Monday, September 15, 2014

Randoms...

I linked up on the blog to the 4th Annual Fall Essentials Sew-Along (FESA) on The Creative Perfectionist's blog.


This sew-along is dedicated to a fall wardrobe with fun categories that include undies and pjs. I enjoy these kinds of sew alongs that are loosely defined and without restrictions!  There are 7 categories and obviously you choose what you want to make from any or all of them. The sewalong runs from September 1 - November 30 and includes sewers, knitters, crocheters, all crafters! (gah how I miss knitting and crochet!)

The 7 categories are:
  • Lower body garments (skirts, pants, leggings, etc)
  • Upper body garments (shirts, tops, cardigans, vests, sweaters)
  • Dresses
  • Underwear 
  • Footwear (socks, slippers, tights??)
  • Pajamas
  • Cold weather wear (coats, hats, mittens, scarves?)
-I've sewn 2 pair of pants so far with a need for at least one more.
-I have shirts, tops and cardigans planned
-Hmmm, maybe a dress will be sewn
-Not sewing undies yet
-Grrrr, see "I miss knitting"
-I forgot I owned the Grainline Lakeside pattern! I think I will try to sew those up and if I love em, I might make them for my nieces for Christmas
-I *may* sew a coat. It depends on how far I go in the FM contest and how soon winter arrives in Minneapolis!

I posted a planning list not too long ago and some of the items are already scratched. I made a new list combining the FESA with my existing plans and it has 16 items on it! Hahahaha! And I marked EIGHT of them as "must have now". Uhmm...yeah. :-)

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This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with 11 other sewers from Minnesota! IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We hung out at Caribou Coffee for a couple of hours and then hit up SR Harris. I was pretty intent on keeping to cuts of fabric for four projects; I ended up with 3.  I bought some black cotton lycra intending to make leggings but I might make a top instead, some ponte to make a wearable muslin (fingers crossed) of the pieced V1411 pant. I'm going to try to get these sewn on Wednesday.

And the last cut was for my Fabric Mart challenge garment this week :-)

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Speaking of, a professional sewer and blogger (honestly don't remember the blog off the top of my head and had never heard of her before today) had some criticisms of the sleeve shape/fit/etc. on the Grainline pattern. Fine...we should be able to openly criticize pattern companies if we feel they are not providing a solid product. However, the comment section quickly devolved into making fun of the contestants and how "entertaining" our garments for this week would be because we're shitty sewers (slight paraphrase...only slight).

As a new sewer I have to say, I am glad to have a few people with WAY more experience than me to reach out to when I have a question. I am glad to have blogs and Pattern Review and other resources to turn to when I can't understand a technique or fitting issue. But I am not a professional sewer. In fact I don't think any of us in the challenge claim to be. I don't think any of us claim to be expert fitters or pattern drafters...I don't think any of us claim to be professional seamstresses...And I think it's quite catty to "nah-nanny-boo-boo" at people who are competing in a contest designed around the home sewer.

The sad part is, you see this more often than you'd think; with experienced/professional sewers deciding they need to "police" the sewing blog community. Really, most new sewers will hit that point, where they start to focus more on construction methods and fitting their garments, quite organically. If someone would have told me last January that I can't sew unless I am willing to perfect my fitting and technique well...I probably would've quit.

If you want to be a leader/mentor/trainer/tutor/guide/etc to the home sewer...Offer advice, offer constructive criticism, show methods and techniques on your blog or vlog...

--In case anyone is unaware: Constructive criticism is a well-meant critique intended to help someone improve.--
 
...But deciding that everyone who sits at a sewing machine needs to be a master at drafting, fitting, fabric selection and sewing is just silly and pointing and laughing is sillier still.

With that said, I ADORE my garment for this week. Now to run home, blind hem it and get ready for photos! Our deadline was bumped up!!!





44 comments:

  1. You are absolutely right.!! No need to criticize someone who didn't go to Parsons or has been a seamstress for 70 years. I think I may join the challenge and make some PJ Pants and a fur cape.!!

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    1. Oooooh. I want a cape so badly. It'd be super fun in fur!!!

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  2. I completely agree with you. I haven't seen the post/comments in question, but I've seen similar ones about beginning sewists/bloggers/etc. and it always strikes me as mean, catty, "Mean Girls" BS. I'm really surprised that there were mean-spirited comments aimed at the FM competition participants--I was really impressed with what everyone turned out, especially given that you all, you know, have lives and were working under time constraints.

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    1. A couple of us were really shocked like REALLY?! What an asshat move. No one is asking you to follow an AMATEUR sewing competition. So you could like, you know, NOT read it since it "keeps you up at night" (her words).

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  3. Totally - for some reason there seems to have been an increase recently in "oh she's really not very good because she's a beginner", and similar stuff being aimed at sewists for being "too" young. I mean, really. Do you want sewing to die out because only older experienced seamstresses can do it?! Crazypants.

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    1. I agree. Nasty comments from professionals aimed at beginners and the young are sure to send a just growing hobby into a downward turn qickly. If one doesn't have anything nice to say,don't say anything at all.

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    2. Just icky. And more so when the gang jumps in. Meh. Luckily I have plenty of normal experienced sewing bloggers to follow.

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  4. I have a high internal snark level that is hard to reign in (like when looking through new Big 4 pattern releases), but those kinds of direct put downs are just shitty. I think some people have a bit of amnesia about remembering when they were at that stage of sewing, and act like it's embarrassing to post things when you're still learning... but we're all still learning, even if they think they're done. I'm sure there are bigger hawks out there looking down on them - HA!

    If you do remember the name of the blog, I'm a bit curious just because I was working on an Archer shirt this weekend and having trouble with the sleeve shape but I'm not sure what exactly the problem is.

    By the way, I found your blog through the Fabric Mart challenge, and your Scout was my favorite! (Sssh.... don't tell the others.)

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    1. This started as a response and devolved into a rant... my apologies.

      Not sure, but it might be the "Sleeve Cap Flap" post on the Fit for a Queen blog. It seemed that the post had a goal of being informative/instructional (actually, I did think her photos provided a good example of what a properly fitted sleeve looks like), but that the commenters went a bit snarky with their critiques of the contestants. (I have to admit - I use her method when I am sewing for clients - I just cut a large sleeve and fit it on the person because it is way easier than trying to baste it, move it, fit it... Ain't nobody got time for that! Especially in sequin fabrics, which are a lot like leather - you've got one shot or you've got puncture marks.)

      As to all of this I say - sleeves are tricky. Especially when you don't have stick thin model arms, and want mobility in a sleeve. I don't think any of the information in the post was wrong (it pretty much says the same thing in any sewing book I've read), but it is unfortunate that this resulted in people laughing at the efforts of the contestants, who are not professionals, and have only limited time to create their entries for the contest. Also, as was pointed out, if EVERY contestant had the same issues, then (1) it is probably a pattern issue and (2) it becomes a moot point for the judging because there is nothing to differentiate on this area of sewing skill. And, anyway, the first contest seemed to be about creating an embellished t-shirt, NOT about perfected fit (which is the point of the second contest), so I don't know how much that would have been factored into the judging as long as the garment was well constructed? Regardless, I've enjoyed seeing what the contestants created the first week, and I'm excited to see what they do with the next contest. Even if it isn't perfect, it is fun and inspirational, and for me that is enough.

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    2. Exactly. The post was fine but it QUICKLY turned I to "point and laugh" and the author was right along side her commenters.

      I think I said the same that you're saying; she has skills and info to share, why couldn't that be done (talking about the PATTERN and sleeve fit) without deciding that we all suck at sewing. In one comment she mentioned something along the lines of none of us will think to measure back waist length and we will have wrinkles.

      IMO her message is lost when she decides she needs to be bitchy to get it across.

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    3. Jamie the blog is http://fitforaqueen.wordpress.com/ and she gives some wonderful fitting advice using different types of figures. It's too bad that the post took a turn, because I didn't think it was meant to put anyone down when I first read it (but full disclosure I don't normally read the comments I learned my lesson reading comments on news posts).

      Nakisha I thought the entries were fun and all well done. We are never going to make everyone happy, but as long as you made yourself happy (which it seems like you did) then you have already won! Keep moving forward...
      ~Renae

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    4. Thanks for the response everybody. I'm not sure I fully agree with her post even... Yes, raising the sleeve cap might make the garment hang better when your arms are straight down at your sides, but it will also restrict mobility more than a lower sleeve cap, and will have more bunching at the shoulders and pulling at the armpits when you try to raise your arm. I don't like high sleeve caps, and the angle that the scout t-shirt sleeves are drafted at is an ideal angle for me for a casual shirt when I want to be able to raise my arms above my head without my shirt hiking way up. I think the blogger makes wedding dresses (where people care more about looking pretty for a photo than about mobility), and grainline patterns are all casual wear. I rolled my eyes at her saying that the fact that the sleeve stripes weren't parallel to the floor was "obviously wrong".

      After some more reading, I think the drag lines on the front of my scout and archer sleeves are because of the sleeve cap shape, as in this post: http://inhousepatterns.com/blogs/news/5750112-fitting-sleeves I think I have forward shoulders (bad posture from being at a computer all day), and so that makes the issue worse. So whatever... those arm chair commenters pointing out "bad sewing" don't know as much as they think they do.

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  5. I'm glad you got to meet up with other sewists!! It sounds like fun!

    As far as the mean comment situation, I agree wholeheartedly with you. In my opinion, It is sad when experienced seamstresses have a prideful attitude about what they have achieved, so much so, that they snub inexperienced sewists. I had a situation a couple of years ago where I sewed my daughter's 1st Easter dress. I was so stinkin' proud of that dress, it took me so many hours to complete, and a lot of tired sewing nights. I posted the dress on FB, got all these wonderful comments...except for one. This one comment came from a "friend" who finished fashion/design school. She said she looked at a close-up of one of my photos, and saw that the seam at the hemline was off by 1/4".Then she told me I should unpick the seams and re-do it. Ummmm, no!! I told her I wouldn't, because that seam was something I could live with. Obviously, it bothered her more than me. Now I think of that situation and laugh. I am more careful with seam matching, but that dress still has the same seam in place, and it is still perfectly beautiful to me!!! Don't let it get you down, I am inspired by all the sewing you do, and so are a lot of other people. I am excited to see how you do this next go round!!

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    1. I read somewhere that the Amish purposely leave a mistake in their quilts somewhere to prove it was made by human hands and not a robot. I loved that, and now if I have a mistake that really isn't that big of a deal to the end product, I quote that and smile. No one has ever been critical in real life, most of my friends are just amazed I can sew. I had one experienced sewer say she loved my darts on my dress I made, and that made me smile, but she would never be the type to expect me to unpick a tiny mistake like the one you had on your daughter's dress. Gracious...how very (excuse the pun) picky. LOL.

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    2. Oh my gosh Vanessa! You are clearly more patient and nice than I! Ha!

      Dina that's the same thing my knitting teacher told me. Even though she has loads of experience she doesn't go back and fix "every mistake" because some of it just lends to the charm of beautiful handmade wares.

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  6. I'm so excited to see those pants pants! I'm so indecisive I can't decide what fabric to use for that Vogue pattern at the moment. And how in the name of the sewing gods do you have time to do extra sewing on top of the FM contest? You are a superstar.

    I recalled some, let's say snarky comments when I was in the contest last year. Some aimed at me as well as the group. I was more shocked at the idea that sewing bloggers/readers would take the time to say such mean things... I wasn't personally offended just taken aback. Basically, they can suck it, is the stance I took.

    I haven't come across the asshat's (ha! You said asshat up there, so I had to, too) commentary for your 1st round. It's unfortunate they had to rain on the fun. The whole contest is all meant to be a fun and creative marketing tool for FM, everyone is meant to just have a good time, be inspired and maybe learn a few things (and FM sells a boatload of fabric to everyone!). I hope if anyone puts their asshat on this week, I hope their fingers are paralyzed from typing any asshat commentary and they keep their asshattery at home.

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    1. I *thought* I would have extra time! lolol!!!!!! I did cut the pattern (paper) out this morning though.

      Asshat is my favorite! :-p

      I am already feeling like I"ve expanded and stretched myself A TON and it's only week 2! *that* is why I joined.

      Ok, and the potential for free fabric. I mean, seriously...I should own stock in FabricMart!

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  7. I loved your shirt for the FM challenge. Sorry to hear about the mean comments. You are absolutely amazing and an inspiration!

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  8. Now that "professional sewer and blogger" was not at all "professional". How rude. I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't made a mistake, sewing or otherwise. And thank goodness for mistakes, it is how we learn, right? Of course, I'm saying this while wearing "sewing blooper crown" that I earned from all those sewing mistakes I made last month. I even made another one yesterday (blooper not crown). Thankfully, I can laugh at my bloopers. Sounds like the "professional" doesn't find the joy in the process. That said, I think you're an inspiration and that's why I follow your blog.

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    1. Graca, you are one of the more experienced sewers who I love to follow! And loved laughing along at your bloopers! :)

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  9. Here I was...all worried about being judged by Julie and Pamela (of Pamela's patterns) this week, but instead my real worry should be these women, who are clearly going to judge us way more harshly and with way more scrutiny. Wow. My husband thinks these commenters clearly have too much time on their hands. I wish they would take some of that energy and use it to being overly critical of working conditions in sewing sweatshops in the 3rd world, but eh, MORE FUN to make fun of us! Yippee!!!

    Oh, and for the record, I went bowling in my embellished scout tee/tunic, and its apparently "too tight" cap sleeve. Guess what? FULL range of motion. Whadyaknow??? Heehee. Oh and the seams didn't bust either...

    You are really a good sewer, and I am pleased that you (and all the other women) are my group of fashion challenge competitors. Yeah!

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    1. I was *THIS* close to posting a pic of me in my shirt like, oooh look...I CAN move!

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  10. Oh, and because I am still riled up by this blog and her mission (which is an admirable one, if only the author could be just reel in her snootiness of what others do that are not to her standards), I gave a big side eye at this comment by her to Beth:

    Thank you, Beth for reminding all of us about your win. I thought that contestants were specially selected for their skills, experience and expertise, asked and chosen to compete, I didn’t know that anyone can apply. Looking forward to the next round where fit is crucial.

    WHY IN THE WORLD DIDN'T SHE READ MORE ABOUT THE COMPETITION BEFORE FIRING OFF ABOUT US? Ugh. I mean, what, four extra minutes of research to discover most of us fall in the advanced beginner/intermediate range? There is one sewer at the advanced level, right? Ann? Sigh. Does her opinion change now that she knows? Will she be less harsh on the beginner sewers at Pattern Review who have drag lines on their very first skirt? Hmm...we'll see.

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    1. GRRRRRRRRRR! That made me angrier!

      You didn't even take the time to KNOW before you started your little snark campaign?!? Ugh. Ugh. UGH!

      RIght. Why can't you offer your expertise without looking down your nose at other people??

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    2. Sing it, sister!

      I've been sewing for 18 years and I'm still learning lots and lots about fit (those first few years I fit pretty much perfectly into a pattern size - ah, to be a teenager with few fit issues) and I didn't notice and don't really care about the sleeve stuff.

      Why? 'Cause I don't give a shit. If it fits and looks OK to the average person, that's all that matters to me.

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    3. Yeeeeaaah her comment back to me somehow managed to be rude and uninformed at the same time. But I'm with you Jess. I mean REALLY it's just clothing!! (I also feel compelled to say that I wasn't trying to remind anyone of my win, simply identifying myself...sheesh!)

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    4. Yeah, I saw that. :( Uncalled for. Really made me mad for you.

      I also understood that you were simply identifying yourself: there are many Beths in the world!

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  11. Oh, for heaven's sake! People need to remember that this sewing hobby is supposed to be fun. And people my age need to remember that we lost an entire generation of sewers because everything had to be "perfect" in the late 60s and early 70s. Many women my age don't sew because they couldn't do it perfectly so they just quit sewing. Now I see the young girls (and not so young) coming up and they aren't interested in "oh, you have to do it this way!" and "you can't do it that way!" And you know what? It's all good. They're bringing interest and new energy back to sewing and we're all learning new things. Lastly, if you really can't say something nice about a project someone has taken the time and effort to document on their blog, you probably should just hush unless and until you are specifically asked for constructive feedback.

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    1. See, EXACTLY! I know I didn't do things "right" when I first started sewing but I got so excited about DOING it that that's what counts! NOW I care more about details and nuances but who does it hurt when that process takes a little more time? No one!

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  12. I have no time for people who like to make fun of other people - I'll bet this supersewer mean mouth couldnt hold down a job as a professional, look after a family and develop a challenging hobby as well, as you do. I don't like mean spirited people. Keep up the good work Nakisha.

    P.S. I also thought you did a good job with the Grainline Scout, because of all the above factors - limited time, two muslins, some designing.

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    1. Thank you Sarah Liz! It certainly rubbed me the WRONG way!

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  13. Not only did she fail to notice the skill level of the contestants, but she also missed that the pattern was for a *woven* t-shirt.

    Normally that blog is great for laughs, but I thought that post was kind of out of line. There were plenty of ways to educate about sleeve cap height without making an example of the contestants, especially since they are self-taught hobbyists rather than professional and/or public figures. It would be like me using her blog as an example of excessive usage of ellipses and then later on defending myself by saying I didn't know she wasn't a professional writer.

    She missed an important point in her post: higher sleeve caps look beautiful but are in many ways more restrictive. This is a casual shirt pattern, and thus range of motion is more important than eliminating draglines. Only one person brought up the fact that shirts with high sleeve caps tend to lift up the whole shirt if you put your arms over your head. The blogger then wrote back that for her job she finds woven shirts with long, set-in sleeves to be too restrictive, and for that reason always sticks to short, sleeveless, or knits.

    I think you're an incredibly talented and intelligent woman, and while I might not always comment I enjoy following your blog and seeing what you come out with next.

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    1. That means so much, thank you!

      You're one of my favorite experienced bloggers!!

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  14. Such a wonderful post. I have lurked many blogs before I returned to sewing and was always appalled at the trashing of a pattern. My mother taught me and my sisters how to sew and we ALL used the same pattern and yes WE are all different sizes. We learned to take our time and work on fitting our bodies so if we didn't like the pattern then it got modified or what everyone call "mash up" now. Sewing is always a discovery process and she should of learned the pattern and sleeve design was not for her not make it bad for everyone else. Anyhoo, your sewing skills are very good and everything you create is wonderful. I mean you got me thinking about making a red jacket!

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  15. How sad that some people are so cruel with their comments! And like you said, constructive criticism is always appreciated as none of us are perfect! I try to remember that hurting people, hurt people and that is exactly what she did!

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  16. Haven't gotten the pattern yet but I really want to try those vogue pants!

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    1. I'm excited to sew them!!

      Oooh and that wool handles and drapes so nicely! :-D

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  17. I didn't read the comments you mention - I'm so glad I didn't! I didn't learn to sew or dressmake when I was younger - not on school curriculum, not from sewing family, focused on science and maths etc. I always regretted this and was pleased to take up garment making in retirement. I have found blogs and PR so supportive and constructively critical - they weren't around last time I considered starting sewing. There is no place for destructive criticism. I think it's great that sewing is coming back into a new generation, maybe along with new or different techniques, not all will work no doubt but people will come to the same conclusions you have (and then maybe we'll get some inspiring books etc for intermediate rather than just beginner sewers). I enjoy your blog - long may your makes continue. I'm following the FM contest and have voted each week. I wouldn't follow if these were professional sewers. Good luck in comp. Anne

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  18. I was disappointed to see that melee, also, and was hoping the contestants didn't read it. It made me feel very sad, and I'm not even involved. I was disappointed because the sewing community has always been such a supportive, kind group (unlike so many other corners of the web). I do hope that it's not a trend. I can't imagine putting myself out there for an exhausting contest like this, only to be strung up by the spectators. Keep up the good sewing and learning. ;-)

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  19. Mrs Smith, I do think the original post was meant for instructional purposes as well as pointing out that the problem began with the pattern. What I took away from it was: Oh shoot! I just made 2 woven long sleeve tops...and she's absolutely right...the sleeve caps are too short. Gah!!

    Chin up and good luck in the upcoming weeks. :)

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  20. I love your dress (I read the construction post first). I agree with the point you made about constructive criticism. I think that it's not inclusive when people who are already part of a community mock others who are trying to enter the community for their beginner efforts. As a sewist of one year, I donut think I could take it if someone were to mock something I did. It takes me many hours to learn a new thing! With every project, I try to learn some new technique.

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  21. It was great meeting you at the meet-up! I was super impressed with your coat.

    There are so many wonderful, friendly sewing blogs out there representing the full range of expertise, interests and niches. I've axed a few unpleasant voices over the years and my feed has been better for it. It's easy enough to find ignorant snark at the end of any news article (!); it's nice to have the sewblogisphere be a bit of a refuge.

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  22. The fit for a queen blogger says in her first post that she wants to remain anonymous. How convenient as she makes fun of her paying customers and other people. If she's that frustrated her customers, she should get a new profession. I look to sewing blogs like yours to be inspired by other sewers not cheap laughs. I don't want to read snarky commentary in public forum especially about other people which is just tacky and frankly unprofessional. There are other blogs that I've stopped reading because I didn't care for the negative and/or whiney tone. I sew because it's fun and enjoy reading about other sewers projects!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one; even if I don't have time to respond back!