In Support of Sewing Your Own

I found this snarky rant against women’s ready to wear clothing:

I am glad to see I am not the only one wondering if some virulent form of insanity is requisite to style and make retail clothing for women these days. I confess, I chuckled at several points while reading the article.

I do not think of myself as puritanical, uptight or repressed. Just sensible. This coming week will focus on getting a pants draft and making pants. Because I sure can’t buy them. I have tried for several years and the compromises need to stop.

I found that Cracked article after Googling the question, “Why are women’s dress pants so close fitting?” I became very frustrated looking for inspiration in Google images and fitting tips and finding only the opposite. Lots of how-to’s for making your clothes as tight as possible, zero on making dress pants that would be considered normal in style and ease for a man.

Honestly, no all of us want to wear something that looks spray painted on. Even if I were as sleek as a panther, I would never wear leggings or yoga pants to work or anywhere out of my home really, out of self respect.

That is not to disparage you if you love wearing form fitting fashions; more power to you. I am speaking for myself here. I am old, lumpy and have sciatica. Tight pants that feel like they are trying to garrote my lady garden? No thanks.


Quilters for Diversity

I do not know why I just found this when it was written four years ago.


I saw the badge on the side bar of a quilting blog. I need to share it here as well.

Let me explain. I am one of the people who feels a little twinge of discomfort and sometimes outright sadness when crafting blog after blog, video, retreat, guild and meet up photo show exactly zero women like me.

I am not saying this is intentional in all cases. But I want to know why is this still happening?

I have been the rare token in such groups and was definitely treated differently from the other women. My remarkably similar socioeconomic background, education, morals, language, national history, and borderline addiction to quilting all paled compared to that other thing.

My year round tan and slanted eyes seem to be varying degrees of off putting. Instead of a fellowship of quilters, an invisible wall stood between us. The little hints in the way you looked at and spoke to me; the palatable sense of ill-ease. Perhaps I should I have worn a badge that said “Colored NOT Criminal”.

Christmas was so awkward, but I did my best to play along. While we were making our tree skirts, I did not tell you I was atheist because I did not want to be rejected from the group. I crafted along side you as well as I could.

I will never forget the meeting where a rant went round the room because “Queers had ruined the rainbow.” I think that marked my last time at that guild.

“But!” you cry, “Surely not in 2018. We embrace women of color, we embrace queer women. We embrace diversity!”

Except you don’t.

“We have don’t have a problem with all of you.”

If that were true, we would be there with you at your shop hops and classes, along side you at quilt shows and *gasp* we would gleefully, creatively, respectfully participate.

Drop the damned labels and preconceptions. We do not have to be alike to be quilting comrades. Treat me like you want to be treated and we will get along just fine.


I wrote about leaving the guild I was making the donation quilt blocks for. But, I did not say why I left it. Now I don’t have to.

And then there is MeWe, the Facebook clone organized and based solely on hatred of Facebook. Were that were not distasteful enough, said organization allows hate groups similar to Stormfront, maintains monochromatic optics and ignores all suggestions relating to diversity and inclusion.


Thank you   for speaking out on this topic. It bears repeating and offered me an opportunity to get a weight off my shoulders. 

Hands 2 Help Update

I am soooooooper slow on this. The quilts are due on the 20th(!) and I still have my first one on the design wall. This weekend I need to get it in gear, pedal to the metal and all that!


Part of the delay has been due to my rearranging the blocks. They are slightly different than this photo now and I hope I will keep my bloody mitts off of them and just sew them together already.

On advice from Sarah who is coordinating this challenge, I am going to pick up some flannel to use as the batting. I am donating to Little Lambs of Utah and the quilts need to be folded up to fit into a backpack, so thinner is better.


I have only two pair of pants I will wear in public. That makes getting dressed for work a challenge. Like a lot of folks who sew, especially when age and gravity have had their way, I have experienced problems getting the pants I make to fit well.

I made a pair of Loes Hinse Oxford pants and they were wearable with no alterations. While they fit and as well or better than most RTW, they needed a tweak or two.

Enter Exhibit A:

IMG_7853I have had Butterick 3133 for a very long time. It has two things I really wanted for this next pair of pants: a flat front and tapered legs. Surprisingly, this size 12 pattern matches the waist of the Oxford size medium. That made altering the waistline and leg shape extremely easy.

The other alterations I made were to both lengthen the back crotch and back inseam. These changes were based on reading the wrinkles in the first pair I made. I want closer to a smooth trouser fit back there and found the crotch as drafted is closer to pants. Not bad, not uncomfortable, but closer fitting than I want to wear right now.

My test pair will be from some very colorful rayon challis:


I have a love of colorful prints and pants made from them but a morbid fear of looking like a clown. Fingers crossed that all my pattern alterations work and the print is cute, not lame. I have a skirt from the fabric that I wear in the summer…but pants…I have been hesitant for a long time.

These are the fabrics I purchased to make work pants from. On my monitor, the colors are off; the first is a navy and tan check and the second an ivory and navy herringbone. I also have some navy Telio viscose twill for this soft pants style.

I was inspired to frankenpatten the Loes Hinse and Butterick because of this blog post. Scroll down to the picture from Elle magazine of the designer pants. They have an extremely similar pocket to the Loes Hinse and waistband treatment to the Butterick 3133. I am sure I will make more wide leg pants, too.

(I cheated – instead of using the paper like Connie Crawford recommends to cut this, I used medical tape to keep the edges straight and a very sharp, small rotary cutter.)