Reader Requests: Now Taking Ideas!

There comes in a time in every blogger’s life when you start wondering if your ideas are really worth sharing or where you hit a roadblock (blogger’s block anyone?) in your blogging career. I’ve come to that point this year and truth be told, I’ve been feeling like this since about February. The blog has suffered because I started becoming extremely self conscious about sharing sewing projects and ideas and frank opinions with you. Don’t ask me why because its really a personal matter and its kind of silly. Anyway, enough about that. I decided to become proactive about this and get your feedback. Sometimes, I get email requests for doing a post on a certain subject and if you are one who has emailed me and asked about a specific post, don’t worry, I’m going to start addressing those very soon. I’ve decided to do a weekly reader request, but I wanted to gather even more ideas from you.

So, what would you like to see here on A Fashionable Stitch? What are you interested in hearing about from me? Are there tutorials that you would like me to post? Like my calculation for a knit neckline? My shoe situation with the Everyday Wardrobe? What do you want to know about? I love hearing from you, so you can either contact me by email (sunni@afashionablestitch.com) or you can leave a comment right here and expect to see your reader request featured in the upcoming future!

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55 thoughts on “Reader Requests: Now Taking Ideas!

  1. Well, that calculation for the knit neckline sounds great! Don’t laugh.. but how to figure out how to hem a garment – meaning I start getting confused on how deep to make the hem, when to add some other strip of fabric to the hem and use that while hemming, etc. Sometimes it just isn’t as simple as “turn up some fabric and go at it!” Best ways of gathering in ease when the bottom of the hem is longer, like on a fuller skirt, things like that.

    Perhaps some comments on when you use various items in your shop – when do you use horsehair? Petersham? Things like that… I’ve never used either of those products.

    You may have already posted this long ago.. but how did you get started sewing? Do you ever had wadders? Sigh…sometimes it feels like I’ll never get to the point that most projects look good and wearable.

    I have enjoyed reading about your jacket construction, and have learned quite a bit. Any other projects you might do and show us more about the construction steps? For those of us not as advanced, things like waistbands can be a source of frustration. Just as an example, I read that simply making a casing and sliding the elastic in looks more homemade, much better to serge the elastic to the fabric and then turn it down and stitch. Humph. First step went fine, but stitching the bottom part somehow looked pretty bad, trying to stitch evenly while holding elastic stretched out.

    I have to go, but I am looking forward to other comments!

  2. I second the idea of some advice on hemming, as it’s something I struggle with!
    I’d also love some advice on ease; how to ease in a princess seam or a sleeve without puckering, that sort of thing!

  3. Ever since I started sewing, I’ve been doing everything from scratch (no pattern shops on the island and international shipping costs are mostly at odds with our devalued dollar). I know of no one in my sphere who sews professionally – meaning… sews in a way that doesn’t look homemade – so any advice on getting the optimum finish from home would be greatly appreciated.

    I have learned a lot somewhat by accident, and picked up a bit more from the few Craftsy courses I was able to acquire, but every little bit helps… πŸ™‚

  4. hi sunni
    I would love to see some blog posts on pattern alteration and ways to get multiple looks from tha basic block. eg the adjustments to make a button shirt from bodice block, change the collars etc. it may have been done elsewhere but I enjoy how you teach.

  5. Sunni, I love reading your tips and techniques (tutorials). I also like reading your thought process in going about a project you just completed. I`ve also learnt a lot from your video tutorials. Thank you, for all of those! I got to say, as an audiovisual person, enjoy your video tutorials even more than regular tutorials with pictures… I need to see it done than reading about it.

    Sure, please do a post on calculation on knit neckline.. The last one I made, has more neckline band than it should but I don’t know `how much` to reduce.

    What I`d really really love is a video tutorial on this `Bagging a lining technique. I`ve read multiple tutorials on it but STILL don`t get it. 😦

  6. I have always wanted to make some quilted projects…table runner, placemats to start. I think I have a problem cutting the fabric, when cutting squares or other shapes for projects, how do we pay attention to the “grain” of the fabric? What are the first steps in preparing a cotton fabric???? do we cut all shapes with the grain?? how about an in depth tutorial on fabric cutting. I know it seems so elementary, but a good refresher for us is always welcome.
    Thanks Kindly,
    Sharon

  7. Hi Sunni, I love reading your blog and don’t prefer one type of post over the other. HOwever, I sort of felt like a few of the things you started like the belt making classes and the every day wardrobe were incomplete as a series – maybe it is because of the issue you state above and feeling like we might not want to hear what you are sharing – but we do! I would love to hear you elaborate more on these topics.

    I also recently took your zipper class on Craftsy and would love to see you do more of these classes either through Craftsy or creative bug or just here on your blog. I think a lot of teachers/bloggers just go into the basics for a “newbie” but even those of us newer to sewing would love to be taught what might be more advanced or a skill that takes us to the next level which is exactly what your zipper class did.

  8. Hi,
    Please keep on sharing your opinions and creations with us – yours is one of the few blogs I read as I find it so informative! I agree with others that block adaptations would be a great topic for future posts. So please, keep on doing what you do – you do it really well!

  9. I have learned so much by going through your tutorials archive. While I would be interested in reading anything you post (you write very well), I would love to see more of the following:
    – Everyday Wardrobe series
    – Finished projects and daily ensembles (great for inspiration!)
    – Tips and techniques (even if I am not ready to use them in my sewing, I know where I can come for very detailed and helpful instruction)
    – Videos! Your zipper class on Craftsy was terrific!
    – As another reader posted, examples of when to use items in your shop; I would love to incorporate new notions and tools to increase the quality and look of my completed items

  10. I, too, have learned so much from you!

    Your makes are inspiring and your tutes and tips are lifesavers. You have talent, are a teacher, and so share your knowledge without inhibition.

  11. I am new to your blog and really enjoying it. The plaid jacket information is great!
    I am very interested in making precisely finished, well-fitting clothing. More information on pants would be great.
    I am also very interested in anything and everything about lining garments and am having a hard time finding good information in books or on the web.
    Do you have any book suggestions for lining?
    What about lining a pleated skirt? Do I pleat the lining within the fashion fabric, or do I make another pleated skirt to go inside?
    How will I hem this beautifully lined and constructed pleated skirt (which, incidentally, is PLAID inspired by you)?
    Thanks for everything, sorry you are feeling in a rut, I am so impressed with your work and your ability to communicate ideas and information.

  12. I started following your blog for the fine tailoring tutorials and show and tell. I mostly like to see what you make and what patterns you use. Thanks for blogging!

  13. If you stop blogging so many of us will wither up and die! Your blog has always been so inspiring to me, with your mix of instruction and a glimps into your personal style. I will never sew a dress, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from your experience and find inspiration from your creativity. So please post whatever and whenever works for you.

  14. Hi Sunni,
    I love following your blog!
    Recently I saw Amanda start her Wearing Yesteryear series
    http://imsewinintherain.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/wearing-yesteryear-july-2012-one-year-later/
    and I think it’s brilliant! I think it would be cool to see more bloggers visit past creations and let us know how they’ve held up. This can also tie into your everyday wardrobe series! which would also be great to see more of — how you’ve altered things or styled them to be more useable in your wardrobe.
    thanks for sharing so much on your blog — again I love following it!

  15. I would also love the calculation for a knit neckline! I also really like your Everyday Wardrobe series. I found it inspiring.

  16. I’m interested in your every day wardrobe posts. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more inspired by current fashion. On FB, you mentioned you love the look in Boden. Me too!( And Garnet Hill, Anthro and Jcrew.) Do you ever copy from magazines or catalogues?

    I also enjoy the detailed posts on more advanced techniques and tips. That’s hard to find online and your work is so thorough!

  17. Sunni,
    I think I’d just like to see more of you! You are an amazing seamstress, and honestly, everything you create is inspiring. I may not always comment, but I almost always find myself still thinking about posts several days later. I especially like opinions, even more so if they’re different than mine, and best of all when they include the whys. I like clothes, but I mostly sew to challenge myself and learn new things. I liked your everyday wardrobe series, and it’s changed the way i plan out what to sew. Please post anything that interests or is relevant to you,even if it’s about cleaning stinky washing machines or how to cope with 80 million cucumbers and a family that refuses to eat them.

  18. Only just found your blog and have tried to find out if you have ever done anything on pocket placements. I love pockets in my skirts and dresses but have found that in-seam pockets don’t always work well. Is there a golden rule as to where one places patch pockets/welt pockets on skirts and dresses so they look good and not out of place? I would be very grateful if you could do something on this subject if you have not already done so.
    Off to read more of your information around your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Yes! I would love to read about the calculations for a knit neckline. Also, I would love for you to continue your series on making a jacket. The skills that it takes to go from beginner to advanced sewist would be awesome, too. And somebody else mentioned this too, but I also would love to see your sewing space and learn about organization with sewing supplies, etc. I am a fairly new reader to your blog and love it! I have learned quite a bit from you. By the way, I now want a coverstitch machine because of you. Lol. Thank you for asking what your readers would like. That is very sweet of you.

  20. As others have said, please post about anything you like! I know sometimes it seems like we sewing bloggers overlap and repeat what others have said but I like that — I get to see how others do the same things and I find that interesting. I don’t care about skill level either – I read sewing blogs ranging from beginners on up to advanced (and over my head). I simply like to see the variety of things people make.

  21. I really like your writing style and you definitely do not need to be self conscious! My wish would be for a sew-along – you do them so well! If you would like to share a technique – please do something about linings… I can’t find so much about those. (Your sew-along for the skirt of Jenny is the best I know of in that respect, BTW) Looking forward to read whatever you like to write about! Best wishes.

  22. Hi Sunni,

    I’d love to understand the process of making a coat, what tools would be useful and/or essential, what fabrics would be most suitable and sewer friendly, ha, basically a class on how to make a coat! Haha. Yeah, huge request I know…maybe a future Craftsy Class?!

    I kinda jumped into sewing and making things that are beyond my understanding and don’t turn out quite right. I feel I have to go backwards and start from the beginning making basic ‘square’ clothes, hehe.

    I’ve loved your tutorials and tips so always happy to hear more.
    You always have very good information, easy to understand and you clearly know what you are talking about! We are fortunate to have you to help us through the sewing maze. So thank you!

  23. First, I greatly admire your for having a blog. I have been a sewer for decades and enjoy the revival of the craft and the camaraderie the Internet provides! I am always searching for tips and tricks to refine my skills. Handmade does not have to look homemade πŸ™‚

    I would enjoy any of the suggestions, especially use of the notions, such as petersham ribbon, perhaps on a skirt waistband. And did you say shoes? Shoes make most any woman happy! Please keep posting!!!

  24. Please keep posting! I’ve learned good things from your blog.

    I’d love to see more Everyday Wardrobe posts! I have a hard time putting things I’ve sewn into complete outfit context, and seeing examples and/or discussions of what sorts of outfits work for other people is really helpful.

    I’d also love to see some examples of how to use some of the more exciting items in your shop. This is always great for inspiration and/or learning a new technique!

  25. I love your posts!! Calculations of a knit neckline sounds like something I could definitely learn from. Would love to see your sewing space as well. And I know I just emailed you asking about different types of interface and uses. It was really helpful to me, maybe you could do a post on that and it would be just as helpful to someone else. Keep up the awesome work!! Oh and I just read someone’s idea on how to use sheer fabrics. That sounds great as I have a ton of sheer fabric that is getting no love because I’m rather scared to ruin it.

  26. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve hit a bit of a writers’ block, I love your blog! Like many others here, I’d love to hear more about this knit neckline calculations. And I’d also really like to hear more about your Everyday Wardrobe endeavors, as the couple of posts you did were great for getting me thinking in that direction. I want to see what’s been happening with that!

  27. Sunni, I always look forward to your posts! I’d love to hear more about how you plan your projects. How do you plan what to sew next, choose the perfect fabric for a pattern (or vice versa, if that’s how you roll), and plan/envision changes you’ll make to the pattern (other than fitting changes? Also, do you have any “go to” patterns that you’ve made over and over again!

    Thank you for blogging – I’ve learned so much from your posts!

  28. I love when bloggers post their projects because typically they post info on techniques or fabric they used which is usually helpful to me when I am sewing. Recently, I purchased a pattern and the smallest size was a 10 but I discovered I needed a size 8 to make the bodice fit perfectly. Could you explain how to redraw a larger size down to a smaller size? I am afraid Of moving darts and unsure how to be sure the armscye on the new drawing is correct.
    Another idea is giving details on how to sew a v-neck in a knit shirt such as the renfrew. I recently made one for the first time and had a difficult time with this part-probably shows what a terrible sewer I am πŸ™‚

    Thanks for all your great posts which are always interesting and helpful!! Recently took your zipper course and it was so great!!

  29. Sunni, I just wanted to stop by to tell you (because I cannot recall if I did already….) that I used your ‘draped zipper on a bias skirt’ tutorial on a bias skirt I made. The tutorial was excellent and made for a perfect zipper application. Thanks fot posting the tutorial, I know they can be time consuming!

  30. I really like your blog, you give practical, down to earth advice. I can relate to the feeling of getting in a funk, hope you feel better soon.
    I seem to remember you mentioning you’d do a side-by-side comparison between rtw fused interfacing vs sewn in interfacing methods of tailoring. Pretty much anything having to do with tailoring I’d be interested in.

  31. Sunni- I find your blog to be very helpful and I always learn new information here! I am interested in learning more about sewing techniques, proper sewing tools to use and when, troubleshooting with sewing machines, and lining. I am having a time trying to figure out the lining situation. Thanks!
    Michelle

  32. De-lurking here. I’ve read your blog for quite some time, and I’m always interested in what you have to say. Having seen your tutorials here and taking your class on Craftsy, I think you’re an excellent teacher. I would echo some of the others in the idea that any video tutorials are the most welcome; again, I’m in the ranks of learning easier when I actually see it done. Please take a sledgehammer and beat down that road block! I’d hate to see you second-guess yourself away from the sewing community when your teaching abilities are so great, and your ideas are so interesting.

  33. I’d like to hear more about the everyday wardrobe. I feel like there was one or two posts about it and then we never really heard much about it after that. Mind you, I have some serious blog reading catching up to do, so maybe you’ve been talking about it all along and I’m just still stuck in June or something. Just my two cents!

  34. Hi Sunni! There are two specific tutorials I’ve been looking for online. One is so basic – a pillow cover with a lapped zipper in the seam. I figured you would be great at that since your Craftsy zipper class is outstanding! Most tutorials have the zipper in the back – who wants to lay their head on a zipper?

    The second is a fitting question. As I’ve gotten more into fitted garments, I’ve learned I’m short waisted but also I’m short between shoulder to bust point. I’ve fudged alterations on sleeveless garments by shortening that section (a lot – 1.5 inches) and scooping out a bit at the bottom of the armsyce to keep it big enough. I am stumped at how to alter that section if the garment has a sleeve. My make-do armsyce adjustment doesn’t seem like it would work.

    Thanks,
    Janette

  35. I am also de-lurking to tell you that I love your blog, find it very informative and interesting, and I think you should post whatever you like, whenever you like! You are a talent, and a giving and knowledgeable teacher, and I very much appreciate how much you have shared over the years.

    And since you have asked… a while back you mentioned doing a tutorial for a terrific long-sleeved knit top, I think in association with your fantastic everday wardrobe series. I would love love love to see that tutorial!

  36. Since you are looking for ideas to consider… maybe an ongoing series, every so often… of different fabrics types, how they look in a garment, tips for sewing with the fabric, etc. So many kinds of jerseys, for example… just thinking if you are sewing with fabric X, a little discussion about it. Sometimes a review of basics is good. I’m trying to build up the courage to sew something with eyelet fabric.

    How about buttonholes, when to use different kinds/shapes of the buttonholes? Placement of said buttonholes? My machine makes several… I’m sure that is for a reason…. ahem….. but honestly, I do need to improve my knowledge in that area.

    A review of needles, showing how different needles would work in the same piece of fabric, why needle X is good in certain situations. Back when I started, I remember ballpoint and regular. Now there are quite a few!

    Different threads? Weights of threads, why different ones are better in certain circumstances? Again, sounds basic, but…. I just bought a new machine, and went to a series of three classes to learn about it. I learned SO much – not just about the machine, but she discussed things like different kinds of thread and why certain ones were good for different things. I was floored to realize how much I don’t know! I can read the technical information in a book, but having someone say things in down to earth language and maybe show examples is so great for helping me to understand things more completely.

    To echo some others, I would love to see more examples of things you have made, and also results of your everyday wardrobe project.

    Let’s see, any thing you might choose to post about using a coverstitch machine would be great. There doesn’t seem to be as much on the internet about that compared to some other things. I have one now, but have spent what seems like forever learning how to stop the stitching, and pull the fabric out and get the threads to the wrong side with bunching it all up. I’m finally getting the knack, but the instruction book was none too helpful. humph. Maybe there just isn’t that much to say about it, I don’t know….could be I’m just a little slow at getting things. LOL!!

    Well, I need to get busy here at home, my to-do list is a million miles long, but I hope that with all the comments you are getting some good ideas. You do have quite a few readers!

  37. Sunni, great blog, yours is about the only one I copy to a file.
    Was at ASG meeting, several were talking about fitting pants for the (mature) figure. Low flat butt, with horizontal drag lines below the butt, with a fuller front thigh, most of us have not been able to alter the patterns to fit. When the back fits the fronts pulls across the thigh. We call these out standing only pants. Any help you be appreciated.

  38. Hi Sunni – I discovered you and your blog via your zipper class on Craftsy. All your info is fantastic and I certainly hope you’ll continue your posts. You have a lovely voice and your video tutorials are great! Maybe you just need a blogcation… πŸ™‚

  39. Please, please put more in about your Everyday Wardrobe, and really anything else you want to post. You have a fun and analytical way to look at how to solve the sewing problems you take up. There are always so many ways to solve a problem, but knowing why as opposed to “it’s always been done that way” helps it stick!

  40. I’d love to see more about the Everyday Wardrobe project – I really enjoyed those posts when I first started reading your blog! You definitely have a point of view and take on things that is worth sharing πŸ™‚

    One thing I’d like to see is advice for purchasing fabric online. I hate the thought of it but unless I drive into Boston (which is an ordeal; I live on the New Hampshire border) there is nowhere to get decent apparel fabric in my area. I spent a few hours agonizing at my local big-box store, trying to find even a single bolt of an acceptable cotton jersey t-shirt fabric, with no luck. Everything is polyester and designed for sewing costumes. I saw that you have a list of links in your FAQ section, but I’d love to see some advice for choosing fabrics, when you have an idea of what you want but can’t feel what you’re purchasing to make sure it’s right.

  41. I think you are a very accomplished seamstress and an excellent teacher and should have a lot of self confidence. I think you should teach a full length class on Craftsy. I learned to sew from my grandmother, an expert sewer but I still learn things from your blog.

    One thing I would like to see is something about fabric buying and selecting.My local choices are either Joanns, which I think is poor quality apparel fabric or one other store that is 90 percent home decorating fabric. Most of the apparel fabric stores I grew up with are no longer in business.It is hard to judge drape, texture etc online but that is what you have to do if your local options are limited. Thanks for all the good work on your blog, I really enjoy reading them.

  42. I am always looking for projects that can be part of an everyday wardrobe but don’t take twenty hours to complete. I’d love to see a few quick sew staples, maybe simple tank tops, blouses, skirts? Sometimes it’s harder to make the simple pieces look professionally finished and I could use some expert guidance.

    And the knit neckline would be a great place to start! Nice well-fitted knit tops can be fast but it’s so hard to make them look just right.

  43. I would love to see a tutorial on using interfacing on knits. Also using anything sticky on knits and the proper application. I have a few patterns that call for interfacing. I keep avoiding them. I don’t want to ruin anything.

  44. I really enjoy reading your blog and have used it as a reference many, many times. I think you explain techniques beautifully. I’m a fairly confident sewist but would really enjoy something on sewing lace. You know, lining, piecing, cutting and how on earth do I make darts in lace?? Loved your Craftsy zipper class and reference that regularly too. Please don’t go anywhere Sunni, you’d be missed x

  45. How do you sort your patterns? If I sort them by garment (tops, pants, dresses, etc) then invariably I am looking for a specific Vogue pattern and it might be in any of those three categories, depending on what all is included in the pattern. If I sort by company and put all my Vogue patterns together in numerical order (I am an accountant, after all) then I find myself looking for a jacket pattern and I have to look through every pattern I have.

  46. Sunni – I also found you by watching your zipper class on Craftsy. Loved it and came looking for more. What struck me about a recent post the the blue knit inspired by the Boden catalog was how you openly discussed your mistakes and how you recovered from them (brilliant, by the way and very cute on you!). That was brilliant stuff and it’s so helpful to me to think about ways to mask or shape mistakes into a design strength. Surely you have more, right? What about a short series of blogs exposing those mistakes and then the brilliant ideas that come our of them to create a truly personal garment? I just finished my first plaid shirt; not knowing, I made it harder by choosing to sew it in a gauze fabric (so hard for a newbie like me). But I did learn a few things about dealing with the cuffs, yoke, and button plackett that I won’t soon forget. And even with my mistakes the garment is still stlylish. I’ll bet we have so much to learn from your mistakes.

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