Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Week in Review - Week Three

Yes, I finally put the buttons and buttonholes on the shirts and had some pictures taken.  The first shirt has already come to the blog.  The others will follow shortly.

I don't know why it takes me so long to make the buttonholes because it's not like I hand sew them. Or that my sewing machine doesn't make excellent buttonholes...I was just being lazy about it. But it's done now so next...

I also worked some more on Simplicity 8687 ~

...continuing on with my winter sewing. I haven't made a topper yet this winter and I wanted something a little unstructured and more top like. So far this is fitting the bill.


I ordered Fabric last week and it arrived over the weekend. Five yards of this ltwt. polyester bubble crepe print. It was the deal of the day for $1.99 a yard from Fabric Mart. Even with shipping added for one piece, it made it $4 per yard. Still a great value. I want to use this fabric for a summer maxi dress. I may end up sewing it sooner rather than later. I want to wear it when the weather starts to turn warm instead of sewing it once the warm weather arrives.

Fabric In/Out Totals ~
I was restrained with fabric buying this month. Only purchasing this five yards plus 2 additional ones to finish the Purple Reign Shirt. Since all of the shirts I made were from the cut pile I assembled in December, my fabric out number is small.  

Just 3.5 yards - one yard for the Purple Reign Shirt and 2.5 yards for my next project. So 3.5 yards more in than out. I hope to do better next month.

I will still be using this fabric designation for tagging makes:
#deepstash - been in the collection more than 8 years
new - been in the stash less than 6 months 
collection - 1 to 7 years in the collection

Last year this time I bought 39 yards of fabric so I'd say I'm winning by only buying 7 yards this month with two of those yards needed to complete a garment.

I did complete 4 garments this month so at least there is that!


In Sewing Community News this week, did you hear about the dust up with Tessuti Fabrics and the plus size sewing community?  Tessuti offered a pretty new skirt pattern that didn't have extended sizing. The plus size sewing community especially in Australia was upset because Tessuti has been promising to extend their sizing and it wasn't reflected in this pattern.

Here is what Tessuti had to say about their decision.

So what do I think?  I'd actually stopped purchasing fabric (yes I try to buy from everyone who sells fabric) when they extended some of their patterns but only had pdfs and a few hard copies to purchase. The shipping was a little expensive for a single pattern, so I walked away. There are other fabric stores in the US and pattern companies willing to make designs in my size that I don't need to chase an international company.

However, if this is the fabric store where you shop locally, I can see how you, as a plus size sewist is challenged by the situation. I understand why telling you that you should shop elsewhere for your pattern needs but oh don't stop buying our fabric is both annoying and an issue. I also understand why you don't want to give them any more of your money. Obviously, they don't believe they need your money to survive. Even more so, I understand how this hurts you.

What I really liked about the discussion, because I read ALL of the comments on both of Tessuti's and Sewverymuch's posts, was the support of sewists who could wear the patterns yet were standing with their plus size sewists. Here's the thing, I strongly believe that if a retailer doesn't cater to you, you should not spend your hard earned dollars there. If they believe they can survive and thrive without you buying fabric and/or patterns from them, then refuse to do so.

I'm a huge Lizzo fan and loved the interview she gave with Gayle King for her Grammy Special. When Gayle asked her why she wasn't on Twitter anymore Lizzo said that she doesn't go places where she's not wanted.  That's how I feel about pattern makers who don't want to extend their sizes. It is their right to run their business as they see fit, just like it's mine not to purchase their products or promote them.

So thoughts...cause y'all know I love a good discussion about what's going on in the sewing community.

Another shirt will be up next... always more later!


  1. It was a pleasure to read your article.
    Did you ever try the Cashmerette patterns?

    1. Nolwenn - I'm a huge Cashmerette Patterns fan! H-U-G-E! And I've used quite a few of their patterns.

  2. I turned to sewing because I couldn't find RTW clothes in my plus size, so I understand the disquiet. However I actually liked that she was honest about why she didn't make all plus size. Her integrity wouldn't let her just size up in a shoddy way.

    1. I initially agreed with that logic. But then realised that there are many one or two person pattern companies who have extending their size ranges and smashing it out of the ball park. It's simply that these companies have realised how important it is and made it their priority. It's all about where a company or person puts their effort and focus. And I think what they do (or don't) make their priority says a lot about them.

  3. Personally I think a small business can cater to the market they want to and not have to be everything to everyone. Do we go to a vegan restaurant and complain because you can't get a steak? No, you just don't go there. I am not plus size and do not fit into Cashmerette patterns but I wouldn't dream about complaining to them. They have their market and I respect that. (This is said in a friendly manner and is not intended to be disrespectful to anyone. Just sharing my opinion).

    1. Vicki M - now you know you can respectfully post your opinion here and it's all good. I have no qualms about that because basically we said the same thing.

  4. I agree with you. While I don't complain to stores or brands who, for example, only refer to white skin shades as "nude", I will mention it and they will never receive a dollar of my money. So if I were a plus-sized sewer, there is NO WAY, I'd spend money (especially indie pattern prices) and then have to work to grade up the pattern to fit me. I'd shop with brands who have decided they want me as a customer.

    Good job on the fabric buying this month! Especially compared to last January. #winning

    I can't wait to see "my" shirt :-p and I am also loving that shade of blue on you.

    1. K - I at least gave you a sneak peek of "your" shirt in the collage! LOL!

  5. I do agree that it's good they acknowledged the fact they don't have the expertise to grade up satisfactorily. BUT, I think that's sad that it's taken til now for them and other companies to FINALLY recognize there's a plus size market that likes nice clothes! I volunteer at Dress For Success and try to dress many plus sized women, and I get so frustrated with the designs they come up with that don't fit well. These companies need to analyze larger body shapes better and then design attractive styles for those shapes. Don't just start with a smaller size and try to grade up. So, this issue is for ready to wear and for the sewing market.

  6. My comment isn’t primarily in relation to the Tessuti sizing issue, but rather with the question of expensive shipping. Australia is a small market and so for many supplies, including sewing items such as printed patterns, notions etc, many sewists will have to buy from overseas. This is a pretty standard experience here unless you have a chain store within an hour or two drive (Spotlight), of which there are relatively very few. So we get slugged very high shipping charges as a routine experience.

    PDF patterns are a great alternative, but my goodness they are expensive for me to buy when the exchange rate is taken into account. Tessuti’s are reasonably priced. So on the Tessuti sizing issue..... I agree with Vicki M. Every business will have it’s own market and not every pattern designer and grader will produce styles that are either sized for every size/shaped body or be a style that a sewist will want to make and/or wear. I really do appreciate that it’s disappointing and exasperating to be part of the market that is neglected. And I understand why you would want to take your sewing spend elsewhere.

  7. This brought to mind a story about Herman Hemingway,one of the last surviving fraternity brothers of MLK...
    "was born near Dudley Station and grew up in Roxbury at a time when Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester were still heavily Jewish neighborhoods.

    It was a time of scant opportunity for black youth, and when his father died, leaving his mother with three children, “we were really struggling. Even at age 12, I was looking for part-time work, pushing carts at supermarkets, whatever.”
    After a first run-in with a racist potential employer, “I joined the NAACP Youth Council. We decided to picket department stores that wouldn’t hire black clerks and barbershops that wouldn’t cut blacks’ hair,” he recalls. “My job was to go to the barber shops.”
    This led to an early lesson -- that seeming discrimination wasn’t always the real thing. “Messed up my hair plenty,” Hemingway says with a laugh. “They just didn’t know how to cut black hair.”

    My opinion: There is a fine line between deciding where one should spend their money and announcing to the world that an establishment is wrong and even a finer line between making clear that it is a personal choice and trying to impose that opinion on others
    (BTW: I think you are on the right side of the line)

  8. I was saddened to see the grief that people of all sizes dumped on them. They do really well at what they do and that's that. I use to fit into their size range and now I don't, so? That's it!! It ends there. They admit they don't do all sizes, not every one can... Giving them grief is not being helpful. I'd rather buy something that will be good for me. There's plenty of choices for everyone.

  9. New follower here: I loved the "in and out" part of your post. I am taking that idea back to my sewing circle! I also very much love your shirts, and as a curvy person, appreciate getting the fit right so you can replicate.
    On the Tessuti issue: I completely respect those ladies for wanting to keep quality control over the sizing issue, but I would hope that they see the market is there for the extended sizing, and actually get assistance with that aspect so they can broaden their market. With that being said, I try to still purchase paper patterns instead of downloads if possible, so they are already not my cup of tea, regardless of sizing. Thank you for the enjoyable sewing reads!

  10. I'm totally following your lead with tracking fabric in/out, and I've really enjoyed watching your destashing efforts (my efforts so far have been similarly successful to yours, but hey, 2020 is a new year, lol!!).

    I think the sad part about Tessuti is that the Australian market has only a couple pattern makers and internet fabric sales opportunities. It would have been great if they could've expanded their size range and made it work. I do appreciate that they are a small group (two people) and operate a pretty low-tech pattern drafting biz, and you can't force them to make patterns they don't want to make, but it is a shame for sewists in Australia who are looking for more local options. I hope they'll reconsider their stance and consider bringing on a consultant at some point. I don't think this merits ripping patternmakers to shreds for being discriminatory (let's face it, this issue is way bigger than sewing patterns, it's a culture-wide problem!) when they're just trying to make ends meet, but it is also not ideal. Just my two cents. Thanks for your awesome blog!


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