Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sewing Chitchat: November

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well!

About November...well, it really kicked me in the butt! If it wasn't household sickness and activities, it was getting our littlest guy on a schedule to sleep through the night. So, my November plans have fallen by the wayside. But the good news is, I plan on keeping the same plans for December.

I think I may need to streamline my process a bit more, and maybe that will help.  I tend to go step by step for each project (prewash fabric, cut out pattern/make adjustments, cut out fabric, sew pieces), yet I think it might be more helpful to do EACH step for ALL of my projects first. So, prewash all my fabric first, cut out all my pattern sizes together, etc.  If you have tried this and find it helpful, can you let me know?  I am trying to use some shortcuts as well as maximizing blocks of time.

Anyhow, I thought I would start blogging sewing chitchat, so you may see more of these posts in the future. It will be a way to let you know some of the sewing-related things going on in my life while I am working on various projects. And there is always a lot going on! So, here is a bit of the cool things I have bought, found, or am just really into for now:

Sew Now Magazine

Sometime around last month I was putzing around online, looking at the overseas sewing magazines available. I mean, I like the local mags, but I haven't found anything here that is on trend, to my liking. So of course I was purusing Burda and other publications, and happened on this magazine that just launched in the UK.  It is a branch from their Love Sewing publication, and it features a FREE sewing pattern with each magazine, as well as 6 .pdf downloads.  Their goal is to focus on sewing and craft trends (with a strong emphasis in apparel sewing), while staying on trend. YES!

Here is the pattern for the launch:

I can't give you a full on review yet because I have not had it long, but I can say that my inital impression is very good. I love the pattern that came with it. It is from Simple Sew, and a beginner sewing level. It has lots of visual interest, and clean lines. You can sew a dress or top. I want today, lol! But, I do not have any compatible fabric in the stash for this.

There is also really good advice inside from experts in the fashion sewing field. One really good article showcases things to be aware of when sewing different fabrics.  Another great feature was called Shop it or Sew it. On this page, it shows some stores found currently in stores (RTW), and the corresponding pattern you could use to sew them. Love this! I tend to do this a lot while shopping, or pinning on Pinterest.

The only downside for me is the .pdf patterns (YEP) and shipping time. I will brave a .pdf pattern, don't get me wrong, but I would much rather have a paper pattern to work with.  For shipping internationally, my magazine took almost a month to get here (yikes) even though it was supposed to take 6-14 days. I paid a little over $11, which I didn't find bad at all. I did see that there was a warehouse moving issue that delayed the magazine shipment, so I hope when I order the next issue (and I plan to) it will be here in a more timely manner.

It also came with an Accessories magazine as a bonus:

You can check out More Mags if you are interested in ordering!

Sewing Labels

I got a new sewing label ya'll! And it is so purty!!!!!!!! I wanted to FINISH a project and show it off, but since I haven't been able to do that, here it is:

I ordered it online from Dutch Label Shop! Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic recommended them, and there was an online ordering code at the time so I figured it was worth a shot.  This is really an updated version of my original label. I kept Sweet Ness, which comes from my nickname, "Ness," and the fact that people always say I am so sweet. It can also mean sweetness. I like the double meaning. And the Rose icon is my middle name. I plan on using these LOTS!

Sewing Books

If you don't know already, I love books!!!!! Usually I check them out at the library, and the ones that I find myself checking out OVER and OVER again are the ones I purchase for my own personal book library. You see, I am an Amazon Prime member, and enjoy shopping on They make it super easy to buy used books at great prices. Actually, you can even find great prices on new books too!

So I definitely ordered this book to help me choose fabrics. One of my goals is to sew different types of fabrics. I usually sew knits, but some ones on my list to try are rayon challis, peachskin, and cotton lawn. Who knows? I may even discover a new fave! 

I also got this BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook because it was just so darn cute, and I have a weak spot for books that have master patterns included.  I plan on fitting the main pieces to my shape, and making adjustments from there.  Ultimately, creating a wardrobe would be ideal, but I know I buy so many other patterns too that I can't guarantee that. 

Now this one right here is my homegirl! I have never tried a Colette pattern, but the ones included in this book are lovely, AND the instructions look really sound.  I definitely look forward to a future sew from here.

That is all for sewing books. I am goal setting for next year already, and I am pretty sure I am going to have to choose a month to ONLY sew from my pattern books. I have amassed quite a few cause I just love looking at them, but I don't think I have sewn one. No, not even one.

New Craftsy Classes

The craft of sewing always keeps you learning, right?  Well, as an adventurous beginner in apparel sewing, I have been keeping my eyes on Craftsy sales so I could use them as I learn and grow. Here are the ones I acquired:

I was intrigued with this class when Candice from Sew My Time raved about it. Well, she is right! What an awesome class where you learn so many wonderful techniques. I got my Islander Jacket Pattern about three weeks after I purchased this class, and it looks like a flattering jacket for all figure types. This is a definite sew for the future.

I am really excited about this one because I find that I often run into this dilemma: I see a plus sized pattern that I LOVE, but I don't know how to size it down to fit myself. Well, here you go. You can learn to grade any pattern up or down so that you never have that problem again. Have you ever went to a pattern sale, bought a particular one, and later realized that you bought the 6-14 in error and you really needed the 16-24? Ha! I've done that more times than I can count! Then I have to ask myself if it is worth it to go back and get the right one. So, yeah, I am curious about this one for sure.

I have never sewn a jacket, SO I need help when I do sew one! This class is for that reason! I really want to sew more outwear because I normally wear a lot of it in my wardrobe.

And last, but not least, I have purchased a lot of Suzy Furrer's patternmaking classes. The main reason is because I started on a sloper journey a few years ago that I never finished. I just needed some more handholding in order to accomplish it. I have watched some of these, and she appears to be a great teacher. I love that this class goes over making a bodice/pants sloper for wovens, and ALSO includes the adjustments needed for a knit sloper. If you are only interested in one vs. the other, I have seen Craftsy classes a little cheaper that have that option. But, it is awesome that she includes BOTH.  I grabbed most of these classes with the "all classes 17.99 sale."

Of course I don't think I will be tackling this anytime soon, particularly since I am still steadily losing baby weight. But, it is included in my 2017 plan for sure.

Sewing Patterns

I have purchased loads of patterns in the past month or two, probably more than I ever have. And I haven't even touched any of the winter/holiday styles!! There are some really great ones out there. I won't bore you with dozens of my picks, but I will share with you my two standouts:

I am definitely late when it comes to "popular" sewing patterns, but I am jumping on the bandwagon! I FINALLY bought the Sewaholic Renfrew! This pattern has always appealed to me, but I just never justified buying it because I felt like there were comparable things within the BIG 4. Well, there are, but who cares?!?!? Other people really love this one, so I am going to give it a go!

Have you seen the Kelly Anorak popping up online???? I have, and this was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I just had to buy it, I just had to! I am glad I did because the instructions look fantastic, and there is more insight on the Closet Case Files blog. I already bought all of my materials, and want to finish this jacket for spring. Technically, I would have loved to start on it this month, but I am moving it to Jan. or Feb. instead.  As long as I finish it by then I should be able to get some good wear out of it. This is my BIG project! :)

Youtube channels

Lastly, do you all follow any fellow seamsters on Youtube? I recently discovered a few channels, and have been binge watching to my delight, ha, ha ha! Since I haven't been able to sew myself, I love watching what other people are making. I wanted to share two faves with you:

INSIDE THE HEM--This is a duo that sews and converses. You can check out their plans and makes for each month, as well as their faves.  It is always great to have a friend who crafts with you, and these two definitely show that dynamic.

LISA EMERITA--This woman is a dressmaker with serious skills and personality! I love watching her videos because she has such an infectious way about her. It doesn't hurt that she is always talking about her latest collection, and one month she sewed 27 items!!!!! What?!?! I am struggling to sew three, lol! She is definitely talented, and you will thoroughly enjoy her videos.

What a wonderful sewing community we have!!!! Whether it is blogging, vlogging, Facebook, instagram, Periscope, or whatever else, let's make sewing trend! Just a few years ago I kept hearing how sewing was dying out, but I argue that it is now on a full-on surge, and continuing to rise!! Let it rise! I love being a part of this community, and seeing the other inspirational people around me.

I hope you enjoyed this "chitchat!"  I am ready to wash off the drudge of November, and start afresh this week!  Who's with me?

Stay sew filled!


  1. WOW Vanessa! Lots in this post!! I like UK sewing mags too, and I love the UK crafting mag Mollie Makes. I have a subscription to it now.

    My favorite YouTube sewing channel is called "Last Stitch". She lives in Sweden and is fun to watch. Happy December!!

  2. Thanks Kyle! I will definitely check out Mollie Makes, and Last Stitch. Happy December to you too!

  3. Great post Ms. Vanessa!! I used to subscribe to a McCalls sewing magazine back when they included free patterns with each issue too. That was really nice! This one looks interesting and I will be looking forward to your review! I too and looking for having my labels professionally created. Right now, I'm printing them myself and they just don't hold up the same! I may check into Dutch Labels and thanks for the tip! Also, we are very "like minded" when it comes to the Craftsy classes...I'm really interested in the Garment Industry Secrets and just may purchase that one! I have three of your other four (I don't have the jacket fitting class). I also have the Sewaholic pattern and have made the cowl/turtleneck and love it!! I hope you do too! Finally, I typically cut pattern, prewash fabric just before I make the project. The only time I do multiples of anything is when I print, tape and cute pdf patterns. (LOL! That's a wine night or sometimes afternoon too!) Your "Chit Chat" post was really fun and thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Wow Myra, I can't believe there was a Mccalls magazine that included a pattern! I'd love to see something like that here again. I do hope you get your own labels, I know you will like them. They were much more affordable than I thought! Thanks for your thoughts on the cowl neckline. I am debating on the neckline I would like to make for the Renfrew.

  5. You are definitely going to be busy. I love the Anorak jacket. You should see the versions made by Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. It's such an amazing pattern. You've definitely inspired me to step up my game for 2017. I'd love to take a couple of classes and learn more techniques, so I think I may start off with buying one class. I'm also trying to figure out how to make my sewing process more time-efficient. Good luck with your plans, it'll be interesting to see how everything comes together.

  6. Great post Vanessa very informative!

  7. I really love your choice. Thank you for the informative post:)


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