Wednesday, April 17, 2013


So now that I've wrapped my first ever sew along, I have a few thoughts. Firstly, oh my gosh, wow, I can't believe how tedious sew alongs are!

Secondly, yay for other Pushing Daisies dresses! Shelley over at Cuckoo Chanel did an adorable Chuck dress. Here was her inspiration:


And here is her daisy sundress that I really want to make now! It's so perfect for spring and summer!




Let me know if you made one as well because I would love to see!

But, yes, this sewalong: tedious. I really had no idea. I love when other people do sew alongs because I enjoy watching other people's processes. Sometimes it's the same as mine, sometimes mine is better, and sometimes I learn A LOT from whoever posted. I don't feel like I'm an advanced enough sewer to really teach new and high quality techniques, but maybe they help someone who's less advanced than I am. And maybe someone out there can teach me something after I've posted something monstrous.

"You want me to do what now?"
Obviously sew alongs are tedious and slow because you have to stop and document every single step of the process and then blog about it. But it's more than just that, at least for me.

I have a slight confession: I don't always enjoy sewing. I get a backache when hunched over my machine after a few hours. At night, there's never enough light to see and my eyes strain. When I'm sewing something and the fabric catches causing a pucker, I get very angry. When the tension goes crazy, I see red (especially when I was newer and didn't realize machines needed to be cleaned - oops!).

So because I don't always enjoy the process, I take short cuts. I hide mistakes rather than fixing them. I don't like to finish my seams - I say let them unravel!

This sew along has made me slow down. A lot. When I made a mistake, I would take the time to rip the seams out and start again. But as I was going through and redoing parts of my dress (and hating it), I stumbled across a blog that was discussing how clothes used to be made.

Clothes used to be higher quality, especially because they were made in the home, as opposed to being made by child slaves and then sold across the country for $5 a pop. The blog* mentioned how many vintage handmade clothing items were lined, and she mentioned how nice it would be if everything were lined in silk just because it would feel amazing against your skin. Every time you moved, it would be luxurious.

So luxurious you just want to fall asleep.
Now, as a sweater (e.g. someone who sweats excessively) and someone who lives in a ridiculously hot climate with no air conditioning in the summer, I'm not so sure I like the idea of everything being lined in silk. But it still made me think. If I want to have an entire wardrobe of mostly hand sewn things, of course I should focus on quality and not just the end result.

So my resolve for nicer things, along with the fact that I'm broadcasting my every stitch and I don't like the idea of pointing out mistakes (and how to hide them) made what should have been a simple project take weeks longer than planned.

"Weeks longer?! I'm exhausted already."
That said, I'm ready to dive into so many more projects, but I'm excited for one in particular and I may blog excessively about it at times. I'll have more info up soon, but it's going to be from another television show, and it's going to be from the 1960s. Like this one that tackled lace, I'm going to tackle another something that intrigues me, but also frightens me a bit: jackets. (And maybe it'll be ready in time for the fall!)

But first I need to finish my Mad Men dress! Thanks goodness the deadline is extended!

*Sorry, I can't find who wrote it or where! If this sounds like your posting or you know whose it is, please let me know so I can give credit.


  1. I was having tension problems last night and almost wanted to cry! That and the back problems are probably the things I hate most about sewing - I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

    1. No, you're definitely not alone! Sometimes I feel like sewers completely neglect how time consuming and tiring it can be to actually keep this as a hobby. :-)

  2. Props to you for finishing the sew-a-long! I can't believe you don't have a/c. Hopefully it'll be a cool NYC summer!

    1. Welllll technically I have 2 a/c units, but when it's over 95 and the sun is beating in the window they don't seem to work very well. Plus, when you think of all the stores and restaurants that don't have a/c and the subways... It's always a nice treat when I find a place that's cool in the summer!

  3. Thanks, again, Kristin, for being such an inspiration. You put a lot of hard work into this sewalong and it was a pleasure to learn and participate. Thanks for the shout too. :)
    Oh, and I didn't know about the Mad Men deadline extension. I'm SO close to getting it done but need to figure out the best way to hem since it's charmeuse. I also need time and place for photos. Oh the trials and tribulations of our craft. :) Good luck finishing yours and can't wait to see it.

    1. Thank you for your support throughout the entirely too long project and I just LOVE your dress! (And your Mad Men dress! You're so great!)