after sewing for others for about 6 years I'm trying to fold up that particular side hustle because I'm over it. My sewing time is extremely limited these days, and I just don't have to time to do it for me and for other people anymore. So I want to be selfish and just do it for me. I imagine it is much the same with teaching sewing, be it in person or on a digital platform. It will take up a lot of time, and it will definitely change your relationship with sewing. And, honestly, unless you really want to try to make that a major stream of revenue or really love teaching, it's probably not worth it. I really love designing and making skating costumes, but not at the cost to my time and sanity; it's just not worth it to me anymore. It's hard to make a change like this, but I think it will make me happier in the long run. Being able to say no to people is a skill, and I'm trying to learn it so I can become a #crankyoldlady on my own terms - thank you for inspiring me to not be a pushover!

    1. I hear you! It's so important to find the balance and taking care of yourself is most important.

      Yesssss! Keep going! My shift happened right around turning 30. I am so good at saying no...and understanding that it is a complete sentence if I want it to be!

  7. Totally agree with the disinclination to teach sewing. I am also asked occasionally to do this and always say no. I also say no to people who ask me to sew for them. Some even offer money.

    NO, no, no, no NOT! I sew for me and immediate family only.


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