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You guys have been doing a great job buying up stuff from the Selfish Seamstress Store!  As requested, I’ve added new totes, mugs, and shirts with some of your favorite recent haikus, including, “Your stupid house,” “No such thing as bedtime,” “Me me me me me,” and “We call them ‘suckas.’” Check out the store for more styles, colors, and haikus! 

Proceeds from all sales will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti.  More details here and here.

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The Selfish Seamstress recently ran across a few comments about her and her blog elsewhere on the interwebs that got her thinking. First, her tone has been criticized as harsh and snide, which seems sort of… obvious? It’s a bit like saying that Cake Wrecks, Go Fug Yourself, Regretsy, and the Colbert Report aren’t warm and supportive of baking, fashion, crafting, and conservative reporting efforts. Or like saying you don’t like salt because it’s too salty. My response to such comments mirrors the attitude to I take towards most of life: Well, duh already :)

More thought provoking, however, was a comment that my post on avoiding amateur sewing mistakes made people want to give up on sewing. Well now, that’s sad, especially since my blog is pretty much just one big piece of satire. If a beginning sewer is so easily discouraged by a stupid snarky blog that he or she would actually give up sewing after reading it, that same person would probably give up anyway the first time he or she tries to make a pair of slacks that fit decently. You can’t learn to sew without making mistakes, and best to learn to laugh at them now. Sewing takes guts and gumption and a thick skin. The most amazing sewers out there get great results because they take on challenges and take risks, and I’m guessing they’ve all had epic fails along the way that have helped them to get where they are. There are a lot of things you’ll run into in sewing that are much more important, and much more discouraging, than my snide sense of humor. If you want to sew, you have to learn how to fail, and you have to learn how to get over it when you make something that looks like crap. It happens.

As a side note, I started blogging for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted a way to record and archive my own sewing exploits, largely for myself. Second, if I didn’t blog, Dan would probably go insane from my yammering to him about sewing all day. But most importantly, I started blogging for the purpose of entertainment- so I could laugh at myself, so others could have a laugh at me, so others could laugh at themselves, and so we could all get together and laugh at pirate armwarmers. [Please note: I do not and will not mock the sewing projects of other hobby seamstresses; you won’t catch me scoffing at Jane Sewingblogger’s latest triumph, no matter how badly it may need pressing. Commercial patterns, RTW and designer fashion, celebrity fashion choices, bad fashion trends, and my own stuff are totally fair game for mockery here though!] I realize not everyone will find my blog amusing. Not everyone has the same sense of humor and some people’s senses of humor are LAME. (Haha, I’m going to take flak for that one!) Stop by and visit if you like it and want to giggle and scoff with me, and if you don’t, don’t. There are also lots of better, warmer, and more wonderful blogs if you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, gorgeous projects, techniques, and encouragement, like this, this, this, this, this, this, and many more. I frequent these blogs to learn new skills and raise my sewing spirits, and I encourage you to do so as well. As for me, I’m not expert enough to teach you well, and not nice enough to feed you anything but sarcasm, so if you don’t like sarcasm, you’ve come to the wrong place :)

Back to the subject of failure, there is a phrase that is commonly used on sewing blogs, and for good reason: “Ask me how I know.” Mistakes are important when you’re learning to sew. First you mess up, and then you know something new. As much as I would like to be someone whose projects always turn out beautifully on the first try, who never makes a bad choice or a stupid mistake when sewing, it’s never going to happen. Ask me how I know that flowered calico can make for a frumpy, ugly tank top.  Ask me how I know that pressing all the seams open at the end is a bad idea, rather than pressing as you go.  The first time you insert a zipper, it’s going to be frustrating. At some point you’ll probably accidentally cut two left sides and then not have enough fabric left to cut a right side.  You’ll kick yourself for having gone with a fabric that seemed a smidge too heavy and stiff because it was exactly the color you wanted and then you ended up with a dress that gave you the silhouette of a cardboard box. The second time you insert a zipper it’s going to be frustrating. When three people in one day ask you whether you made that dress yourself, you’re going to want to rush home, take it off, crumple it in a ball, and hide it in the corner of your closet. Ask me how I know. 

And it’s not just beginner mistakes either. As you acquire more skills, you’re still going to have failures. Why?  Because you’re taking on new challenges and learning more difficult techniques. Ask me how to botch a welt pocket. Ask me how much success I’ve had with sewing sheers. Ask me if I’ve finished Dan’s sport coat yet! And even when something may be a technical success, it can still be a failure. Check out these items from my Greatest Flops collection:

They look okay, right? Guess how many times I’ve worn these garments.  If you guessed zero, you’re correct! That cream dress is just wrong for everything. Too fancy for work, too white for wedding guest garb, and for any occasion in between I’d just sooner go for something in my closet that is more chic and less garden party. And that white coat?  I don’t know, it’s just all wrong every time I put it on. Fail, fail, fail. But these mistakes help me make better choices now.

One of the most important skills that a beginning sewer can learn, in addition to pressing techniques and making wise fabric choices, is how to get over discouraging mistakes. Obviously, you do what you can to try to prevent the failures. Arm yourself with knowledge and information before you cut into your pricey fabric. Learn what you can about how to avoid mistakes. Make your best effort and be cautious about taking shortcuts. But also, know that there will be some failures and the best thing you can do when it happens is learn from them, laugh at them, and move on. Make yourself some Big Girl Pants and put them on (even if they don’t fit perfectly the first time) because you’re going to need them if you want to be able to stick with it without giving up.  Then go forth and sew, fail, pick yourself up, and keep sewing. And don’t let the fear of failure or the Selfish Seamstress’s bitchy blog make you stop :)

I’ve been gently chided from time to time by readers for always sewing in neutrals and dull colors, and it’s true. For color, I rely on crimson, violet, or leaf green sweaters that I’ve knitted or purchased, or basic knit tops of the H&M variety since I’m not so jazzed about sewing basic tops. When sewing, however, I stick mostly to black, white, grays, and browns, and also their good friends taupe, tan, charcoal, cream, and beige.  When I’m feeling a little crazy, I toss in some olive green or navy. Not to mention my penchant for solids, subtle stripes, and saner plaids, with frequent forays into herringbone. What can I say?  I try to sew what I know I’m going to wear a lot, and that means more brown than fuchsia. But, in light of some gentle and encouraging prods to incorporate more color and pattern into my sewing, I’ve decided that maybe I should heed your advice… later. When I feel like it.

For now, I want a solid black wrap dress.

And not just any black wrap dress, but the most austere, un-whimsical, and un-fun wrap dress you can imagine. The kind of sleek black wrap dress you accessorize with nothing more than high cheekbones, black wedge sandals, Prada sunglasses, and a frosty attitude. (I do not possess any of these, but I think I can probably cultivate the attitude with a little effort.) No cheerful print, no summery colors, no superfluous swing to the skirt, just enough fullness to keep it from looking like a bathrobe. Sort of like dress 114 from Burda 9.2006 (minus some of the details), which I unfortunately do not have:

Such a dress may seem like an unusual wish for someone who can make her own clothes and therefore can wander somewhat freely through the realm of creative possibilities. But I have the kind of figure that RTW wrap dresses NEVER fit.  It’s Gape City with a possible side trip to Safetypinville when it comes to me and wrap dresses. And I have wanted a black wrap dress for a long time.

I’m going to start with the ever popular Vogue 8379:

Hmm.  I am already skeptical of those pretty, friendly-looking pleats and fear that they might soften up the “don’t-talk-to-me” attitude of my dress. But ultimately I think they’ll be more shape flattering than a flat fronted dress on my already flat front. I’ve already started grading down to a 4 (this pattern starts in an 8, so twice the grading fun!) and done an SBA on the bodice front pattern.  I’m definitely going to take fullness out of the skirt by slashing and lapping, or maybe just taking it out of the sides. And the whole thing will be rendered in one of the current reigning queens of my stash – gorgeous super-soft solid black wool doubleknit. 

Those of you who are shaking your heads in sadness and disappointment over my very dull choices and lack of creativity can take heart:  I plan to muslin this (or at least the bodice and sleeves) in this hideous, very 2002 print knit which has been in my stash forever:

And for those of you who may be tempted to try to convince me to make a “production” level version of the dress in this print?

NO.

(Look!  I’m already cultivating the frosty attitude to go with the dress!  w00t!)

Thanks to those of you who have purchased items from the Selfish Seamstress Store, the proceeds of which I am matching and donating to disaster relief efforts in Haiti.

Shannon has just pointed out Salesforce.com’s matching campaign, which is matching donations to the Red Cross dollar for dollar up to $100,000. Thank you, Shannon!

I plan on making the donation through this campaign, which means the royalties from sales will be quadrupled and donated.  That’s right– you purchase a Selfish Seamstress Haiku mug, shirt, or tote by navigating to the store from a link on my blog, and I will receive 30% of your purchase price, which I will match and donate, which means 60% of your purchase price.  Salesforce will then double this amount, which means 120% of your purchase price will be donated to the American Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts (more than you paid for your mug, shirt, or tote).  There’s no better time than now to pick up some snarky haiku merchandise and help people who are desperately in need.

[Psst. Don’t forget to check out my recent post on Selfish Seamstress stuff to support relief efforts in Haiti.  Thanks!]

Ah, to live a Burda life.  Recently I’ve been amusing myself by thinking how funny it would be to live one’s life according to BurdaMag.  You’d go on safari sometime around March with all of your khaki dresses (the new Sarfari Look!),  put on your dirndl and head over to Tirol in September (Folklore!). Sometime soon after the holidays you’d go on some sort of sailing vacation with your navy, white, and red wardrobe (the trendy Marine Style!), in October you’d rediscover your inner hippie and break out all the paisley chiffon, corduroy pants, and faux suede vests (Boho Luxe!), sometime during the summer you’d go on a kick of wearing nothing but black with white (a Classic Combination newly interpreted!), and of course you’d get married every April.

Burda’s 2.2010 full preview is available online as of yesterday, and this month Burda ladies will be going sailing (surprise, surprise), going country Western, rediscovering the rockin’ 50s, and, um, going to work wearing yellow. Those of you who have been following along know that I’ve been taking a hiatus from new issues since my subscription ran out in October, waiting for something I really want to make before I renew.  I’m waffling on this issue and considering resubscribing. The lovely low-backed sheath dress in the photo above (you know it’s 1950s style because the model is interacting with a jukebox.  Which appears to be in a Macy’s. What?) is the only thing that I’m actually excited about. 

That being said, the issue is chock full of basics that look well cut and, while perhaps not tremendously new or innovative, would be good for making wardrobe staples or for using as blocks.

A sleek pant with a slight boot cut and smooth waistband and flat front- a nice relief for people like me who don’t look good in the pleated, tapered pants or super skinny pants that Burda has been featuring heavily in recent months:

A not so basic raglan with the deep, wide V-neck that I love to wear:

A simple skirt that begs to be done up in brown cotton stretch sateen with a fun contrast topstitching (spring green?  turquoise? yellow?):

A classic jean jacket:

A raglan T that I might not sew as is (then again, I own two rather expensive Sisley tops in ribbed rayon-cotton blend with this exact cut that I wear a whole lot so maybe!), but would be a a good block to have in one’s arsenal alongside the traditional sloper bodice:

Also, I like the shaping of this jacket with the dart and princess seam combo. The lapels might need to be toned down some:

Anyway, I don’t love the clothes in the issue, but the technical drawings are making me think that this issue wouldn’t be a bad investment.  Time to resubscribe maybe?

Dear Readers:

As you have no doubt read or heard, a massive earthquake struck Haiti yesterday causing tremendous destruction. The Haitian government estimates that the death toll from the earthquake may exceed 100,000 people. This is surely one of the greatest human tragedies that has taken place during my lifetime.

This Sunday, I will make a donation in the amount of $50 to the American Red Cross’s International Response Fund to support relief efforts in Haiti. In addition to that $50, I will donate all royalties from the sales of Selfish Seamstress merchandise purchased before Sunday and match those royalties with my own funds as well. (UPDATE: I will match up to $200- my apologies, I should have specified this earlier. Sorry, I’m a person with a regular salary, not a foundation!)

If you would like to purchase a Selfish Seamstress haiku item, as always, please navigate to my store using a link on my blog– this doubles the royalty, meaning that I will be able to donate 30% of your purchase price, rather than 15% (the remainder of your cost goes to Zazzle.com for manufacturing the items and hosting the store.) This figure will be matched for a total of 60%. 

Please consider purchasing an item from the Selfish Seamstress Store or making a donation directly to the Red Cross to help provide relief to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

 

-Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress

P.S.– A request to fellow blogger-seamstresses: If you post on your blog between now and Sunday, please consider including a link to this post to help spread the word and drum up relief!

 

The Parity Dress, my knockoff of the Anthropologie Verite dress is finished!  Actually that’s a lie because I need to do some finishing on the inside still.  But you know how that goes. And I still don’t have a brown belt for it.

Overall it came out reasonably well.  The sweetheart neckline I drafted is not as graceful as that on the original but it’s certainly wearable.  After I sewed in the boning, the front started having those puckery horizontal creases which were not there before, and I’m not sure what to do about that.  The bodice is neither too tight nor too loose so they’re not due to pulling or sagging. It looks like it’s pulling taut across my torso, but it’s actually not- depending on how I’m standing, the front even pulls a bit away from my body. I looked at a bunch of photos of ready-to-wear strapless dresses online, and it seems that this is not an uncommon problem with this type of bodice.  But I’m curious to know how to fix it. 

Anyway, pattern will be up eventually, once I have a free evening to trace it all, cut it all up, and upload it (tedious!) 

[Incidentally, “parity” is a concept in mathematics the refers to the even-ness or odd-ness of an integer.  When dealing with binary numbers, parity is determined by the value of the least significant bit, either a 0 (even) or a 1 (odd).  Why did I name this dress “The Parity Dress”?  Because the word “parity” sounds kind of like “verite.” And because I am a dork.]

Just when I resolved not to buy any more patterns, I discovered Vogue 2925 on Amanda’s blog and found the jacket of my dreams:

Very petite (read: tiny and shapeless) women know how hard it is to find a suit jacket that doesn’t make you look like you’re a kid trying on mommy’s clothes. I have decided that this is exactly the jacket I need. But, it’s out of print. So, I could buy the out of print copy from Vogue, or, I could use this as an opportunity to reduce my pattern stash, and maybe help you reduce yours if you happen to have this pattern lying around and know that you’re never going to get around to sewing it.

Here are some treats I pulled out of my overflowing Sterlite container. I will give you, oh, let’s say any 3 of these in exchange for Vogue 2925 in size A (6-8-10) (please not the other sizes because I already have to grade down to a 4.) Heck, even if you’ve already cut and used the skirt or the top and just have the jacket pattern intact, I’ll happily take that! All the following patterns are complete and uncut except for the one vintage one noted. There’s nothing wrong with them except that I know I won’t ever get around to making them.

First up, the current and very popular V1117 Michael Kors dress in size AAX (4-6-8-10.) This dress was part of his lovely Fall 2008 collection. Somehow I ended up with two copies of this pattern:

This lovely Maggy London knit dress with ruched waist and drapey neckline. This is Butterick 5078, now out of print. It comes in size BB (8-10-12-14):

If you’re ready for some summer sewing, this is New Look 6242 in size A (6-16!) which has patterns for halter dresses, a halter top, and an easy skirt, I believe also out of print:

From Simplicity’s Threads magazine collection, this is a versatile short jacket with lots of collar and sleeve variations. This is Simplicity 4256 in size H5 (6-8-10-12-14), now out of print:

Another versatile pattern, McCall’s 4930 size BB (8-10-12-14) from the Palmer/Pletsch Classic Fit collection. This includes patterns for a jacket, dress with cap sleeves and godets, and pants. I believe this is also out of print:

The very popular Vogue Easy Options 8280, which is a clone of the Roland Mouret Galaxy Dress. This is in size AX (4-6-8):

And now for some vintage treats. First, a reissued pattern from 1960, Butterick 6582, which includes patterns for a sheath and full-skirted variation with cute ruched shoulders. This pattern comes in sizes 6-8-10:

Then a bona fide vintage pattern- no date on this one, but judging by the artwork, I’d say it’s probably from the mid to late 50s. Simplicity 2438 is a pattern for some cute sailor blouses with various options for collars, sleeves, and waist details, vintage size 11, with a 31.5 inch bust. The envelope is torn along one side, and some of the pieces have been cut, but the pattern is complete:

And finally, a vintage dress pattern with various options for collars and skirts. Again, no date on this one, but it looks early 1960s. Simplicity 4232 in vintage size 11 with a 31.5″ bust. This pattern is complete and mostly uncut (I see a few pieces that have been cut, but most of the pattern is still in factory folds.)

So, fellow stashers and seamstresses, if you have a copy of Vogue 2925 in sizes 6-8-10 that you just know you’re never going to get around to sewing (or even just the uncut jacket pattern!), and you would like THREE of the patterns above, let me know by leaving a comment or mailing me at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com! You’ll be making a Selfish Seamstress very very happy.

It’s cute how you think
That I’d like to sew curtains
For your stupid house.

I’ve been reading about everyone’s new favorite patterns from the spring collections of the Big 4 pattern companies, and have generally been doing a good job convincing myself that I DO NOT need any more new patterns, cute as they may be. But then I received an email from Schnittvision saying that all of their pattern collections are on sale for 25% off. And now my resolve is weakening quickly.

For those of you who are not yet familiar with Schnittvision, it’s custom pattern heaven on earth. Collections of wonderfully wearable patterns that are classic but still body conscious and chic. Each DVD is a complete wardrobe in itself with between a dozen and two dozen patterns, each with coats, jackets, skirts, dresses, blouses, pants, and tops.  You put in your body measurements, and out comes a custom-fitted pattern. Considering that a single custom pattern from Burda can cost 40 Euros, the Schnittvision DVDs are a bargain at about 15-30 Euros apiece, and now 25% off!

So now I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need any of these lovelies from volume 5 “New Classics”, volume 6 “Casual Classics”, and volume 7 “Neo Chic”, all perfectly sized for my own peculiar measurements:

 

Seriously, you could be your own custom J.Crew with these DVDs. I already own the spectacular Volume 1 “New Basics”, and have sewn multiple garments from it, all of which have come out great in terms of sizing. I adapted the classic double breasted coat pattern to make my leopard trench and blue velvet coats back when I first started sewing, and I didn’t even make muslins because I didn’t even know what a muslin was at the time. And check out the fit, even on my strange munchkin figure!

So.  Beautiful modern classics, great custom fit, a whole wardrobe of patterns on a DVD for about 25 Euros, plus a 25% discount on top of that until January 16th.  What’s the catch? Well, they’re only in German. And not just the sewing instructions, but the instructions for how to use the software and do the printing and input your measurements and fit preferences too. So if you want a Schnittvision DVD (or seven), you’d better brush up on your Deutsch or have a proficient friend who’s willing to help you out. (No, the Selfish Seamstress is not volunteering to help. The Selfish Seamstress does not help. The very word disgusts her.)

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), the language doesn’t pose a problem for me. The bigger problem is that I DON’T NEED ANY MORE PATTERNS.  I just have to keep telling myself that. Covet.

Made some minor progress last night on my knockoff of the Anthropologie Verite dress.  Adjusted some of the fit on the bodice and drafted a skirt for it.  The fit is pretty good overall now, but the drapey-ness of the fabric is starting to worry me, as it’s causing some wrinkles in the bodice that I’m not sure will go away once I put in the boning.  Maybe I should take it apart and interline all the pieces with muslin?  Sigh, all that topstitching to unpick. I might first try lining with silk taffeta to give it some more body. Anyway, here it is in its current state, shown with a black belt because I don’t have a brown one yet.  

Hmm- there is a big crease in the skirt that I thought I pressed out.  Anyway, all that’s left (if I don’t underline the bodice) is to do a lining with facings, add the boning, insert zipper, hem, and that should be it. [I took my head out of the photo because it looks crazy. Crazy head!]

This one inspired by Dawn’s post on sewing under the influence of decaf Earl Grey:

 

When I sew for me
There’s no such thing as bedtime.
Oh look, there’s the sun!

I’ve now skipped out on three consecutive issues of Burda, and am really hoping that they put out a pattern soon that I just can’t wait to have. The February sneak peek went up on their website today, and once again, there aren’t any I-must-have-it garments, but some are not bad. First up, a Chanel style jacket:

I often think about making such a jacket, especially after seeing some of the beautiful ones that others have sewn, but I’m not sure how it would look on me or if I’d feel comfortable wearing it.  Somehow I get the feeling I’d look like a little kid wearing grown-up clothes, rather than a lady in her proper habiliments. I guess you need the right attitude to pull it off.  Next up, a very washed out photo:

I’m not sure if this is for the jacket or the dress (skirt?) but both look pretty cute. As almost always, the most classy and wearable clothes in the issue are the plus sizes:

Given that there are a lot fewer plus patterns than Misses’ patterns in Burda, I can understand why they save their risk-taking for the Misses’ patterns and stick to classy and pretty for the plus patterns. But I’d really love if Burda would take this tack with a few more of the Misses’ patterns too! And since I mentioned it, here are your Misses’ size garments in various flavors of crazy:

I have to give Burda props for going all out with the accessorizing on this one. Not just an oversized fringed vest, but an oversized fringed vest with a piece of rope for a scarf, and some strappy leather armwarmers (oh gosh, yet another set of words ending in “armwarmers” that I never thought I’d string together!)

Actually I’m not sure if this is crazy or if it just reminds me of Rei Kawakubo’s groundbreaking Comme des Garçons shirtdress from 1992, which *is* kind of crazy, albeit ingenious. In truth, Burda’s version is a pretty innocuous nightshirt, which might even be a perfectly fine dress if belted. Also, I think the plaid might be throwing me off. I don’t know.  It’s not crazy.  But she looks like she’s dressed a little frumpy for holding hands with her boyfriend Mr. Chiselyjaw McHotterson-hyphen-Helllllloooo. Go put on your nice Chanel-style jacket, sweetie.

And finally…… crafts!

Hmmmm.  This is actually kind of disappointing… is it just me or are these crafts somehow less mockworthy than those of previous issues? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t particularly like these projects. I would not make either of these things or want them in my house (especially stick with featherballs leaning against couch.) But it seems like Burda is getting closer to the mark in that these are actually bona fide craft projects- not my taste, but still somehow more legitimate than weirdo stick bundles and frankenpurse. Like you might actually learn some techniques that come in handy from making featherballs or newspaper roll mirrors that you could apply towards something really cool. 

I need to think about this for a while. My world is feeling a little upside down now. If I can’t entertain you by mocking Burda crafts, then what do I have left to bring to the table?? Anyway, fingers crossed for the full February preview which should be online soon- I miss my Burda!

Well, here’s a novel concept: Actually sewing something.  

That’s right, after weeks of me rambling on and on about books and fabric and my mom, rants on the undeserving, butcherings of a beautiful Japanese art form, I’m back home with Dan, my cat, and my dear, sweet Husqvarna. Last night I put all of my lovely new fabric on the shelf (oh dear, the stash needs some reorganizing and possibly some purging) and then promptly took out a big remnant that I’ve had sitting around for a while.

I love this fabric. I got it at Vogue in Chicago and it was one of those fabrics that just jumped out at me as I walked by the tables- the kind of warm coffee-and-chocolate brown tones that I love with a subtle but interesting diagonal not-quite-herringbone pattern that make it perfect for the kind of office-appropriate slacks, slim skirts, and sheath dresses that I always gravitate towards making. Sure, it was one of those rolls on which the fiber content was described as “assorted,” but it has a lovely, substantial drape and is nice and soft and smooth.  I’m going to assume there’s some rayon in there.

And as per your feedback, I decided to bump up the knockoff of the Anthropologie Verite dress on my priority queue.  Remember this one?

I drafted up a muslin using the bodice of my Delancey Dress as a block, which (duh) made for a pretty good fit on the first try. Just a bit of a pinch under the arms at each side seam, and then off to the fashion fabric. I’m calling it the Parity Dress for now. Here’s where I am with it thus far:

It occurs to me now that I should really take photos in progress, as that might be more useful than these sort of halfway-done still shots. But sometimes my sewing process is so weird and wrong and ad hoc that that would do more harm than good. For example, because I still haven’t figured out a good dress form solution, I started out by holding up a muslin of half of the bodice of my Delancey Dress to my body over my bra with one hand and then standing in front of a mirror and sketching the under bust style lines directly on it with a Sharpie with my other hand. Surely no one needs to see photos of that! (Yes, I know. Either get a dress form or learn to pin into own flesh. I’m working on it.)

Well, fingers crossed for a good end result, as I love that Anthropologie dress and it’s exactly the sort of thing that would NEVER even come close to fitting my short and shapeless body if I bought it from a store. Who knows?  If it works out well, there might even be another free pattern in it for you. More soon!

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid peeking into the mouth of the gift horse when it’s standing right in front of you. In a twist of karmic imbalance, I woke this morning, my day of departure from New York, to find an email in my inbox from BurdaStyle, telling me I had won one of their Holiday Giveaway prizes! A Threads DVD box set about fitting, a year’s subscription to Threads, and 9 issues of Sew Stylish. All this after having spent nearly two weeks selfishly running around New York, collecting beautiful yards of fabric, notions, and sewing books with which to pad my suitcase. It seems almost wickedly unfair, but not so much that I won’t happily accept the prize AND brag about it to you on my blog. But really, isn’t it about time that the sewing gods lay some smack down on me for my greed and hubris?

I didn’t enter in many of the BurdaStyle Holiday Giveaways- just the three or four that I thought I’d really like, like the serger and sewing machine and the $100 gift certificate for Mood.  I skipped out on the irons (having just won one a super nice one from Pattern Review), the craftier fabric giveaways, the accessories and gifty items. I certainly wasn’t expecting to win anything, so it was pretty exciting, especially considering that I just bought my first issue of Threads in December and had been thinking that I should subscribe. I had never really considered it in the past because the garments in Threads always feel a little… “mature” for my taste.  But as I’ve actually started to think more about workmanship and technique, I’ve started to realize what a nifty resource it is. THANK YOU, BURDASTYLE!

So, undeserving as the Selfish Seamstress is of yet another sewing windfall, she’s eagerly anticipating yet another batch of mine-mine-mine! goodies. 

And as if that weren’t enough to tempt the gods to strike me down for my gluttony, as I was doing a last pass through my parents’ place before departing for the airport for things I might have left behind, I happened upon an adorable little Burberry tote in a box in a closet. After a (very cursory) investigation into the bag’s provenance, I determined that it was an orphan that my sister had abandoned some years ago.  And so it went into the last bit of space in my suitcase. And that, my friends, is how you do Selfish right.

And don’t think for a moment that it didn’t occur to me to make a last-minute jaunt to Mood to pick up something tan and expensive to match. If I’d have just one more spare hour in NY, I would have. But that probably would have been the Selfish Seamstress’s last straw with the sewing gods.

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

Little Black Dress Medium

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100% of sales proceeds are currently being donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Total donations to date:
$270.00 to the Atlanta Humane Society
$464.00 to the American Red Cross
$119.56 to Doctors Without Borders

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