Nov 24, 2011

Sew Grateful: Thanks to all those who inspire and give(away)

North of the 49th parallel we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October — a time which I think is sufficiently far from Christmas to prevent hostess burnout. But in NYC, it's usually 30 C (or 1 million degrees Farenheit) in early October, so I never bother to make a bird for Canadian Thanksgiving. 

But everyone knows Canadians love to say "thanks" every chance they can get. So allow me to be sincere for a few hundred words on American Thanksgiving (as I make a Pecan Pie for our dinner with friends).

• Thank you to for featuring my work on several occasions, including as a featured member. That was a major boost for me as I am always questioning whether the things I create are good enough for the scrutiny of the Internet.

• Again, thanks to for the two giveaways I won this year: a few yards of Snoozer Loser fabric, which I used to make this shirt dress from a self-drafted pattern:

And, for the book Growing Up Sew Liberated, which I used to make this sleepsack for an infant's Halloween costume:

and these leggings:

  • Giveaways are great, but sew-alongs are even better. I only participated in one this year, but plan on taking part in more in 2012. It's a great way to stretch yourself as a sewer. So thank you to Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness for his jeans sew-along. I made the pattern for these jeans myself for class at FIT, but followed along with his tips and tricks to help me get the sewing just right:

Another thank-you to Peter for hosting Male Pattern Baldness Day, a grand get-together of his readers in NYC. which was so fun (Don't we look a little like siblings — or cousins?):

And, ahem, for a vintage pattern, which I won from Male Pattern Baldness and still haven't used.

• Big thank-you to Gertie for her Bombshell Dress Course at Craftsy, which guided me through sewing this, the best garment I have ever constructed and had the pleasure of wearing:

• Thank you to Rubyellen at for her tent tutorial, which I modified somewhat (with the help of my friend Lizzi) to make three tents like this for my kid's birthday party:

• Thanks to Daughterfish, whose projects inspired me to make this (my favourite dress for the latter part of the summer:)

• Thanks to reader Justsewsew who pointed out my bow-print fabric was Marc Jacobs, which encouraged me to make this dress work after much trial and error during what was the most stressful part of the year for me:

• Thank you to all of my friends and readers for helping me place second in's Halloween costume contest with this owl costume I made for Lucy (and she subsequently refused to wear. Have I mentioned that? Oh yes, like a thousand times):

• Thank you to my patternmaking teacher at FIT, who made me feel much better about my skills by asking me every class if I was "in the industry."

• Thank you to Rachel, my former neighbor, for passing down a good portion of her fabric stash, which I used to make (or line) at least a dozen garments this past year.

• Thank you to my husband, who always agrees to shoot photos of me in the garments I make despite the fact that each shoot ends in us arguing:

His evil eye
I'd also like to thank coffee, for helping me gather my thoughts in the mornings so I can write this blog. And red wine, for helping lower my blood pressure when a project goes off the rails.

That's all. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I hope you get some sewing time this weekend!


  1. Beautiful creations and post!

    Re: your mention of FIT - do you recommend the pattern making class? I was considering taking that, or perhaps starting the tailoring certificate in January. I am an experienced sewist (20+ years off and on) but avoid certain things, like fine fabrics and zippers, that might be considered basic, so I'd like some guidance improving my skills. Other sewing classes in the area all seem to be beginning sewing - I want a more advanced class. Any recommendations you have would be great.

  2. Awesome! Your bombshell dress is smokin'. I'm terrified to try it out and do all the work and then look like a stuffed sausage. That's what I think in my head anyway.

    Also, you "about me" is the funniest thing I've read in while.

  3. I recommend the pattern-making classes at FIT. I have heard from students who also took tailoring, however, that the guy who teaches it is pretty cantankerous. Actually, that may be putting it too nicely. One sewer I met told me she loved her classes at Maison Sapho on the Upper West Side. Here's the website:

  4. Thanks a ton for the FIT feedback and recommendation!



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