Ms. Chie of Vivat Veritas let me do a guest post on her sweet blog. Go over, have a look and definitely check out her gorgeous Etsy shop!

And that pincushion that I made above, ummm….that’s a giveaway over on the Blue Gardenia. Wait, wait, it gets even better. See that Vogue Sewing book, yeah that’s going to be given away with this pincushion. Go. Enter. Now.

  • Emily - I read your lovely interview earlier today. Awesome stuff!

Last week I was lucky enough to find some great vintage patterns to put in the shop. Seriously lucky. There are some real sweets in this bunch. Definitely have a gander and buy yourself a new sewing project in honor of the Fall that’s soon to come!

Update: Found even more vintage patterns over the weekend, will be adding them throughout the week! Keep your eyes peeled!

Yeah, it’s now October. Whewwwww! I have really loved participating in Self Stitched September, but I am glad that I won’t be having to take a picture everyday. There were some missed days, I’ll admit, but not that many really. I’m actually pretty proud of myself. Thank. You. Very. Much.

I’ve noticed a few things. I noticed that my photos got better. Taking a photo everyday really helps you get to know your camera better. And its fun, trying out new poses and such.

It’s been fun getting dressed everyday too. I loved putting together new outfits, wearing things over again, combining different colors and shoes and accessories, experimenting, etc. It’s really fun to show and tell, give inspiration and the like. Love, love, love that! And of course, I loved perusing other’s and their photos and self stitched outfits/garments. That has been simply delightful.

I also noticed that I have a lot of onesies. I’m not talking about the baby garment either, I’m talking about having 1 item and trying to coordinate that item within several different outfits. I don’t like the idea of being bound to one outfit with any particular garment, however I’ve noticed that I never even attempt to sew outfits. This I’m actually going to work on. That way, I don’t end up with white elephants, like that really cute white jacket that never goes with anything from Day 12. I’ve also noticed that I need more basics. I have a lot of self stitched clothing that is colorful and fun to wear. All seem to be statement pieces that don’t coordinate well with anything but neutrals and all of my neutral items were store bought. Go figure. I guess I just don’t like the idea of sewing something that’s boring. But then this gets back to my idea of sewing outfits. If I sew an outfit together, then I can coordinate more prints and such that actually go together rather than only wearing neutrals with everything.

I need more casual clothes. Casual clothes that are fun. I noticed that on the weekends I wore jeans and a self stitched top. Not to mention, I have but one pair of good jeans. So those were the ones you saw in every weekend photo. Boring. I need some more spice on the casual end of things. You know, something I could wear out on the town, or even to a movie with Mr. S.

I need more pants. And pants scare me. But now I have this cool book. So more pants are definitely on the docket. Tons more. Especially for Fall, cause it gets real cold here. Very, very excited about pants. Maybe even a pants sew-a-long??

I do think this idea of wearing a self stitched garment everyday for a month was rather ingenious. I do. I’m so happy to have participated in it. For me, it also brought up this very good idea of showing you daily outfits on a regular basis. It’s not everyday that I feel glamorous and fabulous, but there are days when an outfit really stands out and I feel superb wearing it. And it’s probably something that you need to see.

So, what are your thoughts on Self Stitched September? Even if you didn’t participate, what did you think of everyone’s self stitched garments and outfits? I leave you with a rather brilliant quote:

Just around the corner in every woman’s mind – is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her.  ~Wilhela Cushman

  • LeeAnn - One thing I told myself back in Jan was to learn how to sew a pair of trouser jeans. I picked up one of the Amazing Fit Simplicity Patterns (2700) to help me get started, but I haven’t done much of anything except glance at the pattern. There aren’t too many months left in the year!

  • Roobeedoo - I keep reading about this fear of making trousers (pants) and I just don’t get it – dresses are much MUCH harder to fit – honestly! I really enjoyed watching your SSS unfold. Your conclusions are similar to mine: too many flashy print tops that don’t go with any bottoms, and no weekend clothes!

  • TanitIsis - I have a great stretch jeans pattern figured out (yes, the Jalie one, with my own modifications), but it has occurred to me of late that I might want to explore the world of (gasp) pants that aren’t jeans!… so yeah, I could probably use some hand-holding through that. It’s really neat to read everyone’s summaries of SSS—the similarities and also the differences. :)

  • Leslie - I would totally do a pant stitch along with you. I’ve been craving some plaid pants and I can’t find them anywhere. It was fun watching what you wore this month You have some great pieces that you’ve made.

  • frk.bustad - I haven’t been doing the SSS after having a not very successful MMM (I didn’t find time, enthusiasm or energy to take a photo everyday, but I did nearly manage the MMM-Lite), but it has been great following you and others doing the SSS. It looks like lot of fun, and I am now focusing on MMMarch ’11, taking all your thoughts into account (casual clothes, basics, maybe trying to get that fear of trousers out of my mind as well…) – very inspiring!

  • Clare - I thought you did a fantastic job too – I love your outfits and the way you wear colours. Very inspiring and elegant. During MMM I felt the need for some self-stitched jeans so am on the verge of dismantling my favourite ones which have now split beyond repair.

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - I think the conclusions for most SSS participants are similar – in that it’s highlighted for them the gaps in their self-made wardrobes. I’d like to participate in Me-Made-March-2011 (Zoe has already hinted at the bottom of this post“> that their will be a MMM’11!), however my repertoire so far consists of x1 gathered summer skirt :(!
    So, for me I think I’d need to plan my me-made items to make as if I were going away on holiday, for me that means sticking to neutrals and working out how many tops/what styles/bottoms I need to form a core wardrobe… possibly it’d look like this list:
    4x L/S tees,
    3x 3/4 sleeve blouses,
    2x pairs jeans/trousers,
    2x dresses (1 casual I can layer over tops, 1 more dressy for dates with Hubby!),
    2x skirts (1 casual, 1 dressy).
    2x cardigans in black (I like Zoe’s “Saint Cardigan”:>”> Cardigan and I have the book that the pattern came from – just need fabric to make it now!)
    P.S. My day job means I can wear jeans/ t-shirts all day long so at least my attire can match my weekend-wearing stuff!
    I think your choice of colourful clothing to make – shows that you really want to be yourself & not hidden away as part of the crowd, so maybe your own self-made wardrobe is needing only a few neutral trousers/skirts + then lots of colourful tops to change things around a bit and not make it “same-ie” all the time for a whole month?

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - P.P.S. Very spooky but I literally just received the same book as you (‘Pants for Real People’) through my letterbox this weekend! I also ordered today ‘Making Trousers for Men and Women: A Multimedia Workshop in Men’s and Women’s Garments’ by David Page Coffin – it has a DVD that I am keen to watch :)

  • Uta - I loved your SSS outfits, and while I understand (and share, like so many others) the “onesie” predicament, you’ve built some beautiful combinations on your colorful statement pieces! A pants-sew-along would be great, and I’d even commit, except whenever I do that sh… eh, life happens and I can’t follow through. Now that I’ve called it out, maybe it won’t happen?!

  • Faye Lewis - Watching your self made September was delightful! I just got the Pants book in the mail last Friday. I’m looking forward to working out some of my still lingering pants issues with the help of it.

  • Tasia - Great point about making less ‘onesies’ and building outfits instead! Look forward to seeing what you make up next, especially after a month of reflecting upon your self-stitched creations and seeing where the holes are…

  • kelli w. - great job. i really want to do this next time, but am not sure if i would have as much to work with as you.
    love your blog.

  • Becky - I think you did way better than me, lol! I kind of felt like a good third of my month was throwaway outfits. And I know what you mean about the “onesies” predicament, but don’t go TOO neutral on us– I love your prints!

  • nicole - Great pencil skirt I love the color choice!

  • zoe - Oooh, please let us know if you find that book useful. You looked incredible throughout SSS and your photos always stood out to me as some of the most inticing. I really hope you will consider participating in MMMarch ’11.

I wasn’t able to post last Sunday, so this post is extra long as I decided to fit all of those days up until the end. What can I say? I’m utterly exhausted. It’s been a very good journey for me and one that ultimately I’m quite glad I took. I learned so much, not only about my wardrobe, but about myself. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting more about my thoughts and then you won’t hear anymore Self Stitched September ramblings.

Day 20.

Today is one of those days where nothing in my outfit quite matches each other and oddly enough somehow, it works. This skirt is a recent addition to my wardrobe, the result of sew-a-long I hosted on my blog. It’s made from the Jenny Skirt pattern from Burda Style. The corsage is also a little something I whipped up earlier this year. You can find the tutorial for the corsage here on my blog.

Skirt – from the Jenny Skirt pattern, Burda Style
Blouse – Target
Corsage – handmade by me
Belt – bought from an estate sale
Shoes – Chinese Laundry

Day 22.

On Day 22 I had to work during the day and attend a wedding that evening. This skirt you’ve seen and also my purple dress. The skirt is from McCall’s 5591 (Day 14) and the dress is from Newlook 6674 (Day 13).

Day outfit:
Cardi – Old Navy
Blouse – Old Navy
Skirt – self stitched from McCall’s 5591
Belt – Target
Shoes – Miz Mooz

Evening outfit:
Dress – self stitched from Newlook 6674
Shoes – Nordstrom Preview
Jewels – My great grandmother’s

Day 23.

This is the exact same outfit from Day 9. I love this cardi and it felt like the easiest and most perfect outfit to wear today.

Cashmere sweater – repurposed by me from a men’s cardigan
Trousers – thrifted
Shoes – White Mountain

Day 24.

An unexpected outfit for me today. I didn’t realize that this top and skirt went so well together. I’m in love with the color scheme of it. This blouse is one you have seen before, in Day 4, made from a vintage 1970’s sewing pattern.

Blouse – self stitched from McCall’s 6367
Skirt – Anthropologie
Shoes – Urban Outfitters
Belt – Target

Day 27.

You saw these pants in Day 2 and Day 17. They are pretty fabulous, have to admit. And unfortunately, the only pair of self stitched pants I own. I will be doing something about that this Fall, you can bet your bottom dollar. I thought it would be rather fun to give you a shot of these pants in action, I mean they can even swing…

Blouse – Banana Republic
Slacks – self stitched from the Bella pattern, Burda Style
Shoes – White Mountain
Sunglasses –

Day 28.

Another day, another job, not just another dress. My naughty secretary scopes out the danger once more, even in heels, even in the dead of 90+ degree weather, even in fields of dry desert grass….A regular Nancy Drew. The stylish sleuth saves the day again!

Dress – self stitched from Simplicity 2724
Shoes – Urban Outfitters
Belt – American Eagle
Jewels – handmade

Day 30.

The final day of Self Stitched September. It has definitely been a September I will never forget. I’m wearing my Jenny skirt for the occasion and enjoying every last stitch of it. Happy Self Stitched September Everyone!

Blouse – Old Navy
Cardi – Old Navy
Skirt – self stitched from Jenny skirt pattern from Burda Style
Belt – Kohl’s
Shoes – Chinese Laundry

Not all the days are here as you can see. Some days were just too busy to take a photo. Some days I didn’t even get out of my pjs. Ah well! I’m happy!

  • Marybeth - You have such great style! Oh, and btw, that you so much for posting about where you shop for fabric… I found some cool things at Super Buzzy! Have a wonderful week :)))

  • Tilly - Still can’t get over how gorgeous that skirt is. Swoon…

  • chie - that skirt is gorgeous! great fabric selection – love it.

  • Belly - I LOVE how you styled your Jenny skirt (in the 1st and last pictures). You have an amazing eye for color.

  • Emily - I love the fabric you picked for your Jenny skirt. The picture of you on day 23 could be in a magazine. I chuckled at your Nancy Drew description. Thanks for an inspiring month!

  • Tasia - Love your Jenny skirt! You look fabulous in all your outfits :)

If you’re going to sew, you’re going to want to buy fabric. Fabric is my Magnificent Obsession, and if you’ve ever seen that movie, you know what I mean. I really love fabric. I love everything about it from the selection of it, to the purchasing, to the pre-washing, ironing, cutting into, sewing and wearing. I am a true fabric addict. Lately I’ve been receiving quite a few emails about where I buy my fabric. I think you all know what you want in a fabric, the problem is finding it.

My purple dress fabric found in a different color scheme at Super Buzzy

 If you live in a place like me, it seems that quilting cottons have taken over the fabric world. These are sweet and fun, but many of these are a little too overwhelming to make into garments. I have yet to find a physical fabric store locally, dedicated to fashion fabrics for garment sewing. I mean there are Joanns and Hancocks here, all with a very mediocre selection of fashion fabrics. The funny thing is that these stores tend to have more fashion fabrics than quilting cottons, but the polyester content of nearly every bolt in the store is overwhelming. At Joann’s, they have an interesting and very small assortment of dupioni silks and wools. And I’m talking about 100% natural fibers here, not synthetics. It is rare that I use a synthetic or synthetic blend fabric and that because I don’t like the feeling of them against my skin, I hate the way they iron up and their drape is rather funky. So if you are anything like me, you’ve had to take your search online.

So, for all of you fabric addicts out there, here is the list of online fabric shops that I frequent in no particular order:

Silk print from Thai Silks

Thai Silks – I love their selection of charmeuse silk prints, not to mention they have the best price on organza I have found. And we’re talking about real silk here. You won’t find synthetics here. And they have fantastic shipping. I always get my package lightening fast!

Lilac Cashmere from Mood

Mood Fabrics – Great selection of solid silk charmeuse and they always have a rather fun selection of seasonal fabrics. When it gets close to winter they come out with their woolens and in the spring, its time for linens and such. I like their selection, but I will say that their shipping is atrocious. The last time I bought something from them, it took 2 1/2 weeks to get here.

A gorgeous shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics

Gorgeous Fabrics – Ann has beautiful fabrics. Really really beautiful fabrics. She also gives you a fun description of the fabric to read complete with sewing pattern suggestions. All of her fabrics are for garment sewing and that’s the biggest reason I love her shop, that and she’s a real person too!

Echino Birdsong Fabric – Super Buzzy

Super Buzzy – These are japanese import quilting fabrics, however these fabrics aren’t just made of cotton usually. I bought my purple dress fabric from here and it is a cotton/linen blend. And I don’t usual like cotton/linen blends, but the Japanese have a beautiful way of making high quality fabrics. They have rather fantastic, saturated prints and they are rather dreamy to sew up.

A lovely plaid wool (that I have and just cut a circle skirt from) from Trim Fabrics

Trim Fabrics – A gorgeous selection of wool is here. Two of my most favorite pieces of wool came from these folks, the fabric for my red dress and a yellow plaid which is earmarked for a circle skirt. Both are beautiful and very high quality.

Houndstooth Veveteen – Fashion Fabrics Club

Fashion Fabrics Club – This online store feels so much like walking into a fabric store that you rummage through, except there are tons and tons of choices of great fabrics. They have an enormous selection and I usually go here with something very specific in mind.

A new line of fabrics with voiles and velvets included from Anna Maria Horner

Anna Maria Horner – I can’t keep my eyes off of some of the quilting cottons. I’m naturally drawn to prints and colors and this quilting cotton designer has started getting her hands into different types of cottons. She’s come out with a great line of cotton voiles and swiss dot cottons and she’s soon to release more of these with some cotton velvet mixed in. All I can say is fun. I do an Etsy search for these fabrics.

Don’t forget about your local thrift stores and estate/garage sales either. You can sometimes find great vintage sheets, fabrics and even sewing patterns here. At least I do.

Hopefully, if you are interested in garment sewing, this list of places can give you a place to start looking for fashion fabrics. It’s taken years for me to build up my list, and I’m always on the lookout for new online shops. I would love to hear about your favorite online shops too! I do realize that this list is more geared towards U.S. stitchers, so definitely give your input for your favorite online fabric stores if you live in a different part of the world!

Looking for any fabric in particular this time of year? I know I’m up for a pair or two of some beautiful wool trousers. Especially since I’ve been reading Pants for Real People.

Happy Fabric Finding Adventures!

  • Dori - As much as I would love to use natural fabrics, aren’t they a lot more difficult to care for? I usually make clothing for my daughter, but I tend to use polyester blends because they seem to be much more durable and stain resistant. All I have time for is to throw fabric into the washing machine.
    How do you care for your fabrics? Dry clean? Hand wash? Machine wash on gentle cycle? Any tips?

  • Patty - Dori – I get where you’re coming from! I like natural fabrics a lot more too, but worry about the care. Although, that’s motivated by laziness and the fact that in our house, all post-sewing garment care is handled by my husband and I need to remember to tell him special care notes. Which I usually forget!
    Sunni!! OMIGOODNESS – 2 posts in a row of the super-helpful variety! My neigbors probably think I’ve gone around the bend because of the photo shoots going on in the back yard! i can’t get my tripod legs to stay put, so the camera is sitting on rainbarrels, rose bushes, window ledges…. It’s just me back there, acting like a teenage girl pretending to be a super model! And thanks for the fabric links! There’s one or two I haven’t checked out!
    I have a HORRIBLE TIME even considering ordering fabric online! I can’t feel it! I can’t trust the colors! I am all about instant gratification! Do you order swatches? Have you ever returned??
    And I just thought I’d add – I live in Minneapolis, and locally I shop at Hancock/Joanns, Crafty Planet (awesome quilting cottons and Colette patterns in the store), Sewtropolis (awesome quilting cottons and Hot Patterns in the store) and our very own scary fabric warehouse, SR Harris!
    I’m putting BOTH this post and the last on my little favorites bar! Yay!

  • Rachel - Thank you so much for sharing those fabric sites. I had forgotten about some of them and one I had never heard of. BTW, your dress is GORGEOUS!!!!

  • Mary - Hi Sunni,
    Great post! I also love…just finished over there because they are having a great sale!!! Not that I am trying to tempt you at all! :)

  • Karen - I have to de-lurk to mention a local store–you’re in SLC, right? It’s Yellow Bird Fabrics and the owner only carries natural fibers for garment sewing (no quilting cottons!). The shop is tiny but there’s a really great selection. Go visit!

  • Becky - Thanks for sharing these! I also live in a place where Joann’s is the only game in town (we had Hancock’s for awhile, but they folded within a couple of years). I still find things I like at Joann’s, but have had to go online more often within the last couple of years. I already knew of a few, like Mood and Gorgeous Fabrics (and, of course), but I will definitely have to check a few of these out! Especially Thai Silks– I have a plan formulating in my mind for a little black dress out of silk jersey, and was really not liking the $30-a-yard price tag at Mood! So maybe I’ll have better luck there…

  • Jenna - Thank you for sharing! As a beginning seamstress, I’m getting my fabric primarilly from Joanne’s & Hancocks, but, as you said, they have a limited selection. I can’t wait to start shopping!

  • juebejue - wow, thanks so much! you have a lot of sources i didnt know about, and yes, i had been eyeing your purple dress and trying to find good border prints. they are gorgeous! thanks a bunch!!

  • Rachel - I have a question about your gorgeous purple dress. I forgot to ask it in my previous comment. Is the bodice of the dress the same fabric as the skirt? I notice that it has a different print and I was just wondering.

  • bookette - I, too, live in Utah, and it’s dismal on the fashion fabric front. Fabric Mill used to be great for knits, but they’ve been taken over by quilting cottons, too, like so many others.
    During a visit to Chicago, I discovered Vogue Fabrics. They generally have the leftovers of high-end RTW, which means you could make your own Ann Klein silk blouse, but in your own style. I saw so many fabrics there that I’d just seen in the clothing stores, and for bargain prices. They also have an online store, which I’ve yet to order from, so I can’t speak to their shipping. They do carry tons of great woolens, silks, and garment-worthy cottons.

  • Sarah - Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Sunni. My all-time favourite fabric store is Hawthorne Threads:

  • Katie H. - Anna Maria Horner is a long time favorite fabric designer of mine. There is just something about her fabrics I adore. When Good Folks came out I ran out and bought a yard to experiment with. I was so excited that at the cutting counter I told the older woman I had been “lusting after this fabric”. I instantly felt like a weird creepo for saying that. My husband was with me at the time and he still teases me. What can I say, I love pretty fabric!!

  • Tenshi - I never ever use anything that contains more than 4% elasthane in terms of synthetic fibers. I simply don’t like them. They’re plastic, and plastic is an inferior material in my eyes.
    So, it’s cottons, linens, silks and wools for me. And trust me, I wash everything in my washing machine, from my silk satin ballgown (with handstitched hem) over handknitted socks to cotton jersey shirts, cotton voile dresses, my wool jacket.
    For silks and wools, I use wool washing agent and the wool washing cycle (no spinning, only 30°C), and all the rest goes into normal washing (40-60°C, seldom 90°C, 1000U/min). I don’t own a laundry dryer though, I hang everything and wait for it to dry. Oh, it does mean a lot of ironing, though – I have to iron everything that’s not jersey (which might explain my love for cotton jersey).
    I think dry cleaning is much more aggressive than a bit of water and a drop auf washing agent.

  • Dori - Really, silk and wool isn’t harmed in the washing machine? I’m thinking of converting, but only if I’m making things for me and my hubby. As much as I would like to use nicer material for my daughter (she’s three), she’ll just grow out of it, or stain it completely. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to take care of her wardrobe.
    What brand of wool washing agent do you recommend?

  • The Cupcake Goddess - I 1000% agree with you Tenshi. And in fact this is my exact process too! Surprisingly I’ve washed all of my wools on gentle and in cold and hang them dry and they are never damagaed. However, when I’ve had my wools or silks dry cleaned, they have an awful toxic moth ball smell, so I don’t do it anymore. I ALWAYS preshrink fabrics, especially wool as it will shrink the first time. After I finish a garment, I don’t wash it unless it needs it and then I wash on gentle, in cold and hang dry. I do have to iron alot. The only exception to this rule is coats and jackets. I find they do better being dry cleaned after the garment is finished.
    Dori, I really hope this helps. I’ve read alot where others dry clean everything and I find it completely unecessary and have actually had some of my garments/fabric ruined at the dry cleaners. I use liquid detergent, usually an eco friendly brand but any will do, to wash my garments.

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Karen, I love you! Just bought a beautiful piece of wool from there yesterday. What a great shop! I love how every single bolt of fabric in the shop is simply beautiful. Thank you!

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you Patty! I do have to admit that I have a hard time matching fabrics. Usually I buy one piece like the plaid wool and try to find a fabric locally that will match. I have ordered swatches though. It’s just the waiting, so I try to be about 2 projects ahead to allow for shipping and receiving time.

  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Rachel!
    Yes it is. This particular fabric was a border print and the top of the fabric was the top of the dress. I have loved it so much! A few of the Echino fabrics at Super Buzzy are border prints and simply lovely to work with.

  • Big in Japan - Thanks for taking the time to post all this great info! Much appreciation from a fellow fibrously challenged sewist.

  • Tasia - Great suggestions – thanks for enabling! Some of these i’ve never heard of, too… I’ll have to check them out!

  • Trixie Rocket - The best tip I’ve had for caring for coats and jackets came from my mother – when they get dirty, clean them with a babywipe rather than taking them to the dry cleaners. It sounds crazy but it really does work! I just use the babywipe on the outer fabric. Since the lining never sits against my skin it doesn’t really get dirty so there’s no need to put it in the washing machine or take it to the dry cleaners. I’ve found my coats have lasted a lot longer since I started doing this.