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Back when Burda revamped their website a few month ago, a bunch of their free pattern downloads disappeared from the German website (which had always had more free downloads than the English one). I read on a German sewing discussion board that Burda was planning on discontinuing free pattern downloads altogether. Sad!

Well, it looks like things have changed! Burda has been releasing a few free patterns for download from the magazine (appears to be at a rate of about once a month thus far) as a “Perwoll-Wohlfühl-Look,” which I’ll translate (perhaps incorrectly) as “Perwoll Comfort Look,” with Perwoll apparently being a detergent brand. Any detergent that sponsors free sewing pattern downloads is cool in my book. I bet it keeps your whites whiter and your colors brighter too. 

Look at the gorgeous pattern that’s now available for download (this one is from the May 2009 issue):

I’ve seen this one made up a bunch of times and it’s gorgeous. And if you didn’t happen to buy the 5.2009 issue, well, it’s your lucky day! And yes, since you’re probably wondering, the instructions are in German.  But surely with so many blog posts written about this pattern, you can piece it together, right? :)

There are a couple more cute freebies (not really my style, but could look great on you!):

 

You can find all of the downloads here. Have fun and here’s hoping for more great Burda freebies in the future!

At long last, I have finally gotten around to adding new merchandise to the Selfish Seamstress Store! That’s right, you can now pick up t-shirts, mugs, and totes with all of your recent favorites, like “I just don’t want to,” “You bloodsucking leech,” “If I’m so selfish,” “Sweet beloved stash,” “I mended your pants,” and of course “When monkeys fly out my butt.” Classy! And of course, you can still get merchandise with all of your favorite classic haikus.

100% of royalties from all new purchases will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a leading institute for research on and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. You can read more about this wonderful non-profit institution here.

Your generous purchases of Selfish Seamstress merchandise have already resulted in donations of $270 to the Atlanta Humane Society, and $464 to the American Red Cross and $120 to Doctors Without Borders to help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti. (Actually, a little more than that for the Red Cross but I still have to tally it up.) So how about another fun mug or shirt to help some children who are in need?

Once again, here’s the IMPORTANT NITTY GRITTY:

1) All of the royalties I receive will be donated. Please navigate to the Selfish Seamstress Store from a link on my blog – if you do so, Zazzle will double the royalty from 15% to 30% – that means you pay the same for your shirt, but twice as much will get donated! If you get to the store from a bookmark, by typing in the URL, or from any other link on the web, the royalty will only be 15%. (The remainder of your purchase price goes to Zazzle for producing the merchandise, operating costs, etc.)

2) You can get any haiku you want on any t-shirt, mug, or tote.  So if you love the “Sweet beloved stash” haiku, but want it on baseball T instead of a ringer T, just click on the item and go to “customize.”  This will allow you to play with the colors and styles to get exactly the haiku you want on exactly the shirt, mug, or tote you want!

For personal reasons, supporting research and treatment of childhood cancer is a cause very near and dear to the little empty space in the Selfish Seamstress’s chest where her heart would be if she had one. Please consider making a purchase and in doing so, a donation to this wonderful and urgent cause.

 

Ladies, color me impressed. You really stepped up to the challenge in the name of free vintage patterns, and you do me proud. Your essays had it all- mean-spirited backbiting, gross exaggerations of the truth, elite-level ass-kissing, tearjerking sob stories, and all other manner of emotional manipulativeness. Truly, you are all very selfish seamstresses and you are ALL winners. Well, except that that’s not really how a contest works. The Selfish Seamstress isn’t running a kindergarten here, people.

Let me start with a few honorable mentions, essays that were just too good to go without credit (honored essayists should feel free to drop me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com and maybe I can find another goody in my collection for you).  

Honorable Mention for Brute Force
This one goes to Mimi, who offered this remarkably concise entry and made me realize how lovely it would be to have a henchman (henchwoman?) or two on my side:

“if you give to me I’ll kick your nemisis’s asses!”

Brilliant!  So much emotion in so few words!  I imagine Mimi wordlessly snapping the needles off of the machines of my nemeses and it’s very very good. There’s really not enough violence in hobby sewing, if you ask me.

Honorable Mention for Pure Selfishness
Many contestants cited their own selfishness as the reason why they deserve the pattern, pledging that they would sew them for themselves and no one else and believe me, I appreciate this sentiment. But Liz really took this approach above and beyond, demanding the patterns just so you can’t have them. That is truly a rare and admirable brand of spiteful selfishness and I have to offer up my respect:

Elaine, I must have one of these patterns, simply because there are others who want them, too. I want to be the victor, rather than the poor schmuck watching her ‘automatic bid’ smashed to oblivion with 2 seconds left in the auction. Plus, the dress reminds me of the cute plaid one that your mom wore, =] and the top is just plain adorable.

The Selfish Seamstress

Pitied ME so give up, gals,

I am the winner!”

This essay has it all- vindictive spirit and the desire to have something just so others don’t have it, a delightful haiku geared towards crushing the spirit of the competition, and a nice pat on the back for the Selfish Seamstress’s mommy. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a girl who isn’t just out to win, but is also out to make sure everyone else loses! (Incidentally, I wouldn’t be surprised if I am the person smashing Liz’s bids in the last 2 seconds, so thank you for being that poor schmuck, Liz, such that I can get what I want.)

Honorable Mention for Sticking it to Nosy Wedding Guests
Empathy is beyond the emotional capacities of the Selfish Seamstress. But let’s just say that if I *could* empathize, I would empathize with fellow alliterative blogger The Slapdash Sewist for this bit of so-true-it-hurts:

“Having a 31.5 inch bust (I round to 32, but I’m not really 32) is an asset only when it comes to selfishly hoarding vintage patterns. I have many vintage patterns, but not that particular wrap dress and therefore I need it. It will keep my other vintage patterns company.

I have a wedding to go to soon. I’m 35 and have been to an endlessness of other people’s weddings. Always the guest, never the bride. I deserve to look as fabulous and unspinsterly as possible and having that pattern will help. Even if I don’t sew it.”

Ahh, but when are YOOUUUUUU getting married?  Hmmm?  HMMM? Seriously, what part of the brain is removed at the time a marriage license is issued that makes some married people forget that this question sucks? Obviously the best remedy is looking hot in a hot dress. And cake. Ahhh, Ms. Slapdash, I trust that you will make me proud by being an absolute firecracker at the wedding and taking more than your fair share of the cake. [Handy Selfish Seamstress wedding survival tip: If the question comes from your boyfriend’s friends or family and you really want to mix things up a bit, try out this response: “Oh, I don’t know. I guess when the right one comes along, I’ll know.” Ha!  Who feels awkward now?? Hmmm?]

Honorable Mention for Unbridled Megalomania
If I didn’t already say it, you guys are just amazing at sucking up. The sheer volume of hyperbole and disingenuous platitudes about the Selfish Seamstress’s talent had her cackling with glee for hours on end and hulk-smashing all of her stuffed animals because she felt like a giant. But surely no one was more delusional about the omnipotence of the Selfish Seamstress than Len, who offered up this bit of totally awesome:

“I need those patterns because I hope that in receiving something from the mighty selfish seamstress that somehow a fraction of your impeccable taste, humour and mad sewing skillz will inexplicably transfer to me via osmosis. Hopefully then I’ll be able to sew auf Deutsch without a problem! I think either one of those patterns would look KICK ASS on me, so much so that I shall reduce the citizens of Dortmund to DUST with my newly-gained Selfish Seamstress powers.”

Not only is my taste “impeccable” (thank you very much!), but simply receiving a pattern in the mail from me will enable the recipient to pick up a foreign language and DECIMATE THE POPULATION OF A MID-SIZE CITY IN CENTRAL EUROPE. That, my dear Len, is freakin’ awesome. But in all fairness, if I were really that powerful, don’t you think I’d have already taken out a few cities? As it stands, even on a really good day I can only do minor structural damage to small suburbs with my sewing skills. But I’m glad you’re thinking big.

Okay.  And now….

Second Place for High Maintenance Anatomy
This goes to the amazing Sue for her simple plea: 

“I will keep this short, sweet and to the point. I want it because you found it first. The girls (all 33 inches of them) want it because they are all about making themselves look better. The fact that you claim this pattern is “way too big for you” is a little tough on my ego…I am usually the one making that claim…but the girls and I will find a way to cope with your cast-off. Did I mention my birthday is coming and I would totally rock that dress?”

Why do I adore this reasoning?  It’s simple- she wants to win the pattern so she can give it to her breasts. That is brilliant. BRILLIANT. Her “girls” want the pattern, so she wants to give it to them.  And the “girls” are all about making themselves look better. Honestly, I can’t question the genius of anthropomorphizing one’s rack and subsequently making demands on their behalf. The only question, Sue, is will they be satisfied with a pattern for a sailor top? If not, I’ll see what other goodies I’ve got under the bed for your 33″ ladies because…

First Place for Holy Crap That’s Funny
… goes to Dei! Granted Dei didn’t follow conventional essay format, but instead went for theater. And this has to be one of the greatest plays I have ever read:

“Why should I give it to you?” she asked.

“Because I want it.” I replied.

“What will you do with it should I part with it?” she sniffed.

“Cherish it for the magnificent vintage find that it is. Craft a glorious garment in its honor. And laud the giver for her gracious ways and immense talent.” I sang.

“Ah. Well said.” she smiled.

“Your Highness.” I bowed.

Admittedly, I think the Selfish Seamstress character is portrayed as being somewhat more benevolent than in real life (What’s up with the smiling? And why am I not using foul language?) but I understand that Dei took some liberties in the name of art. And I think I almost peed my pants when I read that last line. Masterful. Oh, how I love the theater!

Winners please drop me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com with mailing addresses.  And everyone, thank you for indulging me in my puppetmaster fantasies. I’m going to go find more things to hulk-smash now.

Simplicity 7715 has got to be the cutest pattern that I own.  Look at that ruffle version in pink- isn’t that the greatest Carol Brady dress ever?  I bought this pattern thinking that I would make it up in a brown menswear fabric for work to wear with a great pair of slingbacks.  Sophisticated! It would be a great spring dress in bright yellow doubleknit. Or wedding guest ready in emerald or turquoise dupioni. Or a go-anywhere-and-look-great dress in black wool crepe. How many of these have I made? None.  The pattern is just way too big for me (hello, 29″ bust in the house!) and I’ve decided it would be easier for me to draft this in my size from scratch than try to grade down that crossover top. So I want to give this to you.

The Selfish Seamstress, however, is not one of those gentle souls who will request that you leave a comment such that she can pick one lucky person at random. Nor is she interested in banal popularity metrics like getting you to become her Facebook friend or follower. No. She wants to incite cutthroat competition and dirty infighting in which she will be the sole judge  using unfair and inconsistent criteria. 

So if you want this adorable dress pattern (vintage size 10, bust 32.5, partially cut, complete, envelope in unfortunate condition, instructions intact), I want to see an essay of no more than 100 words.  Tell me why I should give it to you.  Dirty tactics such as sucking up, snarking, backstabbing, brainwashing, flattery, and lying are strongly encouraged. I’ll give you until Thursday at 11:59PM Pacific time. Make sure you include you indicate how I can contact you for your mailing address if I pick your essay.  

And oh yeah, here’s the super cute second prize:

Ok….. GO!

[Note: The weather here just keeps getting colder and colder, and yet my outdoor photo shoot outfits keep getting skimpier and skimpier!]

The Selfish Seamstress has been described as “nitpicky,” so as you can imagine, ballet suits her just fine as a hobby.  She is therefore also very picky about her ballet skirts. If you have a perfect ballet body with perfectly long toothpicky ballet legs, you can get away with wearing just about anything to class. The Selfish Seamstress, however, has the short, squat muscular legs of a gynmast and therefore has experimented quite a bit to get the right flattering grown-up skirt for ballet class (for stage, anything goes.)

A ballet skirt for grown-ups can’t be too long – once it starts approaching knee length it it cuts the leg line making you look shorter and prevents the teacher from seeing what you’re doing with your turnout.  Also, the privilege of wearing a long skirt is often reserved for the teacher herself.  Unlike a ballet skirt for little kids, it can’t be ruffly or gathered or elastic waist.  For the Selfish Seamstress, the classic ballet wrap skirt is the only option she’ll consider. And it has to have minimal flare, again to lengthen the lines. So basically it has to be clean and simple and all business, but still pretty and elegant.  I’m even skeptical of the floral pattern I used in the skirt pictured above and would much have preferred solid black, but that’s all I had in my stash as I’m not much of a chiffon stasher.

A ballet skirt is just about one of the easiest things you can make (provided you can bear to work with sheers) – one piece and some ribbon and that’s just about it.  Nice since they usually run about $25 in a dance store (and never fit and hang the way I want them to!) If you’re going to make one for yourself or for the special dancer in your life (sigh, because some people will never learn), take my advice: polyester. Ballet clothes may look all dainty and delicate, but they are hardcore athletic gear that have to stand up to the rigors of ballet class, which means sweat and a lot of movement.  And it’ll be balled up in a ballet bag afterwards with dirty dance shoes and other sweaty clothes, so you want to be able to toss it into the machine or at least do a vigorous hand wash. Silk is a not a good idea.

The pattern for my simple ballet skirt for grown ups is available on my downloads page.  It’s tapered to be slightly longer in the back than in the front. It should fit most people, but ballet large is not the same as regular people large so I’ve specified it for XS-M to be on the safe side.  If you’re not sure, you can add a few inches through the center and it’ll just wrap a little more. So, here you go, dancers and people who sew for dancers – a pattern the perfect ballet skirt for grown-ups.  At least according to the Selfish Seamstress’s nitpicky standards.

P.S. Sigh. Since you asked, yes, you could make this for kids and teens too.

Okay, not really famous.  But!  My pattern for the Coffee Date Dress (available for free download)  is featured in Kate MacKay and Di Jennings’s new book on DIY fashion, Recycling is Chic! This wonderful project from Alchemy Arts offers lots of great projects for reusing materials to create really beautiful garments, and Di Jennings’s photography is lovely:

Doesn’t that illustrated dress have you reaching for your Sharpie right now? That hula costume is made of shredded grocery bags!

I have to say, I love the concept of the book.  The Selfish Seamstress is a big fan of reusing and reappropriating materials, and this book does that with great results. The following image is not from the book, but did you know that the Selfish Seamstress does some of her very best work in bubble wrap?

Hahaha. Ok.  It’s not exactly up to the authors’ standards for chic. I guess that’s why they are the authors of a book about DIY fashion and I am not! :)

I should be getting a copy of the book from the publisher soon, but I just had to share it now because it looks so pretty! Want your own?  Get it here!

Dear Readers:

Thanks so much to those of you who purchased Selfish Seamstress merchandise! I wanted to give you an update on the donations. Because I was worried that the Salesforce matching program for donations to the American Red Cross might meet its $250,000 limit, I made a donation on Saturday night of everything I had earned until then, which I matched, and then put in an additional $50.  For those who want to do the math, this was $91 + $91 +50 = $232.  With Salesforce’s matching, this brings the total to $464.

On Sunday and Monday I repeatedly attempted to donate to the Red Cross both through the matching campaign and directly and the webpage simply kept giving me errors.  I can only hope this is because they’re getting more donations than they can handle right now! Anyway, I decided today to make an executive decision and donate the new earnings, which I matched, to Doctors without Borders.  More math: $59.78 + $59.78 = $119.56.

So, Selfish Seamstress readers, this means that we have been able to contribute a total of $585.56 (with some matching help) to the relief efforts underway in Haiti. I will continue to donate all of earnings from the sales of Selfish Seamstress stuff to disaster relief in Haiti until further notice, so please keep visiting the Selfish Seamstress Store! And as always, if you navigate to the store from a link on my blog, that means 30% of your cost will be donated! Thank you so very much for your generosity in this time of need. 

-Elaine, The Selfish Seamstress

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.

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.

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!

 

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.

Hope you’re all having a Happy New Year’s Eve day!  I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m matching the royalties from all Selfish Seamstress Store products up until the end of the year (tonight!). If you’d like to buy Selfish Seamstress totes, mugs, or t-shirts, I’m donating 100% of the royalties I earn (15% in general, but 30% of your cost if you purchase after navigating to my store from a link on my blog) to the Atlanta Humane Society, and matching the donation myself. So, if you’ve been wanting Selfish Seamstress Haiku Stuff, order today and have a donation made to the organization in the amount of 60% of your cost!

Plus, all t-shirts and mugs are 20% off today on Zazzle with the code NEWYOUZAZZLE. Why not start the new year off with some Selfish stuff for yourself and a nice donation to help out some animals in need?

Happy New Year, everyone– see you in 2010!

Remember back in the day when you could order a designer pattern in an envelope from Burda Moden, some from really well-known designers (e.g. Karl Lagerfeld)?  Actually, now that I think about it, the offer may have only been available in Germany. I was living in Germany when I decided to sew for real, and I became completely obsessed with this Orwell coat pattern, which was available for mail order from the September 2006 issue. I managed to get ahold of it even though the issue was by that time several months old. (The Selfish Seamstress can be very charming when she wants something.) And this coat became my second *real* sewing project, after a simple dress from the February 2007 issue. I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, being pretty much a rank beginner, working on what was barely more than a toy sewing machine.  (I purchased it for 50 Euros at a grocery store and it had about as much power as a wind-up toy.) There were about 35 pattern pieces to the thing, and loads of topstitching by hand.  Perhaps it was a good thing that I was a beginner, because I didn’t fully realize just how much work it was.



(Though really, as much work as this was for me, it must have been ten times as much for Tany, who liked the Orwell coat so much that she recreated the coat without the original Orwell pattern!)

Since then, Burda has stopped offering designer patterns, as has Patrones.  But a little web trolling turns up some more resources for making your own designer knockoffs. Many of you are no doubt familiar with (and have already made) projects from SHOWstudio‘s designer downloads, like the very innovative Alexander McQueen kimono jacket among others.

But I’ve also dug up a few others where you might not have thought to look. The German magazine Für Sie regularly puts out designer knockoff knitting patterns, but occasionally does a sewing feature. The instructions are in German, but an experienced sewer can probably do without. One installment included (scaled) free patterns and instructions for lovely dresses from  (top to bottom) Stella McCartney, Jil Sander, and Yves St. Laurent, among others:

And another more recent one included free patterns and instructions for glamorous cocktail and eveningwear, such as these from Douglas Hannant, Reem Acra, Nicole Farhi, and Bottega Veneta:

And finally, the place that no one over the age of 20 probably ever thought to look for designer inspiration except the Selfish Seamstress because she refuses to leave any sewing-related stone on the web unturned: Teen Vogue.  Oh yes, Teen Vogue does regular D.I.Y. features with designers like Philip Lim, Tory Burch, Vena Cava, Zac Posen, Band of Outsiders, Rachel Roy, and others. They’re not all sewing projects, but many of them are better than a lot of the “D.I.Y. fashion” projects you’ll find on the web in that you can’t actually tell that they used to be an XXL men’s t-shirt! Here are a couple of my favorite Teen Vogue projects.  First, a ruffled tank from Doo.Ri:

Next, a painted party dress (no pattern, just painting instructions) from Jason Wu (yes, Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown designer Jason Wu!):

And finally, instructions for sewing this very hip, very simple Mulberry satchel:

How about you?  What are your favorite D.I.Y. designer resources?

Selfish Seamstress readers, you are AWESOME. So far, your purchases of Selfish Seamstress Haiku mugs have garnered $43.35 to be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society!  So, just in time for the holidays (especially if you’re like me and wait until the last minute to shop or have a tendancy to bail on actually sewing things for people), I’ve added Selfish Seamstress Haiku shirts and tote bags to the Selfish Seamstress Store! Head over there for all your favorite snarky sewing haikus on gifts for your favorite selfish seamstress (yourself, right?) or pick up some for your sewing buddies to make sure that THEY OWE YOU IN 2010. As always, ALL of the royalties I receive from sales will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society.

IMPORTANT THING #1: Please navigate to the Selfish Seamstress Store by using one of the links on my blog, rather than from a bookmark or from Zazzle’s homepage.  The reason for this is that if you buy something after navigating from my link, Zazzle will double the royalty (your cost remains the same), meaning  30% of your purchase price will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society, rather than 15%. (The remaining cost goes to Zazzle for producing the items and staying in business.)

IMPORTANT THING #2: You can get ANY haiku you want on ANY shirt/mug/tote.  That means that if you love the “Bite me, holidays” haiku, but want it on a tank top or long sleeve T instead of a short sleeved ringer baby T, you can have it!  Just click on the shirt with the haiku you want, and customize it!

IMPORTANT THING #3:  Your generosity to the sweet little animals in Atlanta has melted the Selfish Seamstress’s tiny-shard-of-ice-for-a-heart ever so slightly.  Therefore, I pledge to match all of the royalties earned from Selfish Seamstress products until the end of the year up to $200 in donations to the Atlanta Humane Society.  So, buy your stuff by clicking on a link on my blog; 30% of your purchase price will get donated, and I will match the amount and donate that too for a whopping 60%!

Also, Zazzle is having a deal for the next three days- if you purchase $50 worth of stuff, shipping is free.  So, in case you just need to have the entire set of mugs, postage is gratis :)  Be selfish and buy stuff for yourself!  Be unselfish and buy selfishness-themed gifts for someone else!  Do both and help puppies and kitties!  This is blowing my freakin’ mind.

If you spend more time surfing the web for sewing-related goodies than actually sewing, you’re probably already well familiar with some of the popular sites for free pattern downloads, like Burda, BurdaStyle, and Fitz. But if you’re like me, and you spend more time surfing the web for sewing-related goodies than actually sewing, eating, sleeping, making friends, attending to basic hygiene, or otherwise engaging in normal human activities, then perhaps you have also hit upon the treasure trove that is Manequim’s free pattern page.

Manequim is a Brazilian fashion and sewing magazine, and I have to confess, I’ve never actually seen an issue of it.  It is unclear to me what percentage of it is regular fashion magazine, and how much of it is patterns and sewing-related. (Anyone know firsthand?) But never mind that- check out some of the amazing downloadable patterns they have for free!

I haven’t tried any of them (yet!) and the instructions are all in Portuguese. Some of the patterns are multi-sized, but many of them only come in one size, usually somewhere between 38 and 44. I haven’t been able to find a size chart, but I’m guessing that the sizing is similar to Patrones, based on those numbers. It looks like they have some plus sizes too. Here are some line drawings from some of my favorites of their pattern offerings:

And there’s a lot more where that came from and they add new patterns frequently. Jackets, evening gowns, blouses, skirts… even clothing for kids, if one is inclined to *shudder* sew small clothing for small people who have yet to develop any reasonable sense of style, are generally not prone to worshipful gratitude, and do not yet understand the concept of recompense. The Selfish Seamstress doesn’t understand it. Especially when one could be working on one of these for oneself.

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.

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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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