Me-Made-May 2015: The Drinking Game

April showers bring May flowers and the month-long droolfest that is Me-Made-May. To help you pass the time, we here at SSSF with support from our fellow GOMI Craft hamcats bring you the Me-Made-May Drinking Game.

A drinking game you say? We know exactly how you’re feeling right now: 


But please simmer down now. As your Master of Ceremonies, I’d like to get through the laundry list of rules we’ve made.

JK, there are no rules! (Fooled you.)

You have until Thursday, April 30 to stock your liquor cabinet (and/or sewing cabinet) with your choice of drinks. Fancy glassware is not needed. Extra points if you’re serving drinks in your favorite coffee wine mug.

Below is our downloadable drinking guide containing the rules of the game. It is your bible; treat it as such. Keep it on your phone, your computer, and/or print it out if you’re fancy and can afford paper and ink.

In honor of me, please switch your drink of choice to margaritas on Tuesday, May 5th for the Drinko de Mayo festivities. Because it’s an honor, this is mandatory. 


Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly. I (and the editors of SSSF) will not be held liable for anything that happens to you while playing the game. Remember to hydrate and eat something substantial…like cheetos…or ham…or potato chips…or all of the above. 

Insert Witty Title Here: Vogue Summer 2015 Release

Co-authored with Andrea and LadyxBec

Ahh, summer: hot days, cool fabrics, bright colors.

Well, Vogue got…some of that right with the Summer 2015 pattern release.

Overall, we here at SSSF have the following to say about this collection:

  1. We are confused. (This seems to be a natural state of affairs with Vogue releases, though.)
  2. We enjoy the ethnic diversity of the models featured.
  3. A greater variety of Designer patterns.
  4. This collection shows great promise for the scrapbusting enthusiast.
  5. What is with styling these outfits with Converse wedge heels?!

Let’s start with the accessories: is this a purse, or a bellows?


For the “Mommy and Me” sewists, we have V9114, the skirt that defies gravity, and the child-sized, full dress version by Mizono, V1455.



Maybe once you get past the poor fabric choice (which could be never) of V1452, it’s not such a bad pattern?

V1452 – Believe it or not, this is actually separates.

V1452 – Without the awful fabric distraction

For the ardent scrapbusters, consider these patterns at your own peril:

V9108 by Marcy Tilton – 3 different fabrics to scrapbust with!

V9107 also has the added benefit of doubling as maternity wear, should you desire:

V9107 – More scrapbusting!

V9110, another scrapbusting entry:


V1444 is quite the bang-for-buck pattern! Sew it up if you want to:

1 – Look like you’re wearing separates when you’re not

2 – Scrapbust Color-block

3 – Look like you have a flat chest


The V1450 skirt: scrapbusting meets peplum.


And the final entry in the Vogue Scrapbusting Summer 2015 Collection:

V1451 – The line drawings show the back bodice as the same fabric as the straps…which they clearly aren’t in the sample.

“five easy pieces”? More like “Vogue for N00bz.” Perfect for lovers of elastic-waist pants and skirts!

V9117, part of the “five easy pieces” sub-line

Aaaaand another romper, V9116, but ladies of the Gifted Sisters Tribe, consider the amount of support you need against the (nonexistent) support provided by a halter neck or an elastic tube top. Maybe that’s why the model is crossing her arms?


This is a “jacket”? This “jacket” is perfect for beginners, as it is composed of three rectangles sewn together, with a tie in front.

This looks like the robe from the V8888 lingerie set. Vogue, I’ve got a gif for you:

V9115 “Jacket”

It’s cheating when the model’s hand provides all the shaping in a designer shapeless yellow sack dress. Not to be confused with a banana–though to be fair a banana at this stage of ripeness would already have some spots on it.


If you don’t want to channel Marilyn Monroe, make good use of the lengthen/shorten lines on V1449 by Rebecca Taylor, and if you’re into the interesting bust dart positioning trend, it might be up your alley, too:


V1449 – line drawings

The obligatory Lagenlook entry, V9112 by Marcy Tilton. You can’t see them with this fabric, but there are multiple panels and mini-ruffles sewn into the hem. Why? … Because. #artteacherchic #idon’tevenknowwhattocallthis


For the vintage enthusiasts we have V9105 for when you want to look classy, but still have easy access for those wandering hands.


There’s more easy access buttons in V9106, plus what can only be described as an explosion of gathering, which Vogue has cleverly disguised with an actually very pretty floral fabric:


Nice try, but we can see the ruffles of doom:


Indie4Less: Icon Coat by See Kate Sew and Jackie Coat by Iconic Patterns

This…pattern, the Icon Coat by See Kate Sew, is a crime against sewing humanity, but more importantly, its obvious original inspiration.

And then to rub more salt in the wound, there’s a child-sized version of the pattern, dubbed the Kennedy Coat (just in case you weren’t clear on the inspo).

There’s also another less wtf-inducing indie iteration, the Jackie Coat by Iconic Patterns, spotted by feverish.

Fortunately, Nurse Ratchet suggested Butterick 6141 (sorry, adult-sized alternatives only) as a better-conceived pattern to get the look.

Icon Coat by See Kate Sew, $16 for PDF, $20 for paper

Jackie Coat by Iconic Patterns, $20 for PDF, $26 for paper

Line Art

Butterick 6141, $1.99 (Jo-Ann’s sale) or $11.95 (, paper

And the original inspiration for juxtaposition:

Jackie O’s Actual Coat, designed by Oleg Cassini

That F*@#ing “Designer” Purple Circles Knit

In general, I, Ruthlessly Practical, hate printed fabrics.

And yet I bought 1.5 yards of this Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman printed interlock knit when it was on sale at for US$12.73/yd. Without swatching it first. Or rigorously testing the yardage when it did arrive, while the order was still within the returns window.

Because I figured, “Oh, Kaufman, should be good stuff since I’ve swatched other fabrics by them before, and it’s a knit, so it’s forgiving anyway, how bad can it be?”

Famous last words.

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Indie4Less: Sutton Blouse by True Bias

When the Sutton Blouse by True Bias was released back in October 2014, it was a very exciting and groundbreaking day in indie pattern design. (Sarcasm intended.)

mork from ork suggested Simplicity 2594, and to be perfectly honest, it’s almost a line-for-line, suggested fabric for suggested fabric, exact match. Even if you pay full price for the Simplicity pattern, it’s still a better value to the True Bias because of the 6 different views vs. 1.

(all amounts in USD)

Sutton Blouse by True Bias, $10 for PDF

Simplicity 2594, $1.99 (Jo-Ann’s sale) or $9.55 (, paper

Presenting the SSSF Tailored Shirt Fail Bingo

Welcome to Fail Bingo with SSSF!

(Because we don’t host project sewalongs at SSSF; we host sewing project fail-a-longs.)

In honor of the Sewaholic Granville and Oakridge releases currently taking the SBC by storm, our inaugural Fail Bingo will be the Tailored Shirt Fail-A-Long. Not interested in buying the Sewaholic patterns and/or need to exercise restraint? We’ve got you covered with Big 4 and Burda pattern alternatives.

From now until April 30, join your fellow hamcats in the joyful process of saving money by sewing yourself a tailored shirt. With every stumbling block encountered and swear uttered, mark off a square on your very own Tailored Shirt Fail Bingo card!* The first person to get Bingo, let us know about it, and provide photographic evidence of your 5-in-a-row gets…bragging rights that they are the Failingest Failure to Ever Fail.

  1. Rip out same seam > 3x
  2. Need to recut a piece
  3. Cutting out 2 rights or 2 lefts, like sleeves
  4. Forgetting to cut a piece entirely
  5. Sew a piece on backwards
  6. Cut a piece off-grain
  7. Buttonhole too small for button
  8. 3+ muslins and still not right
  9. Unpressed seams
  10. Serged/cut an unintentional hole in the fabric
  11. Broke a needle
  12. Ran out of thread
  13. Uneven topstitching
  14. Battle wounds (iron burns, needle pokes, cuts on hands)
  15. Not enough fabric
  16. Finished the shirt and it’s a wadder
  17. Didn’t finish the shirt
  18. Cut the wrong size
  19. SSSF for tower plackets, short sleeves instead
  20. Pattern match/print placement fail
  21. Forgot to staystitch, stretched out neckline
  22. Interfacing fail
  23. General button fail (ran out of buttons, mismatched buttons, clashing buttons)
  24. Poor fabric choice (outside your skillset, i.e., silk chiffon)
  25. Free space! Drinking Franzia/Eating Cheetos

Share your fails on the social media platform of your choice with the hashtag #failbingoSSSF. If you don’t want to out yourself, email us the pic at, and we’ll post the picture as sent, no edits, on the SSSF Instagram (@sssfblog).

For those of you interested in constructive toile/muslin critiques, we’ve got you covered via the Flickr group for SSSF Fitting. Regular rules apply, except there will be no individual, introductory blog posts (but telling your critics what you want out of the shirt and areas of help would be greatly appreciated).


* Making Your Own Bingo Card

We did all the hard work so you wouldn’t have to. Copy this entire link (ends at “#results”) to generate your bingo card, then print out your card (a different card will generate every time you visit the link).

We’d Like To Thank The Academy

(Announcer’s voice) And the winner of Madalynne’s Oscar for (third) Best New Blog is…

Sew Sorry, Sew Fat!

(wild applause from the audience, camera pans to other bloggers pursing their lips and politely clapping)

Oh! Oh dear! I wasn’t really expecting this, and I don’t have a speech prepared… oh my! Um, let me think here…

First off, on behalf of all of us here at SSSF, I’d like to thank the Academy of Blogging Voters. We are so, SO honored just to be included in the nominations, but to win, especially in a runoff election… wow! That means you liked us (third) best not just once, but twice!!!

You Like Us! You Really Like Us!!

You know, we started SSSF with the sole purpose of creating an enlightened, unique experience among sewing blogs, wherein we shine a light on the pastel, cotton-clad underbelly of the we’re-sew-nice blogosphere, and do so with love. So to be honored tonight, in this way, by all of you – well, it’s just overwhelming.

We need to thank the people who made this possible: The monetized sewing blogs, the bloggers who don’t know jack but manage to get themselves book deals and TV gigs, the pattern “designers” who can’t design their way out of a paper bag, the bloggers who manage to get everyone else to write their posts for them, the authors who don’t know shit about fitting or pressing, and the trolls, especially the trolls, who make sure they skewer us with their bowling ball sharp wit.

We never, ever could have achieved this goal without your support… Oh dear, I’m crying and I’m going to run my mascara (fans self with hands)

Yes, we could not do what we do without you. So please know that we are beyond thrilled to be given such accolades, from those whose opinions we value SO highly.

Thank you to the Academy, and good night!

The Great Waistless Wonder

So pretty in theory, so tricky in execution

The Colette Jasmine pattern is a pull-over woven top cut on the bias for extra drape. It has a couple of flat collar options and some shaping in the body. It is rated as a beginner pattern, and it is.

I made up two Jasmines last spring: a wearable muslin out of blue poly, and a final version out of Liberty lawn. I don’t get as much wear out of either of them as I would have liked.

I’d never before dipped my toe into the waters of indie patterns. I knew of and had used the Big 4 for decades, but sewing was not popular when I was growing up, and all we had around was FabricLand.

When my favourite local fabric store, Needlework, opened up, they had all of these very pretty and tempting indie patterns stocked, including all of Colette’s. Of all of them, the Jasmine top showed the most potential to me: the bias cut promised a drapey, flattering fit, and it didn’t require any buttons (my sewing machine at the time was particularly good at devouring any fabric so unfortunate as to find itself underneath the buttonhole foot). It looked like a basic, fairly simple, short-sleeved shirt that had the potential to be a work wardrobe staple. Alas, it was not to be.

First, the good: the notches matched up. The collars worked. The sleeves fit pretty well. It is a garment I was able to assemble from the pattern pieces and instructions and it looked mostly like the picture on the cover. I graded between a 12 at the bust and a 10 at the waist based on the sizing chart, and then slimmed it down a bit for a closer, drapier fit.

So why don’t I wear them?

Wearable Muslin: the blue poly never pressed as well as it should have. It’s a cheap fabric I bought for testing purposes, so that’s not a real surprise. Also, because it was a test, the sizing is not quite right. The bust darts were a bit on the low side (I know, but I have the shortest back-waist measurement ever) and it all felt a little baggy.

This I fixed in the final, but the problem is that cotton lawn, even cut on the bias, doesn’t really drape.

Horrible picture! My apologies. It's been a brutally cold winter and I'm trying to spend as little time outside as possible.

Horrible picture! My apologies. It’s been a brutally cold winter and I’m trying to spend as little time outside as possible.

Cotton is one of the recommended fabrics, but on my body shape, even on the bias, it simply does not drape enough to have a flattering shape. I look like the Great Waistless Wonder from the front, where I need to have all of that excess fabric to get the shirt over my bust.

This is just not the silhouette I'm going for.

This is just not the silhouette I’m going for.

Looking at the pattern sample with the benefit of hindsight, the model is … how to put this … carrying less mammary tissue than I am, and I’m sure that’s part of why the pattern is more successful on her.

Jasmine pattern sample from the Colette site

As a result, I really only wear this shirt when I can tuck it into something. Since most of my pants and skirts don’t go all the way up to my waist (that high waist thing), this isn’t very often.

I can’t count the shirt as a success, since I get so little wear out of it (poor Liberty lawn). But I did learn something valuable from it which is, for me, that I will only wear shirts that either drape well because of the inherent nature of the fabric (like knits), or have closures. There is no point for me in making a pullover woven top, certainly not out of cotton.

Indie4Less: Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files

You knew this post was going to happen. Yeah, we were [insert adjective here], too, that PJs were the newest pattern from Closet Case Files. The claims of slimmer fit were investigated by your diligent SSSF editors, and the ease was noted as follows:

  • bust: 6″ (umm, ok)
  • waist: 10.5″ (head scratch?)
  • hip – top: 5.5″
  • hip – pants: 2.5″ (well, there’s your slimmer fit)

The Big 4 have been releasing pajama patterns f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Herbert Herbert and TOLWLIAS were kind enough to find all the current patterns with notched collars and tops and bottoms, discussed below:

  1. McCall 5992 – Something like 11.5-12.5″ of ease on the top? Sized for knits. Bonus, includes a sweatsuit pattern…for your dog.
  2. Butterick 6145 – Not unisex, but lol the frills. No, literally, the frills. 8.5-9.5″ of bust ease and 4-5″ of hip ease for pants. Sized for wovens.
  3. Butterick 6837 – Beware the unisex pattern – the horror, the horror! Sized for wovens.
  4. Kwik Sew 3553 – Not unisex. No shorts view, but an extra couple minutes with tape measure and flat pattern, and you’re good to hack go. Sized for wovens.
  5. Kwik Sew 2811 – If hacking a pants pattern into shorts is not your thing, this one’s for you. Sized for wovens.
  6. Simplicity 3971 – Hooray for plus sizes! Beware of the 12.5-14.5″ of bust ease and 5-7″ of hip ease. Unisex. PJs are sized for wovens; other view is sized for knits.
  7. Simplicity 2317 – If “slim fit” ease is what you’re looking for and you don’t want to cut a smaller size, this one’s for you: 4-6″ of bust ease and 2-4″ of hip ease. PJs are sized for wovens.
  8. McCall 6659 – Another close runner-up to S2317 with 4.5″ of bust ease and 6″ of hip ease in case Simplicity’s not on sale. Has the most number of views that closely resemble the indie contender. Sized for wovens.

Some other PJ-themed editor suggestions for entertainment and practical value:

  • Kwik Sew 3712 – Adult onesie. With footies. Not even kidding. THEY EXIST, PEOPLE.
  • Burda’s Breakfast in Bed Collection from 12/2014 – In case you want PJs but with a different aesthetic, 8 patterns for the bargain price of $24.99 (PDF).

(line drawings after the jump to keep the main page clutter down)

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A Light in the Snark: Vogue Spring 2015 Collection

Co-authored with Andrea

Hamcats, it is with sorrowful hearts and lowered heads that we acknowledge the passing of one of the SBC’s most celebrated institutions: Lladybird’s new Vogue release snark posts. Please join us for a moment of silence as we mourn its untimely sellout demise.

Fortunately, SSSF is equipped to take on the future care and feeding of such an important project–and other pattern company releases. But let’s begin by tackling a truly challenging project: the Vogue Spring 2015 pattern release, which Lladybird deems unsnarkable.

Overall, SSSF highly recommends this pattern release to sewers with a pressing need to be perceived as aesexual in public spaces.

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