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How NOT to motivate a starting seamstress

The last two issues of BWOF (June and July) were heartily welcomed by my 15 year old daughter. The easy summer styles did appeal to her. She is a beginner and likes to sew for herself from time to time. She has enough experience now to trace patterns on her own, cut fabric, mark the pieces and sew a basic style without too much help.

The June top with too many layers that I finished for her was the first setback. It has 1.5 dot in BWOF and didn't look too complicated. Today another BWOF setback. In the July issue that arrived yesterday, the cozy was immediately catching attention. I'm wearing mine regularly, and she already indicated she wanted one too.


A one dot pattern, seems easy. Disappointment. She made the pattern by the instructions in the magazine (no tracing). The sleeve opening is only a slit in the fabric! Easy? Not. Did you ever try to make a round sleeve in a slit in the fabric. Difficult to make that neat. I had to unpick the serged seam (of course I did that, to make her motivation not worse). After inserting the sleeves and seaming (by my daughter) the whole fit is strange. Sleeves are set too low, too wide, definitely not flattering. A wadder.

It could have been made so much easier with a seam for shoulder and side. Above BWOF instruction, my idea below (if only I had thought of that in the first place). Sew the shoulder/neckline seam first, sew the sleeve (in the flat), sew sleeve and side seam in one pass. This at least makes construction easier, if not the fit.


Of course we all have those disappointments from time to time, but two times in a row doesn't make my daughter enthousiastic for sewing. She's going to buy a cozy.

Thank you all for your kind words on my last post. I did start afresh in google reader. Apparently the heavy work load also has its effect on my way at looking at blogging, reading blogs and sewing in general. I'm told to try to take it easy for a while with work. It's been crazy for too long, and I'm feeling the fysical effects.

On the blogging front I decided to take a break in making pictures of construction. I will keep posting because I like it for myself, keeping track and trying things that I otherwise wouldn't do, inspiring as the blogging community is. I'll keep it simple this summer, no tutorials, no during construction pictures. Most important of all: I'm going to try to relax by sewing again, I can use some time for myself.

Happy sewing to you all!


  1. Sigrid, your comments about the heavy workload make a lot of sense to me. Good idea to cut back on the photos for now and let the blog to serve as a motivation tool for yourself.
    It's really too bad your daughter had to experience 2 wadders! Maybe after a break she will try a TNT?

  2. If I had started with BWOF as a beginner, I would have just quit. I still prefer the Big 4 as far as instructions go, but BWOF does have more stylish clothing.

  3. How frustrating for you and your daughter. My 14 yo daughter really likes the June BWOF too, and is currently working on a waistcoat. I hope it has better instructions!

  4. Yep! Happy Sewing and easy on the posting. Time to regroup.

    I have to tell you, Sigrid, the time you spent organizing the Lingerie blog is SO much appreciated! I've learned so much already and your time and efforts have inspired over what...30 people??? It's really wonderful when one person makes such a positive, rewarding impact on other people and you've done just that. It's the Pay-It-Forward Effect. And you've paid-it-forward 30X over at least!

    Thank you SEW much!!! It's people like yourself that make such a positive impact on others. You share your talent well, woman!

  5. Take your time Sigrid, blogging should be fun, not an obligation! You have done enough already and have inspired a lot of people. ENJOY!

  6. It's a shame that Burda can't actually make an easy pattern easy to sew! Especially the ones that appeal to younger sewers.
    Taking and posting photos really makes blogging a bigger effort. Especially writing tutorials and construction photos. I'd rather have a post without photos than none at all. Enjoy your sewing.

  7. Ditto what Kat and the others have said. All the effort you have put in is just so appreciated. Time now to just sew for yourself....and maybe the DD. I made a cosy about 5(?) years ago and I just cut a hole to put sleeves in a rectangle. Sounds like what Burda have done. Would expect more from them!

  8. What you're saying about this pattern makes a lot of sense!

    Glad to see you'll still be with us! Just sew for yourself and enjoy it!

  9. I'm follwing your blog since few days and I find it very useful n creative too because you give lots of tips on the projects you r doing. I 'm also a beginner and would like to know from which Burda project should I start my sewing adventure?

  10. I hope your daughter doesn't give up sewing! One thing my daughter and I are doing is choosing her favorite articles of clothing and then using them as patterns. Very simple pieces. She has a tank dress she loves, for example, and we will be using it as a basis for a new tank dress. Of course she makes me do all the sewing, because she insists she will never like to sew, but that's another story....

  11. I know what you mean about just sewing...sometimes I feel the same way. Do what is best for you! I like the pretty finished garment posts best anyway! :)

  12. Sigrid, you have provided so many incredible tutorials, and your links to other tutorials on the web is a resource like no other. Your finished garments will provide plenty of inspiration :)

    I'm so bummed about that cozy pattern. I was really looking forward to that one!

  13. I confess being a little disappointed by this BWOF pattern (I was expecting something with a neckline, side and shoulder seams), but it looks that you got around it very well! Another solution that came to my mind would be round (ellipsis) armholes, instead of just a slit.

  14. This is very disappointing. I had hopes for this pattern. There are other cozy patterns out there.


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