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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!

Remember the Pattern Review Little Black Dress contest? I entered my Audrey-inspired dress and was the lucky winner.  The first prize for the contest was supposed to be a Hamilton Beach Smart Lift Iron, valued at $70.  Well, guess what!  Package came in the mail today, and I was all a-flutter about it.  And I opened the box, and out came…. this!

That, my friends, is a Hamilton Beach Voice Activated 12-cup coffee maker. It says, “Press once & Talk” on the box.  Hmmm.  The Selfish Seamstress does not drink coffee, so I guess I will just have to talk to it about other things?

My dear friend Martine suggests, “Maybe somewhere some barista-winner of a ‘best made coffee’ award is out there staring at a voice-activated iron, going ‘WTF’?”

Indeed :) 

The good folks at Hamilton Beach wrote me back and apologized for the mistake and said they’d send me an iron right away.  Nice job, HB customer service!  As for the coffee maker, it’s mine to do with what I please (generous!), which is an interesting situation for a non-coffee drinker.  Dan seems to do just fine with his 2-cup machine.  Hmmmm….

Little Black Dress Large


Sweet!  My LBD won first place on Pattern Review’s LBD contest! I’m so excited – I never thought I’d win a sewing contest.  There were lots of great entries, so it’s quite an honor to have my dress recognized. If you voted for my dress, thanks!

The pattern (in size 32) is available for download here.

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to New York (my hometown) for a wedding, which yes, was the spiritual union of two wonderful people, but, more importantly marked the debut of my Little Black Dress. (Don’t worry, now that I’m home I should have some time in the next week to do some sewing so that I can finally talk about another project!)

Now that I’m back online, I’m faced with a Selfish Seamstress dilemma.  The voting has started for the Pattern Review Little Black Dress Contest and as a PR member, I do have one precious little vote to hand out.  Of course, the selfish thing to do would be to vote for my own dress.  But somehow I have always been uncomfortable with voting for myself.  

In the third grade I was nominated for something, student council or some such position, and when it came time to vote (by a show of hands), I voted for an opponent because, well, she didn’t seem to have a lot of votes and I thought it would be a nice thing to do.  The teacher then made me take back my vote and vote for myself because he said if I didn’t vote for myself it meant I didn’t think I was the best candidate for the job, which meant I shouldn’t be running. Since then I’ve always felt very strange about voting for myself for anything.

Anyway, I’ve decided to vote for another dress, though which one I have not yet decided as there are many very pretty entries. As Selfish a Seamstress as I am and try to be, I just find it too weird to vote for my own, even though it’s the black dress I’ve wanted for a long time.  Is that silly?  What would you do?

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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