The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Sewing Is More Than Covering Your Body

I love this picture – I always have.

These are sisters who pioneered a homestead in Nebraska.  Maybe this reaches back to my own family’s homesteading roots, but I love this photo and this mud house they built for themselves.  Here’s the subtle message in this photo though besides the striking pioneer spirit that jumps off the photograph:  each one of these ladies has a very practical, workable and serviceable dress.  BUT, they are all dressed differently.  All of these are most likely a cotton or calico, as that is what was mostly available, but one is a stripe, one is a strong buffalo check one is a light print pattern and another is a more dense print pattern.  They are all different!  They all reflect the individuality of each gal.

What brought me to sewing was my dismay over not being able to find a red dress.  And you would have thought I was asking for the moon!  But what has kept me sewing all these years has been that I can express the individual, personality, and type I am.  Even from day to day.  Somedays I feel very Bohemian;  some days I feel very artistic; some days I feel very conservative; some days I feel like I’m the queen of everything; and some days I want to wear something utilitarian and that’s all!

Sewing is something that is not only satisfying, but I can go from one extreme to another and never have to worry that I might not be able to find that style in the store!

I notice this all the time when perusing the internet, and thought it would be a blast to show off a few of these.  Some of these gals are experts, some are pros, some simply sew for themselves, but they are all accomplished at showing their style.  The thing you will notice most about these styles is that instantly you can tell who these gals are – they reflect themselves so beautifully and in the most positive way possible – – through their clothes.  All the photos are linked to their sites or more information about them!

Andrea is a hoot!  She has the most infectious smile.  She also sews beautifully, teaches customized pattern fitting, sewing and fitting commercial patterns.  She does a lot of videos on her YouTube Channel and through her site Sew To Fit.

There are a couple of things that scream out from this photograph – she screams style and is not afraid to take some dramatic choices.  Most often you see this in really experienced sewists because they have a lot of practice and know what works and what doesn’t.  Of course, there’s nothing like a tailored jacket in a big print to scream expert maker.  But also this speaks to a person who is dramatically confident.  The one thing you get from this look is not only is she professional, she knows who she is!

I love this style cause it fits Andrea’s infectiousness.  You can not start one of her videos without being totally engaged – just like that suit – it draws you in and you know you won’t be bored when having any contact with her!

Carolyn is a diving buddy and that’s how we first met, and on the boat between dives, we would chat about sewing.  She does other sewing besides clothes, and mostly tests and uses independent pattern designers and companies.  Carolyn is on Instagram @carriemak1.


What I love here is instantly you can tell that not only is she active but she loves those great tropical colors – 5 guesses on where she lives and if you guessed close to the sun and water – BINGO!  That’s totally reflected in this garment.  What’s also reflected is the totally independent style of not only her choice in fabric but in the design.  A simple hoody type top and suddenly the detail makes this a wow garment!  If you were to go out looking for this in a store there’s no way you could come even close to finding something with so much personality and style – and it’s all in a hoody-type top!

Cennetta always has a classy outfit that she’s modeling, and this picture shows this so well.  You can see all her designs on her blog, The Mahogany Stylist.  She’s a retired Module Administrator (IT)–Research Administration – yikes that sounds way over my pay grade, but the look she shows here is purely professional.

Yeah, she’s got some flare, but the base of it is professional.  This is a typical example of a retired, more casual look, more comfortable, but still has that professional tone that she’s been a part of for so much of her life.  The artistic part of her wardrobe has a classic look that’s modern, up-to-date, but never weird or incomprehensible.

Many of you will recognize Dawn of the famous Sewing Blab on Tuesday nights.  She also runs her own website: Duelling Designs, where she designs a couple or more designs and lets the readers decide which one to make up.

You can tell from her design that she’s a totally creative person, but a very sophisticated and classic style.  You can tell from this design that she not only thinks differently but she lives in a different place than the normal clothing consumer!  Finding something like this garment, even online, wouldn’t be possible, even though it’s not all that strange and is very classic.

LoneStarCouture says it all when looking at this design.  To me this says business but I know current trends and styles.  She sells real estate and if you met a realtor looking like this, you would totally have confidence that she would not only find something you liked but something tasteful and classic.   She’s on Instagram @lonestarcouture.

Dorcas is a professional living in a southern city, and doesn’t this garment look like it?  Bright, cheerful, and a totally different, but very appropriate for this design.  She says one of the things she loves about sewing is that you can be a risk taker — like using this home dec cotton for garment sewing and loving the result!  Because she sews, she has total control of the risk of her garments.  Even though you might think (looking at the fabric alone) that this wouldn’t make a suitable dress, she saw what it would/could do and could make it look right for her and her style.

Hila obviously has a lot more hours in the day than I do.  She has 5 kids (no that is not a typo) and her blog, Saturday Night Stitch cause she only has Saturday night to stitch up her garments.  But somehow she gets them done!  She also has two other blogs (this gal must not need sleep)!!!


Hila has this really cool eclectic style that suits her UK life.  I get the sense instantly that she lives a very artistically full life and is not afraid to take chances. A visit to her blog is pure inspiration, but also permission to do some things that not only would you even come close to finding in stores but something you might not even think of.  I love this color combination here.

This is the famous Rachel from House of Pinheiro.  She’s a Brazillian beauty running a blog that is more than simple fashion.  She’s really an expert.  She lives in the K and reading her blog is an interesting explaining how a Brazillian ended up in the UK!


Even from this classic design in this picture, you can tell that Rachel has gobs of style and is not afraid to show it.  Her designs look very much like they are off the runway of some famous Parisian designer – nope, it’s totally her.

And from the Behind The Seams world, comes another striking beauty.  Vatsla is not only an accomplished sewist, but also does tutorials and amazing design walk-throughs.  Here’s her YouTube Channel.  She’s a pattern designer and has taught pattern design, so she’s got some pretty strong street creds, and it shows.


I love Vatsla’s style cause it has a great classic flair to it that RTW can’t hope to have.  She has a statuesque figure but shows it off to its best advantage with her beautiful designs.  You can tell instantly that this is a sharp gal who has a professional demeanor.




So what’s so noteworthy about all these gals, is that yes, they are experienced and some are pros, but you can tell instantly who and what they are by what they have designed for themselves.  They totally reflect the individuality and unique personality of each person.   I can easily see each one of these gals envisioning the garment and then making it up exactly like they wanted.

This is one of the major pluses of sewing for yourself.  You get to express yourself in such a way that is not available in any other way – and that includes designs for you from a couture designer, because she/he would be filtering in her/his design into your vision.  Since the only people touching these designs are the gals themselves, it’s totally them.

The reason that I wanted to show you the variety of styles and looks from these gals, is that, like in the top picture, these gals all get to wear the unique and individual look that they are.  That is, to me, one of the greatest things about sewing.  As a matter of fact, more than saving money and a great fit (which are terrific pluses to sewing), envisioning and creating my own style is probably the top reason I sew.  I get to look how I want and it often changes from day-to-day – and no I promise I’m not schizoid – and least that’s what the other Claire told me to say!!!!!!  Ha, ha!!!!

Will the real me please stand up!!!




  1. Great post and so true! All the lovely ladies featured, like my amazing host Dawn, are true artist in their craft!

  2. Just came across this blog while trying to figure out how to create a wardrobe that works. I loved all of these stories. My question is, how did they learn how to FIT themselves well? I always sewed my clothes as a young person, and then sewed for my children and family members. However, I never really learned how to fit properly and because I am a tall, slender woman, patterns have to be so edited that I gave up. Where do I start now? I am in the U.S. and really need to learn how to sew so that clothes will fit me, and also to develop, FINALLY, a style of my own, not just what the online tall stores have decided are fashionable for the season. Throw in the fact that now I am “mature”, well, it seems a little daunting. Hope you can give me some advice!

Leave a Reply