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Ideas = Lack of Sewing

2012 February 15
by elizabeth_admin

I did some sewing last night people, but not enough.  Between two lengthy phone calls and different ideas for Katie’s dress that I was contemplating, all I ended up finishing was interfacing the facings and stay stitching the neckline and armscyes. 


I love sewing.  Really, I do.  And I love how sewing my own clothes gives me so much control over the outcome.  I love having total control.  Oh, did I just write that out loud?  The little design decisions you make along the way make each garment one of kind and completely of your inner vision.  But sometimes all these design decisions that need to be made slow me down and take me out of my sewing zone.  Do any of you ever feel like that?  Or are you the type of design person who revels in the choices?  I tend to get stymied by them.  I love making a decision but not 20 of them one right after the other.  It’s exhausting and distracting from the task at hand.

Ok, enough of my whining.  Here are some of the choices right now…

False ribbon placket with buttons


Ribbon empire waist


Plain, no ribbon trim


And the final option (not pictured) would be some patch pockets at waist or hip level with the green ribbon trim.  Lindsay T gave me the idea by way of the link to Lily Pulitzer dresses she sent me this morning. 

Which do you prefer?  I think I know which is my favorite, but I am still curious to hear your opinions.

Also, tell me!  Do you revel in having many design choices to make or do you just want to get on with the sewing already? 

Happy sewing everyone!

28 Responses leave one →
  1. February 15, 2012

    I’m the same way. I love having total control over the sewing! I usually try to figure out the little details before I start so I can just jump into the project. If I can’t do that or am hesitant, then the project probably isn’t correct and I’ll move on to something that seems more correct.

  2. February 15, 2012

    Empire waistline – definitely.
    Please, I have a such a dilemma deciding on buttons for my own garments, anything else is almost beyond cognitive response right now. Also, I have this stash that I feel compelled to reduce that decision making is reaching boardroom level proportions . I know how you feel. This is one of the benefits (downsides) of making your own – deciding design things! thank goodness for virtual friends.

  3. February 15, 2012

    Empire waist is pretty. But I think the girl herself might love having pockets.

  4. February 15, 2012

    I’d vote for the ribbon placket. It looks cute!

  5. February 15, 2012

    Empire waist. It’s a busy print and the ribbon tames it a little. The placket is nice but almost too much.

  6. February 15, 2012

    Empire waistline for sure. I’m not against the ribbon placket, but I don’t really like it on this particular dress. Maybe because of the busy print?

  7. February 15, 2012

    An interesting post to say the least. Re: your design ideas; I’m in love with both the faux button trim and the empire waist. How can you make a decision? I’m sure the idea for the pockets with trim would be just as cute – I guess that means you should make more than one of that dress!

  8. February 15, 2012

    I really like the ribbon empire waist, that’s my vote!

  9. Lori permalink
    February 15, 2012

    I like the empire waist. Why not both empire waist and pockets?

  10. Lynn permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Empire waist ribbon!

  11. February 15, 2012

    I like the empire waist the best. I do like the button trim, but I feel like maybe it looses impact because it sort of gets lost in the print. I like the solid ribbon in the empire style to break it up a little bit.

    As for making design decisions – I always have to plan things out before I get started on them. Usually this involves getting all my fabric/notions together and deciding on a pattern, and considering any alterations I want to make to the design before I do anything with the fabric. When I design skating costumes I don’t base it on a pattern I have, but instead I design what I want to make (either from inspiration sources or just whatever comes out of my brian) and then modify my patterns to create it. I always have to draw those out in extreme detail so I know what I am doing before I get started. Last year I made a dress and when I was looking at the trim I was going to use I decided the colors really weren’t going to work together. The fabric didn’t look good with any of the rhinestone options I had planned on using and I went into a fit for about a week. Finally I ended up re-designing the decorations, using gold beads and rhinestones, and in the end I really liked my dress (and did pretty well in it too). But the experience of getting stuck mid-process was not something I enjoyed. I love being in control, but for me a lot of that comes from planning things out ahead of time so have my projects turn out the way I want.

  12. February 15, 2012

    Empire waist ribbon. I like the button placket, but the empire waist ribbon is my favorite. Also are you going with the white buttons on it or matching green buttons?

  13. Heather permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Empire waist!!!! (but then, I’ve never been one to like plackets)

    I agonize over decisions and may sometimes have a glass of wine to mull it over, which just makes me tired.

  14. February 15, 2012

    I’m voting for waist or the pockets. I guess I am not very creative, my biggest problem is choosing which fabric to use with which pattern, but once it is cut out then I don’t think about it! getting to that cutting stage can take a while though I admit!

  15. February 15, 2012

    My fave is empire waist, but that’s so typical of me it’s just about sickening. 🙂

    It depends. Sometimes I like to think lots… Sometimes the detail comes first and the garment follows. Other times, I’m too distracted to think and just bang out something different. You can always make it again the other way, later. 🙂

  16. February 15, 2012

    I prefer having fewer choices available to me. It’s easier to make my decisions then. This is one of the reasons I don’t keep a huge fabric stash.

    For trims, it is often a good idea to put the same trim in different areas of the garment. It looks richer that way. My vote is, placket, empire, and pockets.

  17. Marilyn Lefholz permalink
    February 15, 2012

    absolutely love the look of the empire waist!

  18. Elizabeth permalink
    February 15, 2012

    I think the ribbon placket breaks up the busy print and gives the eye something to focus on, near your face.
    Ive followed your blong quietly for a few years now here in Australia. Youve been very inspiring, and we have much in common with our opera background, kids and now passion for sewing! Ill be starting a blog very soon too. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your sewing. Its been inspiring.

  19. February 15, 2012

    My vote is empire and pockets ….. and my girls now want the fabric and the dress! I should do this blog reading thing when they are in bed.

    Choices are tricky and I’m with Claudine in that the fewer choices the better. Then if I feel the project is going to be complicated (ie lots of new things plus decisions to make) then I procrastinate. Fear? Maybe …. Distracted by having to make choices? Maybe. Probably a combo.

  20. February 15, 2012

    Empire gets my vote.

    I love the print, but is very strong. I made a similar dress for my daughter and it looked best when toned down with a solid color capelet.
    You can see the dress and capelet together here:
    and a couple of very loud versions of the dress here:

  21. February 16, 2012

    I quite like making all the decisions, but there comes a point where you have to Just Do It. I try to do the thinking bits when I’m walking to work so when I’m actually by my machine I can just sew. Doesn’t always work of course!

  22. HelenH permalink
    February 16, 2012

    Definitely the empire waist.

    Love your blog 🙂

  23. February 16, 2012

    I vote for the ribbon empire waist. The fabric is gorgeous. 🙂

  24. kathi giumentaro permalink
    February 16, 2012

    What if you bring the placket down to the empire waist and do both.
    I really think you can’t go wrong with any decision. The fabric is wonderful and any design option you choose will be a winner.

  25. mrs mole permalink
    February 16, 2012

    Empire and pockets for me! It is a common problem when using such a divine pattern motif that we want to add something…but what? Using RTW as a guide, empire with a small flat bow in the center might be right.

  26. February 17, 2012

    Ribbon placket with fabric ruffles like this:

    If you’ve got enough fabric you could add a ribbon trimmed pocket too.

    As far as making choices when sewing, sometimes you’ve just got to do it (a la Nike). Give it some thought and then just do it. If you mess up the world is still spinning on its axis.

  27. Nadine permalink
    February 17, 2012

    I love the empire waist! I think it would look awsome!

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