Thanks for all the memories and sweet times. The online store is now officially closed. With a little bit of sadness and a huge sigh of relief (whewwww!), I’m finally able to announce that we are closing our online shop. It’s finally official. Things had gone, well, sour. I don’t want to go into specifics because there are a lot of factors that have contributed to the demise of my business. But in good news, I’ve landed a full-time job that will work for me for probably a really long time. I have to admit that I’m glad that I just don’t have the time anymore to invest into something that requires a fairly large amount of upkeep (yet doesn’t pay the bills….). Hard truth, but truth it is.

So I have a few items of business. We are going to be closing everything out. It will work itself in waves until we’ve finally sold everything and anything we can. Right now, everything in the online store is 20% off with the code AFSCLOSING1. Next week, we’ll be stepping down the sale, so stay tuned for that. Everything’s gotta go. We’ll be adding more items here and there – as we have time to do so. (Update – Please note that these “more items” that we have to add will not include any more wool crepe. That is gone and gone forever!! So sorry if you missed those, they were special and amazing!) Additionally, please take careful note that we are discontinuing swatches. Things will probably go fast, so be aware that even if you get a swatch, the fabric might be sold out when you come back to order yardage! First come, first serve! Get it while it lasts!

Will I still be blogging? I will. Admittedly, I’m not sure what’s next for A Fashionable Stitch and my creative sewing life, but here’s to hoping it’s something good even if it’s just creative sewing. I’m good with that actually. In fact, I’m really good with that. I have been working on some sewing projects that I’m excited to show you, talk about and even do some tutorials for. I have to tell you a funny thing. In the past year or so, I’ve had very limited sewing time and so my personal sewing projects were put on the back burner as I ran a business – mind you, a sewing business. Now that I have a full-time job, it’s interesting to note that I am making time for my personal sewing projects and so I feel like I get a little more accomplished. I found out that working for yourself means that you work so much more than you even think and so much more than just 40 hours a week. Since I have workaholic blood in my veins, I felt like all I ever did was work and so I’m happy that I’m going to be doing an 8 – 5 job and creating sewing projects in my off hours and those off hours seem to be so much more than I even remember. Life is good and I do feel positive and upbeat about this change.

I don’t know if this will come as a shock or not, but I do hope that you all understand. I adore the online sewing community and have been apart of it for so very long. Thank you for all of your encouragement. I also want to issue a special thank you to anyone who ever purchased supplies or fabric from my store(s). Thank you so very much. It means the world to me! May you always have a full bobbin and a project that doesn’t need too much seam ripping!

Now hop on over to the shop and clean me out!

xx, Sunni

  • Molly - Sunni, I always loved visiting your bricks and mortar store. I was sad that you chose to close this. Again, I am sad that you are closing your online shop, but I support you in this decision. Any decision you make is the right decision. You have a great sense of style and your garments are always impeccably made! Many have appreciated your thoughts on sewing, construction, style, etc that you have generously contributed through your blog as well as in person. Thank you for all of this! On to the next great adventure! You will do well in whatever you choose to do.
    Please keep in touch. Molly, Salt Lake CityReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - So sorry to hear you are closing, but just wanted to say I hope you keep blogging. Your tutorials have been very helpful to me!ReplyCancel

  • Bernice - Sunni, You are a very talented and hard working young woman. I know from experience how challenging it can be to run a small business. You will always have that experience and perspective to bring to the table in your career. I wish you the best of luck! And I look forward to your blog posts.
    I’ve ordered from your shop before and just placed an order. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Duke - All the very best wishes to you, Sunni!
    Please keep blogging and updating us
    your fashionista followers!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda - So sorry to hear this – even though I live in Australia, I have enjoyed ordering from your store in the past! I hope that your new job works out well and that you continue to share on your blog :)ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - Best wishes to you Sunni! I hope your new endeavor works out for you. Always make time to sew!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathi giumentaro - I am sorry to see your online shop close. Your knits were to die for. I look forward to your future posts.ReplyCancel

  • Martha C - It’s a big step and I wish you all the success in e world. I known you will be terrific in your new role. On a selfish note…please continue to blog. I have enjoyed it so much. Learned so much and really just love your style and writing and photos . They always bring joy to my day. Best wishes Suni!ReplyCancel

  • Janet - Your sewing inspired me to make a tailored jacket! I look forward to your future posts.ReplyCancel

  • Alice - I just started following you. I wish you the best in your new adventure. I will continue to look forward to your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Robin - Sunni – you have accomplished SO MUCH in the last few years. Enjoy your new lifestyle and creative sewing.
    All the best to you-ReplyCancel

  • Emily S - Ah Sunni! This makes me so sad but I understand. I just came to see if I could get some more voile fabric I bought earlier only to come across this unhappy news. Best of luck in all your future endeavors!


    P.S. Keep the blog posts coming. Your blog is one of my favorites. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Sad to see your shop go, Sunni! But, so glad you’re happy with your choice. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing. :)
    I still use the tailors ham and seam roll I bought from you a few years ago!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Lou - I’m sad to lose a great online shopping resource but really happy you’re feeling positive and excited about the future! I wish you all the best going forward and hope that sweet, sweet 9-5 life treats you well (I am prone to romanticizing it these days, haha).ReplyCancel

  • Joen - Sunni, best of luck to you on your new adventure! I enjoy seeing your sewing projects and you have inspired me with my own sewing. Looking forward to see your projects and hope you have more time for personal sewing.ReplyCancel

  • HeidiAphrodite - One thing I’m finally learning is that we work to live–we don’t live to work. If your dream becomes toxic and stressful, it’s time to reevaluate! You will be missed, but you have my respect and admiration for having the guts to operate a shop (online and in real life) and then close it down when it’s time. Best of luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - Best wishes for the future! I hope you keep blogging, I love your posts! You are very inspiring to me:)ReplyCancel

  • SJ Kurtz - May you live a long and happy life that has many twists and turns, and find that sweet sweet project that turns on all the stuff in your brain. And then the next one. And the one after that. May your downtimes be short, and your ROI be emotionally satisfying!ReplyCancel

  • Miss Crayola Creepy - Love you, Sunni! xoReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Admittedly, I’m sad to hear this, as your shop has been a trusted source of exceptional quality materials for me for a long time, and that is something which is much appreciated and tough to come by, particularly in an online marketplace :)

    That said, I’m very happy for you, and wish you ALL the very best in your future endeavours! :) As for me, I will always treasure the garments I’ve made (and will make!) from your fabrics, knowing they are extra special (one of them is still in the making – my wedding dress!) :) XOReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - I am so sorry this is happening, but glad you find a good job that makes you happy. And allows you time to sew, that is so important!! I will miss our friendship and hopefully will run into you around town. Please keep blogging, even if it is sporadic, and keep your blog up, many of us use the tutorials a lot. A valuable resource. Best of luck to you, my dear!ReplyCancel

  • Peggy - Sunni, I applaud you for making the tough decisions about your business and shop. All the best in future endeavors. Keep blogging. I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Becky Thompson - Best wishes to you Sunni. I’ve dabbled with my own business for over 15 years now but it was always an extra thing I did besides my 8-4 job. I’m sure you can now appreciate those entrepreneurs who strike it out on their own, build a business from the ground up and realize that those who truly make it work are far and few between. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like government telling businesses what to do but that’s another rant.

    I hope you keep teaching because you’re very gifted that way. I’ll stay signed up for your blog because I’d love to see your personal sewing projects. Just launched my own blog myself. God bless you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah C - Best wishes to you in your future endeavors!ReplyCancel

  • krystina - I just wanted to say good luck and also that I do hope you keep blogging! I am a bit of a lurker (sorry), but have always been a fan of your tailored style. I love the whole fit and flare thing for other people, but it just isn’t my style. Your blog is really inspiring because it’s different.ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - I’m sad to hear this but if the feeling you have is relief, then you know it’s the right next move for you! Best wishes for whatever the future has in store. It’s funny how running a sewing business left you less time to sew than before, and I hope you’re finding new ways to enjoy sewing now that things have changed. I hope you keep blogging, but don’t feel like you have to if you’re not into it! Follow your heart and the rest will fall into place. :) TasiaReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Designs - This is another GREAT adventure on your path of life :) You tried another path and it didn’t work out as planned :) That’s cool :) I am a self-employed seamstress. I LOVE my business and my customers. I work ALOT but seems like I don’t get PAID a lot :( I bill labor charges for my work but the EXTRAS take a lot of time..i.e. phone calls, emails and billing..paperwork…’hand-holding’… I do ALOT of bridal work :) etc….I understand how your business ATE YOUR LIFE :) It’s a learning experience :) I RARELY have time to sew for myself…. it’s okay…I guess???????? I NEED to earn cash to pay bills, the same as other working people :) I think you did a GREAT thing, you gave life a SHOT :) You are SO….. FAR…. ahead of the game :) MANY people sit and TALK TALK TALK about the things they MIGHT try someday :) You DID IT :) GOOD FOR YOU :) BEST WISHES from CHERYL :)ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - Sunni, yes…reading your post came as a bit of a shock. I didn’t expect you would be closing down your online store…I’ve always admired your supplies and wished I lived closer not to run into huge duties. I would have loved to help you clear out but I see it’s all done already! Most importantly I am happy you found a new job that hopefully is very motivating for you. Running a business is not easy…and turning a hobby into a business does what it did to you…not leaving any time for sewing for pleasure! So I truly hope you will now have a bit more time for that and that you will be less worried about finances. I hope that you will continue blogging at your own pace…for the past 5 years I’ve been admiring your makes, learning from your tutorials and reading about your adventures. So thanks for sharing this all. Hugs, SilviaReplyCancel


This cute little dress is the Bistro Dress by Liesl + co. It had been awhile since I looked at this company’s pattern line-up for adults. While I’ve never actually made any of the patterns, I’ve loved the designs that have come out of Liesl Gibson’s studio. She has an amazing knack for being able to couple everyday wear with sophistication and class. Impeccably tasteful. I’ve been meaning to make up several of the designs and this one was seriously calling out to me.


First, you should know that this is a digital pattern. Second, you should know that the instructions are marvelous and the printout for this pattern was fabulous as it truly, TRULY uses the least amount of paper. I will give praise where it is due and it is definitely due here. Additionally, the draft of the pattern is excellent. Very precise. Everything matched up where it was supposed to and I was pretty happy with the muslin mock up.


Saying that the draft of a sewing pattern is excellent does not mean that it fits right out of the envelope, just in case you were wondering – I mean we all have different bodies, shapes and sizes so that would be impossible. I made my usual adjustments – forward shoulder, broad upper back, sway back. Outside of that, the fit was pretty good for my figure and I was very happy with the silhouette.

I opted to make this lovely up in some linen I had. This blue jay linen is/was from our online shop and then I paired it with a beautiful navy linen/silk blend because I felt like a break up in the color would be a nice touch. To do that, I did the belt loops and sash in the navy and then created a panel on the bottom of the dress too. Easy peasy. I do love this dress, but these colors are vaguely reminiscent of an airline stewardess, dontcha think? he he!


This dress is fully lined in bemberg rayon (what else?) and I made a point to create a beautiful lining with facing in this dress. I had some of this lovely bias tape that I purchased from Tissu Fine Fabrics, here in SLC and so I thought I should probably use it. I think it worked out pretty gorgeously. I love touches like these on the inside of a garment. I switched the zipper to the back from the side – only because the hip on this dress is more semi fitted and for me it slides right on. And you can see that I left it sleeveless. I did actually try adding the sleeves and I felt it aged me about 20 years. The short sleeve mind you. I think this is just a combination of the color, the fabric and the style. To be honest, I think in a different fabric it would be just fine.


All in all, I’m incredibly pleased with this dress and the sewing experience. It ended up being very wearable and summery and comfortable. The comfort is really really great actually. I mean this thing feels like pajamas. Loving the notch at the neckline too. Great pattern here!

Do you know about Liesl Gibson’s Liesl + co. line? You should definitely check her out – worth every cent, I’m telling you!

  • Tia Dia - This is just lovely. Love your use of colour.ReplyCancel

  • Chris - Just beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Ali B - I hadn’t heard of this pattern line before! This is a beautiful classic dress, and the fact that the instructions and drafting are so well reviewed is a big sell for meReplyCancel

  • Alethia - Simplicity at it’s finest! I love to see such a well made garment, inside and out! Others may not see the inside, but it’s something about knowing what it looks like for yourself. Your choice of fabric and color blocking is great…the fit is wonderful! You should be well pleased!ReplyCancel

  • Honeycreweller - I love the lining! Great job.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - Liesl’s patterns are simply the best. I’ve sewn one of her lisette for butterick patterns this summer and I adore it. But I credit her children’s patterns with teaching me how to sew all kinds of techniques and she truly has a talent for writing clear instructions. You can’t go wrong with any of her work.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa G - Nothing about this reads airline stewardess to me! Love the dress and the color-blocking. I’ve been on a linen kick myself, it’s such a perfect fabric for summer.ReplyCancel

  • Ani - Lovely! I’ve been wondering about lining linen because when I use linen, it’s because I want linen on me. But then I get sad because the linen is too sheer and I don’t want to line it or wear a slip because then…no linen for Ani :(

    I’ve been considering using handkerchief linen for some slips though, so then all my dresses, linen or not will feel like linen.

    I’m starting to sound crazy.ReplyCancel

  • Cas - As always
    Very lovely
    love the pattern, the fit, the fabric choice and the fact that you never skimp on details even when they are going to be hiddenReplyCancel

  • Fifty Dresses - So very pretty! Love the interior detail – that adds so much to the overall effect.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Your dress is very pretty. I like it better than the cover shot. When this pattern came out I passed it by as being a bit too matronly. Maybe I should give it a second look. I’ve made her Everyday Skirt. While it might not be the most flattering for my pear shape, it is super comfy. I’ve lost a good bit of weight, so I want to make it again in a smaller size. I also want to try her cape for fall.ReplyCancel

  • Debera Massahos - Your fabric choice for your dress is perfection. I also wanted to let you know that I just received my first order from your online shop and I AM IN LOVE! So often when I order things online I wait with excitement only be be disappointed with yet another muslin fabric. The seafoam cotton pique is exquisite. My husband opened the box and, instead of lecturing me about how much fabric I already have, complimented me on my (your) good taste. Thanks for looking out for happy marriages everywhere!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - This looks beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • LaLa Sews - Oo that’s so pretty! It’s not airline-ish at all – those blues look like the waters surrounding the perfect beach. What a lovely dress.ReplyCancel

  • PinhouseP - Great dress, love the colors! Thanks for the pattern review, nice to get pointed in new directions :)ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - I now officially aspire to make the insides of my dresses look as lovely as yours do. Wow! The striped bias tape really does add a beautiful extra touch on an already beautiful dress.ReplyCancel

  • Cecilia - Wow, great outfit. I love the colors. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Miller - Gorgeous colors! I must give it a try (down the line after some more practice that is). Lovely blog.ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - Looks lovely. :) The little details like the bias tape edged facing really make it looks special!ReplyCancel


Selfish sewing time has been completely non-existent for me the past several weeks. Boo. After closing down and moving out of our brick and mortar shop, there still seemed to be endless amounts of straggling items of business to do. It’s been one thing after another after another, which is fine. Then, when chance came for a spot of sewing, guess who put in for some new t-shirts?

Saying that Mr. AFS has been my right hand through all of this wouldn’t cut the mustard. He helps me with every part of my online shop now. He’s still technically “in training” but he’s doing a passable impression of CEO. Since the tee’s on his back were literally about to fall off (holes and everything) telling him “no” didn’t seem like an option. I even tried to talk him into a couple of tees from Ross (a discount chain store) – we were even there looking at them!! – and he absolutely refused. Spoiled. Now he’s beginning to understand the difference between having something custom made for him vs. trying to find something that fits, is the right color and features everything he wants at the store.


Additionally, I thought it would be a good plug for our jersey knits and for me to chat about what goes into buying knit for our online shop. ha ha (nervous laughter). When it comes to knits, I am incredibly picky. I’ve made several knit projects that basically bombed after wearing because of the fabric choice pilling, or the fabric choice was so awful, I got half way through and tossed it. I’ve done a lot of online fabric shopping in my time and well, I’ve only ever had one problem with a woven fabric (it was a very bad color in person). Knits are a completely different story. I’ve bought a lot of knit online and I would say that a really good portion have been complete flops in person. I’ve noticed that the weight – the sheerness of the knit – is a huge deal to me. I think thin sheer knits are for the dogs. Ugh. Awful to sew with and I always end up having to wear something underneath anyway. Sigh. The other thing that is pretty tell-tale of a bad knit, is the wash and wear. Pilling is so unsightly to me. I’ve had a good jot of rayon jerseys that pill and so I’m very careful when purchasing those for my shop.


I made a pattern from Mr. AFS’s favorite tee and then made a test wearable t-shirt (above). The fit was exactly the same as the original tee.


This t-shirt was fabric from some old shop stock. 100% cotton mini rib knit. This stuff is really soft and I’m pretty sure it was organic. This pic (above) was taken just after Mr. AFS had kissed his own bicep. He must really love the way his arms look in these tees. Ahem. Moving right along….



Second tee, I got a lot more creative. Made him a henley with a pocket and back yoke with pleat. This proves great in a solid colored knit because we can actually see the texture and details without trying to squint through a print. He’s loving it. This knit is one of our 10 oz. cotton jerseys that contain 5% spandex (the Burgundy if you were interested). They. Are. Awesome! They sew up like a dream, will last a good long while and they have great color retention. Really comfortable to wear too.

I used the button placket pattern from David Coffin’s Shirtmaking book and put it together like a placket on a sleeve. All went well as per everything I’ve ever done from his book – love it! If you haven’t, take a gander at our knit selection. Get a swatch or two! I’m totally into converting you to my way of knit fabric thinking!

  • Mary - Is it bad form to say your hubs is a hottie?

    Oh the shirts are nice too!ReplyCancel

  • DM - My struggle is finding knits that have decent recovery. I can’t stand when shirts stretch out only to recover when I wash and dry them or sometimes they never recover at all and stay permanently stretched. I would love to see some more midweight knits with good recovery in your shop.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I’ve found that spandex is a good thing in knitwear. I used to think that all synthetics were bad, bad, bad, but now I know better. A little spandex goes a long way, especially in knit fabrics. A medium weight cotton jersey with about 5% spandex is fantastic! I hope you do try one of our knits – I really do try to find only the best and am very particular.ReplyCancel

  • Kate McIvor - I love the modifications on the second tee. I love the fabric for both!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you Kate! By the way – I see that you’re opening your lovely new shop in October. I might just have to pop by for the grand opening!!!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - You are a better wife than I! My hunnie has been asking me about tees but honestly I couldn’t reproduce the quality of his RTW tees even if I was willing to, because I’m just not that good with knits yet – plus it’s not that hard for him to get a good fit off the rack anyway…. yours, on the other hand, look fantastic! The button placket and front pocket are really nice details, and they look very professional! :)ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you! I’m newer to knits than to wovens and I have found that while knits are easier, reproducing what you see in RTW knitwear is harder. You’ll get there. It’s a much faster journey than with wovens. Much faster.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - These both look great! I really must get on with sewing my guy some clothes!ReplyCancel

  • Naomi - This post just makes me laugh. I’m in the same boat. Once I made my hubby his own t-shirt, he REFUSES to wear the store bought brands. Besides loving the Riley Blake knit I got from you, I’ve loooooooooooooved Nosh Organics Fabric. It’s great that you are still blogging too. Thanks for all your help!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Wonderful! And I’m going to have to check out this Nosh Organics Fabric. Organic knit is pretty amazing. Thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel

  • Ani - Do you use a coverstitch/overlocker creature?

    My stretch twin needle does okay enough for my own t-shirts and knits, but even I sometimes pop those seams. I want to sew some for my husband but I’m pretty sure I have to wait until I can get the machines to make sturdier stitches :(ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I do have a coverstitch machine now. And I have a separate serger/overlocker. I admit that I do love my serger so much, but I do the main work of sewing knits on my sewing machine. However, for the hemming, I was so unsatisfied with the quality of a double needle that I finally broke down and purchased a coverstitch. I do love having it around, it’s pretty handy.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Shumbera - I’m so intrigued. I’m an avid sewer, a perfectionist, and knit-phobic. I just can’t seem to get the hang of it and struggle with my serger to create anything half-way decent, which is far from my standards for sewing. Perhaps it’s the fabrics I’ve tried. Did you use a serger for these?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I do the main bulk of my sewing of knitwear on my sewing machine – I feel I have more control on the sewing machine than on the serger. I do end up serging the seam allowance after, but if needed, I could just sew all knits on a sewing machine. I’m one of those that likes having a larger seam allowance on knit patterns too. Even if the pattern is less, I add on enough for the pattern to have 5/8″ seam allowance and then whack it off with my serger. I found that especially when teaching beginners to sew with knits, this proved much better than the teeny tiny seam allowance.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie-Lee - Heh, love the photos! And Mr AFS obviously likes posing for them – I’ll have to show these to my husband for inspiration (he told me he doesn’t want to be one of those “reluctant looking husbands” or something along those lines).

    I’ve found it quite tricky to get knits that are suitable for mens t-shirts – the ones I’ve found have been too slinky, or not had enough recover/were too stiff.

    I’m curious as to the flash of yellow on the Henley, can you explain what you’ve done there? I know RTW mens shirts often have tape around the neckine, is it similar to that?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Actually no – it’s just serger thread. I had yellow on my serger and my mister really wanted yellow on this tee, so I (reluctantly) agreed to use the yellow. But I do know what you’re talking about with the band around the neckline. I’ve found it’s usually knit, just a knit binding, but I suppose you could probably use bias tape too which would give the knit a little more stability over time. Hmmmm… something to try!
      And Mr. AFS LOVES posing for photos. And he LOVES seeing himself in them after and then laughing and being an all around goof. He’s always excited when it’s his turn to be featured on the blog. Ha ha.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Rowr.ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - On the hems, are you using a coverstitch machine or a twin needle? If using a twin needle, what are your machine’s settings? I’m tired of the popped stitches and don’t want to drop good cash on fabric if I can’t get the hems right.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I do use a coverstitch. I was very unsatisfied with twin needles. Ugh. Before the coverstitch I used to finish hems with the blind hem stitch on my sewing machine. Hmmmm…. maybe some tricks for sewing on sewing machines is needed.ReplyCancel

  • Fabric Tragic - They’re great. What magic tricks do you have up your sleeve when attaching a patch pocket to a knit? Last time I tried something like that it was a stinking disaster, all stretched out and nasty. Epic fail….ReplyCancel

  • Linda Galante - Yes, the shirts are fantastic as is the jersey knit. But what I want to know is how you got your cute husband to pose so nicely? My husband’s support goes only so far…:) what a good sport! Back to the knits, they hold their shape as though they’re stable. The maroon/red one especially. Nice.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - He is a very good sport. In fact, he loves his blog time and he loves being a bit of a star for a day. Loves. It. I’m pretty sure he has a secret evil plan to have me make all of his clothes all the time just so that he can pose for the blog.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen P. - I will definitely check out your knits, I too am wary of purchasing knits online any longer because of the huge variance in quality.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Yes, I have noticed this too. I’ve even ordered some for my shop only to find that when I received them, they were junk. Do check out ours – you can get swatches first, which I highly recommend.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Your shirts look great. I’m tired of buying knits online that don’t meet my standards once they arrive. I’ve never purchased from you but next time I need knits I’m coming to you. It’s nice to see a shop owner that uses and cares about what she sells. Let me finish a slipcover and I’ll be ordering.ReplyCancel

  • Lacey - I LOVE these t-shirts! And I think it is really wonderful that your Mr. understands your talent and wants you to make things for him!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - OK, you convinced me. I just ordered 1.5 yards of the Cottage Rose. I seem to like anything with gray in it lately, and love the idea of a bit of spandex in the cotton knit.ReplyCancel

  • zilredloh - This was a fun post, Sunni.

    I wonder if my man would like a knit T, handmade. He does have fit issues (imo) but he doesn’t think he does. hehReplyCancel

  • Ginger - These look great!! The pocket & placket detail are especially nice! I’m taking a textile science class right now, and we just learned that pilling happens when synthetic fibers break- the ends roll around on themselves and form a ball. Natural fibers like cotton are weaker so when they break, they just fall off the garment. The exception to this is wool, which can pill like crazy, but that’s because the fiber is so scaly that it snags on itself and forms pills. Geeky but kinda fun to know!ReplyCancel

When Sara Lawson – yes! the gal who designs some of those gorgeous fabrics for Art Gallery!! – contacted me and asked if I would like to be apart of her Dress Up Party, I was delighted! Seriously. I rarely get asked to participate in fun little online sewing gatherings (and even then, sometimes I have to say no because of stuff like time….) and so this time I definitely jumped at the chance. My mom and sis had put in for some handmade wearables and well, though I do indulge a good amount of unselfish sewing, it had been too long since I was actually able to sew something for myself and feel really really good about it.


Since this is my first post since a nice blogging hiatus, I thought I could give you the link for my review of this Kwik Sew skirt and vintage Simplicity t-shirt (click here for those) and also offer some updates as to what I’ve been up to and mind blowing words of wisdom. OK, actually the words of wisdom might have to wait until I actually have wisdom, but at least I can fill you in on my whereabouts these days. Being the inquisitive (yet reclusive, go figure) creature that I am, I’m always curious when others in the blogging community take extended leaves of absence and what they are up to now. So you know, fame being all in my own mind of course, I naturally thought you would be curious! Ha ha! Those of you who’ve read me for a long time know that this last year and a half has been pretty rough. Owning a brick and mortar shop was hard work!  And then we closed it up and tried a sewing parlor and then closed that up too. We’ve moved an entire store into a tiny, yet rather uppity, storage facility. I thought that closing my brick and mortar business would be easy and that I could go right back to being me after it was all over, but I’m sure you know that’s not how life works. It’s kind of like going away to college/university that first year. You can never really go home again because home and you are now so different from when you left – or so was my experience. I am glad to have the burden of being a brick and mortar shop owner lifted, but by the same token, it doesn’t erase anything I’ve been through. Not a bad thing, mind you. Just a life lesson I’m being taught again. I’ve had to re-enter the workforce and have been working more than full-time since about March-ish. It’s been kind of brutal (because I’m a big lazy slob that loves to sleep in, take naps and do nothing but guzzle Dr. Pepper – OK, not really, but that sounds like the life for me!). Anyway, I’ve finally settled into some regular schedules and time frames. AFS online shop will heading off in some new directions – more on that to come this year!

Anyhow, long story short, I haven’t been sewing much of anything lately and I’ve been working tons. Now I’m just trying to balance myself, my time and my ambitions. Back to that balancing/juggling act again. When I feel out of whack, I know it’s because I’m not balanced. I’m putting way too much time into one thing and not enough into other areas of my life. What about you? How do you balance your life?

This Memorial Day weekend – for those of us here in the U.S. – I’ve bee able to scratch out some time for sewing a little more of something for myself. Here comes a linen dress for summer – more on that soon. Hip Hip Hooray!

  • Claudie - Welcome back, Sunni! We’ve missed you!ReplyCancel

  • Kerry Hubbard - Greetings Miss Sunni – You will never believe this but this is my very first comment ever made on a blog to anyone so I’m not sure if you’ll even get this post. What rattled me out of the blogging bushes, you wonder? Your Dress Up Party post I received this morning. Love your style! I love the skirt you created. Where did you find the fabric used? Stretchy polka dot (I lust over all things polka dot). Hugs to you, my dear. Hope I’m not breaking any blogging etiquette. If so, please let me know so I don’t embarrass myself again. Haha.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Oh no, you are definitely not breaking any blogging etiquette!! I thank you for your comment! Stretchy polka dot fabric came from very old shop stock at my brick and mortar store (which is now closed up). I too am an avid polka dotted crazy person and this was just perfection in fabric! I really wish I could get some more, but unfortunately my supplier for this particular fabric sold out pretty quickly. So sorry!ReplyCancel

  • Debby - Very lovely Sunni. The balance you spoke of is a difficult one to keep in correct order. My husband and I have experienced a complete upheaval in our lives this past year and at the age of 58, I am working a physically and mentally demanding job as opposed to being a homemaker with a quieter lifestyle. I am often too tired to sew when I do have time off. I may not be sewing much these days, but it gives me great pleasure to see the beautiful creations you’ve been working on. I will still say we are very blessed, hard work and all. Thanks for sharing and keeping up the inspiration. —DebbyReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - You are right Debby! We are blessed to live in a country where, at least, there is work! My life is getting a little better, hard work and all! Thanks so much for your comment.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie-Lee - You were right – we were curious. I’m glad to hear you’ve had some time for sewing: I totally understand what you’re saying about being unbalanced, and no time for sewing definitely does that to me (although so can TOO much sewing).

    Glad to hear you’re doing well, look forward to what you both do with the store, and hope we get to see you more!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - Welcome back, sounds like you have had enough experience to write a book. Your posts are always so interesting and informative, I hope you you will have the time and desire in the future to continue the blog.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Yes, I was curious. Thanks for indulging us readers.

    Balance is something I’m really struggling with right now. I think it’s a problem that resonates with most people – even folks who seem balanced on the outside often don’t feel it on the inside. I’m looking forward to more posts, when you find the time;-)ReplyCancel

  • K-Line - I am always interested when a blogger friend comes back from hiatus! I’ve wondered how you’ve been. So sorry that this year’s been such a bitch – but I promise, in time you will look back on this phase of your life with so much perspective. And whenever the times are tough, you know they’re about to shift and improve. It’s the cycle of things.ReplyCancel

  • LInda G. - Sunni – Nice to have you back! Balance is so tricky, yet so essential to having a life I enjoy. If I sew too much, I feel out of touch with friends and family, if I don’t sew enough, my frustrated creative side turns me into a grinch. But when everything gels, I hum like my sweet little Bernina! It sounds like you’re finding that sweet spot right now, between things you should do, and thing you enjoy….Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • SJ Kurtz - Work/life balance? No such thing; life is work. Good work, hopefully.

    And it does get better, cause mostly we always aim for the better, walk into the light, get the Dr Pepper … and when we mess up, we can forgive and try again tomorrow.

    And you made it through this; be proud of that. It counts.ReplyCancel

  • eimear - gorgeous skirt and styling – as always – and love the yellow jewellery, it really pops. best of luck with finding the balance that works for you. years ago, i used do art workshops which brought in little money, then i went working full time to save for stuff (house) and did and some time later i made the big and best decision to work part time and could persue my own stuff in the rest, and its working well. i had to cut back on stuff (holidays) but its a lot simpler and works well for me. best of luck with your endeavours, you have accumulated a lot of experience which will stand to you for many a thing, and a lot of talent to show!ReplyCancel

  • BeckyLeeSews - I’ve missed you Sunni! And glad to see you’re dipping back into the sewing pool. (ha!…summer joke)

    Sometimes when we take a path in life that we later regret (for whatever reason) it’s the journey that becomes the greater lesson rather than the destination. There’s been a few times in my life where I look back and go “I’ll never do THAT again! Lesson learned!” (like that time I got married in Reno…don’t ask) and then draw from those experiences to guide us in the future. Without getting too philosophical, I’ve been through some really tough times in my life and then later I happened to meet someone or be presented with a situation where had I not gone through what I did years earlier, I wouldn’t be able to provide the needed support or make an informed important decision. You just never know. The learning experiences God presents us with are for many reasons: to make us stronger, wiser, and better able to cope with things in the future. But one thing is for sure, when you’re feeling off balance, it’s good to reach back to the basics where you feel stable and secure. Then when you are ready, reach out and give it another whirl! God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Hana - Hi Sunni! You and I traded a couple quick emails about work/life balance when I was inquiring about a product several months ago. I run the family business and I swear, sometimes I just can’t stand the lack of balance. I’ve been completely out of whack for four months or so. It’s so hard to take steps to find balance again when you have that pressure to be the person others rely on. I’m really proud of you for committing to your own needs, and to being clear that your blog is actual work that offers value to readers and that you deserve compensation for your work on it. Hope all will be well with you and nice to see you back. Looking forward to making some purchases from the store again! Best to you!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you Hana and here’s to you getting back to balancing your life again! I know exactly how hard it is. All my best!ReplyCancel

  • French Toast Tasha - Aww man, that is tough! I agree that someday you’ll probably look back and be glad you had these experiences and learned all that you did, but that doesn’t make it easier or more fun when it’s happening.

    As for balance, my aunt sent me 10 lessons from radio programs on Design Sponge not long ago, and #1 was: “There is no perfect balance, life and work are always a series of back and forth adjustments.” That was a good reminder for me that it’s not like you find a secret formula and then everything magically stays balanced, you always have to keep working on it. There are times when I know I just need to focus on work, but most of the time, I try to make the things I really want to do a priority as well.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Cook - I’m guilty of disappearing myself so I just wanted to pop in and say hello and thank you for updating. I always want to know someone’s at least still breathing. :-) The added details are appreciated. Things will improve or at least balance out eventually. Ups and downs, cycles, etc. This thing called life is not always easy.ReplyCancel

  • Chie - Hi Sunni! Glad to see your post again. The skirt looks lovely on you. Thank you for sharing about your shop situation. I can’t imagine what hard works you put into both having online and brick and motor shop. I run my online shop and take bridal orders but still work elsewhere because at this point I can’t bear the thought of ups and downs in work flow and income. I hope I can come up with a way to balance it (maybe ecourse or pattern, so once you set it up its there kind of products) in the future!ReplyCancel

  • Peggy Lobello - So glad you’re finding the time to share on your blog again. I love your craftsmanship and attention to detail. Best of luck movin forward.ReplyCancel

  • Sunni

    Sunni - Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your insightful and encouraging comments on this post – they were very much needed and appreciated! Thank you!ReplyCancel


Today’s Fabric Friday is another lace pick. Alençon Lace. It’s almost like cheating really to be talking about Alençon Lace today. Why? Because it’s basically Chantilly Lace that is corded (and we talked about Chantilly last week, in case you missed). How do you pronounce Alençon? alan-sohn. Now you can sound smart when you’re asking for it at your local high end fabric shop!


Again, Chantilly Lace is when the design/motifs – like the florals – are woven into the lace itself instead of being embroidered on. With Alençon, you’ve got some nice cording that is applied to the motifs. Its usually a relatively heavy cording, because sometimes Chantilly’s can have very very light cording. So you’re looking for something much more textural when you’re looking at Alençon. Chantilly’s are flat laces. Alençon’s are corded to add texture, richness and density. Cording is technically called Cordonnet, just in case you were wondering.


I thought for today I would give you some more lace geekery. These terms can be applied to all laces. I’ve been talking a bit about when laces have a decorative edge – like scallops – running along each selvedge edge. When you have one decorative selvedge edge the lace is called flounce and when both are decorative it’s called galloon.

That’s good for today’s lace geekery, I think. Do have any Alençon Lace? I find it looks quite rich – definitely needs to be paired with the right thing, in my opinion.

Find more Fabric Friday posts here!

  • Ani - I think you got the English pronunciation of it correct, but I do agree, it still needs it’s friendly little cédille! :)

    Also, I want some.ReplyCancel

  • eimear - inspiring as always, a friend of mine gave me the left over lace from her wedding dress (at the time i was a bit perplexed about this as i wasnt really sewing then)….. i finally dug it out and its embroidered and beaded tulle (she is italian) so i dont know what catagory it is – its only enough to edge a shawl (150cm x 15) or trim a skirt or top which is a pity as your lace posts were inspiring me to think bigger! (like this -

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Sounds like a re-embroidered lace trim eimear. You might consider mixing laces, which is fun. You can attach this lovely lace to another or chop it up for the appliques and add those to an existing lace piece to give it pizazz and excitement. This kind of work is a little tedious but it makes for some thing truly sensational and of course very unique. I’m considering doing some more lace posts on how to do things like this.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry Holt-Reese - I am making a wedding dress for my daughter For my own dress I used a 4 ply silk I think was charmeuse
    She is a little big and tall I read that I should not buy fabric on a roll where can I purchase this in antiques white? Also I need to know how to use horsehair in the hem and how and what to line with The top is a halter so can I buy a stretch underwear fabric for the inside?I would love to get any tips you may haveReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Hi Sherry! 4-ply silk that is satin backed is called crepe back satin, otherwise 4-ply silk is crepe on both sides. I don’t know exactly what you mean by purchasing fabric on a roll, maybe you’re thinking it won’t be wide enough? I’ve usually seen lace that is 36″ – 56″ wide so you just need to pay attention to the descriptions and see what they say. No sure where you can purchase antique white lace. Definitely purchase swatches before purchasing lace online to ensure color and quality. Lining will depend on the type of fabric you use. Are you thinking that you would like to use a stretch lace and therefore thinking that you would like to use a stretch lining? Stretch linings are so hard to come by, I suggest swimsuit lining in that case. If you’re using woven fabrics (no stretch) then I suggest rayon bemberg lining – my favorite!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Alderman - I have wondered about ‘Galloon”. Have you ever noticed that novels written about the time Jane Austen was at work refer to the dress the female characters are going to wear by names that describe the weave structure? “I am going to wear my sprigged muslin” or my batavia” The latter took me years to track down; it’s a twill where the same number of warp threads are above the
    weft as are below it, e.g. a 2/2 twill ir a 4/4 twill. If this is too geeky for you I can show you sometime…

  • Sylvie - i think this is the prettiest lace I’ve ever seen.ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Hi Sunni! Very interesting article. I know nothing about lace, so this is all new to me.

    On a totally unrelated note – just wanted to throw out how much I’ve enjoyed the zipper class on Craftsy. Not until I actually got into it did I realize that you give so much information about attaching zippers to lined bodices, etc. so this has been great! You did such a good job at explaining what you were doing, going methodically from one step to another, and thankfully making sure that the fashion fabric and lining were quite different from each other so the viewers can easily tell which is which.

    My first attempt at lining a skirt (BEFORE watching your class!) was less than fantastic.. ahem… but I learned a lot anyhow. Next time I will review your lessons and I am positive the result will be much better. Might be time to splurge and get some fabric, perhaps some of the selections from your store will find their way to my house. :) Oh, do you still go back and answer questions that are posted on the Craftsy class?

    Thank you!ReplyCancel