7 January 2014

What Would You Like to See on the Blog This Year?


Today feels like the first day back at school for me. I’m back home and thawed out from a trip visiting my brother in a very snowy Chicago, and am just about getting over a killer combination of jet lag plus illness. I’ve tidied away the Christmas mess and done my first yoga stretches in a couple of weeks. Pencils sharpened, coffee in hand, and “to do” list for the week prepped, I was mulling over some ideas I’ve been having about new strands for this blog in 2014. I have a loooooong list of ideas for blog posts that I’m excited to start planning and sharing with you. Often these ideas are generated by comments or emails from blog readers, whether remarking on something casually or explicitly seeking advice - I'm grateful to have such engaged readers contributing to Tilly and the Buttons. Today, before I dive in and start prepping new strands, I thought I’d ask you directly if you’d like to give any input – what would you like to see on the blog this year?


Any dressmaking dilemmas playing on your mind that you’d like to see covered in Hints & Tips?
Any techniques you’d love to see added to Learn to Sew?
Do you want me to do more pattern hacks and tutorials on embellishing your DIY clothing?
Are you interested in me-made styling tips?
Anything you’d like to know about what goes on behind the scenes or how I do what I do?
Anyone you’d love to see interviewed for A Day in the Life?
Would you like to see more videos, more online chats, or some other format of engagement?
Or maybe you have an idea for something totally new that you think would be a great fit for Tilly and the Buttons?

Let me know in the comments! Thanks in advance for your input – can’t wait to hear your ideas.

PS. The eagle-eyed amongst you might note that's a really old image of my blog at at the top of this post - yip, sorry, it's far too dark today to take a current photo!

98 comments:

  1. I'd love to see more behind the scenes types of posts, please.

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    1. Okey dokey, I'll do more behind the scenes posts. Anything in particular you'd like to know about or just general what's going on?

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  2. a tutorial about how to sew your own lingerie :D

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    1. I hadn't even considered that, but given that I can never quite find what I'm looking for at the stores...or it costs hundreds of dollars if I do find it...that could be really cool!

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    2. I would love this. I have a friend who makes her own knickers and camisoles (everyday and lovely silky ones!); they look fab and she swears they only take an hour but my efforts have been less than successful.

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    3. That's an interesting idea - I definitely want to sew more lingerie myself. I'm not very experienced in sewing lingerie though and know other bloggers/designers who are focusing on this so will see if they can be convinced into guest posting...

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  3. One thing I often wonder about is how best to care for my me-made-clothes - I'm very worried when it comes to washing them. I know I try to make them well, but I still fret and worry and put off putting dresses with handpicked zippers into the washing machine - I have no idea if they'll take kindly to it, or how I'd know! Any hints and tips in that department would be much appreciated :-)

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    1. Ooh actually there was a post on the Coletterie recently about caring for handmade clothing. Enjoy!

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  4. Hi Tilly,
    wondering if you can help actually. I have the exact same make and model of you Janome J3-18. I don't know what type of zipper and invisible zipper foots would work. I bought one off amazon and it doesn't work. what zipper foots do you have on yours ? This would be of great help! thanks very much
    xx

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    1. I'm pretty sure this is the invisible zip foot I've got, and the regular zip one came with the machine. It's not amazing, I must admit. I'm now using Janome 6600P and the metal invisible zip foot is much better, so get one of those if you can find one.

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    2. Hi Tilly, Melissa, I'm having exact same machine and same problem. The needle position is not in the center and all the invisible footer have the little hole for the needle in the center. I can see from your link as well that it is in center. I've posted some pictures on my blog as well. So any tips on this will be very helpful. Many Thanks.

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    3. Aha, I can help you ladies there. You want to purchase yourselves a universal adjustable piping foot. I've never had straighter zips before! You screw it onto the shank and then there's a screw at the back so you can adjust where the foot sits next to your needle. I adjust mine so that the needle just fits into the little groove in the side and then you can line up your fabric against the side of the foot.
      I talk about it in my tutorial for how to sew in a zipped pocket into a bag lining and here's a pic of the foot http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iY0nNmpterU/UPfn52k0MrI/AAAAAAAAD4w/o_eoeIyWWMk/s640/P1060049.jpg

      Here's the tutorial, although I like to think my tutorials have improved 200% since then!! http://www.handmadebymrsh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/how-to-sew-zipped-pocket.html

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  5. I love hints and tips! Especially for clean finishing details. They're simple posts that can be referenced over and over again, no matter what I'm sewing.

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  6. I'm pretty excited about the knit dress you've mentioned a couple times. It would be great to get the pattern for that, plus instructions like you did with your other offered patterns. Other than that, I love how your doing things so I'll stay tuned regardless. :)

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I'm working hard on the Coco knit top/dress pattern now, so fingers crossed it'll be out soonish...

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    2. Agree! Haven't sewn with knits yet and am a little tiny bit scared... Any tips on how to do so with a regular sewing machine rather than serger would be ace too.

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  7. I like seeing how people use/wear the things they make. That's one fun thing about seeing posts highlighting an event you've been to - we get to see your garments in action! That packing post for your trip this summer was fun, seeing how you mix and match your things in real life. The "What's on My Sewing Table" posts are fun too.

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    1. That's such a good point, Amy - us sewing bloggers tend to focus on the one big reveal post and then you don't get to see how we're incorporating handmade clothing into our everyday wardrobe. I wear handmade nearly every day, so should certainly talk about that more! I wonder whether we should do something like a weekly Twitter/Instagram Me-Made-Monday reveal of how we're wearing handmade?

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  8. Hey Tilly! I am still excited that you are going to have your own room and can't wait to see what you do with that....plus I love the way you style garments to suit your own style more please...an explanation of toile'ing' a garment and a how to with tips would be soooper.
    thank you!

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    1. Will do - thanks for the suggestion!

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  9. I love vintage clothes details...and being 57 I don't count anything from my life time (1950s forward) as vintage, I mean 1920s, 30s and 40s (I realise vintage is a relative thing...). I'd love to see how people add vintage details to their real life clothes. I find a lot of the bows and frills don't suit middle aged women (or petite ones such as myself). Perhaps this blog is more for younger women, but this is my suggestion. What about a day in the life of Ann Rowley? She's incredibly prolific and it would be great to see how she manages that. (Spending less time on the computer would be my guess).

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    1. Haha it's funny how 1990s is considered vintage now, and is even making a fashion revival! Personally I love bows, but I get your point - will see if I can come up with some tutorials. And a day in the life of Ann is such a great idea!

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    2. My age is 57 years as well. I love your blog for inspiration but I would never be tempted to sew any of your items. Posts about sewing for the mature figure ( Size 14 or larger) would be appreciated. Many larger size patterns just look like sacks. Could you find a larger lady to showcase in "the day in the life"?

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  10. I'd like to know how to put linings in and I'd also like help with adding collars. I also enjoyed the sewing social you organised on twitter.

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  11. How to hack patterns when you are petite, ie under 5'3. Or alternatively any tips on where to find petite patterns etc and how to read a pattern and decide all the suitable elements that need to be considered to make it petite.

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    1. Oh yes I agree, I'm little too so that would be helpful!

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    2. Definitely how to size for petite's but with no so petite derrier.

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    3. I'm even littler than you, and with a not-so-petite derriere too! That's a brilliant idea to write about petite sewing, there's a lot online about doing FBAs, grading for larger sizes etc but not very much for us miniature people!

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    4. Love this idea too! Ann had a great tute on Flicker about how to narrow the shoulders of a pattern (one of my main problems) and I was all set. Only my pattern had princess seams to deal with and I was flummoxed again / still.

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  12. I think I will work with whatever springs forth from your mind, because there is a lot of stuff here that I have not yet caught up with. All fab... so I'll just go with the flow. :-)

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  13. Glad you made it home even with the crazy weather we've been having here! You'll have to let us know next time you come back, I'm sure Chicago-area followers would love to have a meetup!

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    1. Oh definitely! I didn't have time to meet up with anyone this time, it was such a short trip with various family events, but I can't wait to come back and have a sewing meet-up.

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  14. I would love to learn about lining my me made clothes and definitely me made styling tips would be fabulous. I also agree with Shelley up there. A day in the life of Ann Rowley would be a great idea!

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    1. Many moons ago, Tasia Sewaholic wrote a guest post for me on drafting a jacket lining if this is helpful. Styling tips is a wonderful idea.

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  15. You escaped Chicago just in time to miss our deep freeze. BRRRR. I'm no help in the recommendations department, but I'm sure you'll give us lots to look forward to in 2014

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    1. It was pretty cold when I was there! Knee-deep in snow, minus 15C. Brrr indeed!!

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  16. I'd love a guided tour of your sewing room when it's finished.
    Any tips on altering clothes we may already own, I always get a funny gap in the waistband of jeans, but I'm quite big in the hip and thigh department, would be appreciated.
    Maybe some quick fixes on altering patterns for the timid.

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    1. Oh you'll get the full sewing studio tour, don't worry!

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  17. I'd love to learn more about less common DIY garments like cardigans, sweaters, blazers and pants so I can quit buying them and start makin' em. There are loads of tips, patterns and info about skirts, dresses and blouses, but i'd like to know more about other staple pieces too.

    I also LOVE your posts about finding "your" style. Maybe you could feature some seamstresses, bloggers and friends that have a very unique style that is purely "them' and interview them about it.

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    1. That's a really good point, Rox - I'll have a think about that...

      So glad you love the style-related posts. Stitch and Witter has a great interview series with sewing bloggers about their handmade style, but maybe we could come up with something else I could do on this topic... Any ideas?

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  18. I like your blog as it is, but also like the ideas you mooted. Having an E cup means many patterns don't fit. So maybe how to alter for bigger bosoms please?

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    1. There are lots of great tutorials online already for altering patterns for full busts such as this one - I hope this is helpful. Thanks for your kind words about my blog!

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  19. I don't have original ideas, but yes please to more day in the lifes and styling tips!

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  20. I'd love to get involved in sewing chats and just love looking at makes and ideas.

    Hannah.
    http://surfjewels.tumblr.com/

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  21. I loved participating in the sewing chats and I hope you can host more this year. It was a great way for me to expand my "sewing horizons"

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  22. I'd actually love to see a Day in the Life of you, Tilly! I know as blog readers we follow your progress in the sewing world in quite a bit of detail, but since becoming a full time seamstress we've not actually heard what you yourself get up to in an average day :)

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    1. Haha I don't quite have a set routine yet, but maybe I should set myself a goal of writing my own Day in the Life later this year as motivation to sort it out!

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  23. I loved your "sewing for your style" post, so me made styling posts would be great. And perhaps a little "wardrobe" (or less ambitious) "outfit" sewing challenge would be great. It would hopefully push me to make it a priority to actually finish a sewing project for myself!

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  24. I want to see what developed from that lovely pink yarn you were knitting, anything you made from Un Ete Couture, sneak peaks of any fashions you will be featuring in your book, and yes, yes, on sewing one's own knickers, or panties, as we call them here. I am also interested I sewing a modest vintage style swimsuit, if that intrigues you at all. So nice of you to ask your readers! I am looking forward to your posts.

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    1. Erm... it's one quarter of a scarf at the moment! Your comment has encouraged me to move my knitting bag so it's in sight when I take my next break. Maybe I should spend ten minutes knitting after lunch rather than geeking out on Bloglovin??

      I haven't used Un Ete Couture yet but hoping to do so later this year - it's got such lovely patterns in it.

      I cannot WAIT to show you sneak peeks from my book!!!

      I was just thinking about a tutorial on sewing simple knickers yesterday, I'm trying to work out if there's an easy way to explain how to draft your own pattern...

      Swimsuit - have you seen the Bombshell pattern? Google Image it - everyone's made such gorgeous things with it! Definitely on my "to sew" list this year.

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  25. This may be counter productive and you may have done some of these and I've missed them, but I'd sure like to see tutorials on techniques that mimic the ready to wear clothing! Whenever I look at a nicely made garment, especially those that are lined, it just seems to have been put together so efficiently and neatly - not all the steps most of the pattern companies use! Would love to see what RTW techniques can be used without sacrificing quality construction!

    Thanks for all of your terrific posts!

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    1. PS...I know about Style Arc patterns, and have a few of them that I haven't sewn yet. Any other pattern companies out there that are more RTW in fit, style?

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    2. That's a great idea. There are lots of tricks I picked up when I did a course in professional sewing techniques - I've shared some of them before here and there, but will make an effort to share more. Some people find them a bit scandalous though, haha!

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  26. I find your hints and tips very helpful. I would love to learn about some alternative neckline techniques, especially for using knit fabrics, as this is always a problem area for me! Thanks!

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    1. I'm thinking about that very question right now, as the neck finish on the Coco knit pattern will be a little different to the norm...

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  27. I love your blog already, but I like the idea of more me-made styling tips, and maybe even some tips on finding your style. Just a thought.

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    1. Lots of people are asking for more styling posts, so I'll definitely do that!

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  28. Your learn to sew section is really good. What I struggle with is zippers. I tried to follow the instructions on my zipper foot manual and from the sewing books I own but it just has not clicked yet. A short photo tutorial on that would be awesome. Also very excited for the book. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks Kriss. Zips is a great idea, I'll do that.

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  29. Hi Tilly...I am new to sewing, started after I watched the sewing bee. I have made a mixture of tops skirts and one dress for myself but still am not sure how to get the fit right...everything I make is too big, thankfully wearable but I want to get it right!
    A guide to fitting on yourself would be really appreciated.

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    1. Ah yes, fitting can be a big challenge! It gets a lot easier once you've worked out what fitting adjustments you usually need to make. There's a lot out there already online and in books, so I'll write a post at some point linking to various resources. In the meantime you could have a look at a book such as The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. I hope this helps.

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  30. Hello Tilly,
    Last year, after seeing your lovely knickers, I got inspired to make my own. I bought one pattern on the notonthehighstreet website and made a pair but the result was terrible. I did struggle with the sewing of the elastic to the non-stretch fabric and also with the sizing of the garment as the ones I made ended up being very big.... Any ideas as to how to make knickers, materials needed etc would be much appreciated.

    Also, how to add lining to a simple garment like a skirt.

    How to sew for oneself. In the summer I made a couple of things for my kids and that was ok as you can check the fitting, make alterations etc... however, I am not sure how I will be able to do something for myself without somebody helping me... It is quite daunting... and after the knickers failure I feel a bit apprehensive at using nice fabric and then make a cock up.... Any ideas?

    Thanks for all your help, Pati x

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    1. That's a shame the knickers didn't work out. I'll see what i can do.

      The lining idea is noted - thank you.

      That's a great idea about posting about how to sew - or in particular, fit - when there's no one to help you. Watch this space!

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  31. Hey Tilly, similar comment to another reader, but I always like to find out about how peoples makes are holding up to being worn - as you say often bloggers will have a lovely styled post about a garment, add it into their gallery and then move on to the next make. One of my more surprisingly popular posts was about how my things were holding up. I suppose a lot of the recent top 5 hits and misses might have touched on this but a retrospective on self made item successes and failures, and what you may do differently might be a really useful post, especially for less experienced sewists. Otherwise, just stay being awesome! :)

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    1. That's a really great idea - thank you!

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  32. how to make clothes for your body type, or working out what will suit you, I have a straight-ish body type (said banana on website I typed my inch measurements into?!?!?!) and working out what will suit me from all theses lovely indie patterns is so frustrating, help would be appreciated.

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  33. I tend to lean more towards longer maxi skirts so would like to know how to extend the pattern for the miette skirt :-)

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  34. I would love to learn more about fabric…Kind of goes back to the one folks were saying where they want to see how people's clothes are holding up after a while, but as a newbie, buying fabric for my first pieces was pretty terrifying! I had no idea (and still don't to a good extent) what is most comfortable, what kinds of fabric work best with certain sewing techniques, how to wash clothes I make (I am usually so dependent on tags!), etc. I love what I make, but I want to know how to make sure what I make lasts!

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  35. Hi Tilly, I love seeing your Fabric choices. It's often the dilemma of either seeing Fabric before you have a project or finding the project and not knowing which Fabric to choose. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I've decided this year to be interactive. Your ideas have been very inspiring and thanks to people like you I managed to turn my redundancy into a positive and set up my own Fabric business. It's early days and I'm loving every minute of it. Thanks again Tilly. Looking forward to seeing your new projects - Helen -

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  36. I'd love to see more pattern hacking. Top from that one with skirt from that one or how to alter sleeve type eg raglan to normal and vice versa Also what body shapes suit variety of styles.
    I love your style and enjoy reading your blog but we are very different shapes so I can't copy the ideas. Still inspiring though. Thank you.

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  37. I would like to see "what goes on behind the scenes". I'm 15 and hoping to become someone who does arty things...you are an inspiration!

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  38. I know this really cheeky of me to ask here (feel free to delete tilly!)
    But if anyone is reading could you please tell me which blog name you like best?
    Prettily Unravelling, Pretty Unraveled, Artfully Entangled, Artful tangle, Artful mess

    Any others? Thank you so much if you reply! xxxx

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    1. Haha personally I like Artfully Engangled :)

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    2. Tilly you are so NICE! Thank you so much xx

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  39. Hi Tilly :-) I second other comments here regarding hints and tips for sewing knit fabrics. I find knits really intimidating and I'm yet to make anything from them, even though I love lounging around in cozy t-shirts and stretchy pants!

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  40. I would love to see tips and tricks that go beyond the very basics - I've learned things like understitching bias binding so it doesn't show, for example, from reading blogs. Little things that you've found go a long way in your sewing might not seem like a big deal, but they might blow the minds of newbies like me.

    For a more specific tutorial, I find that the armscye is always too tight for the dress or top that matches my measurements. I haven't been able to find the "correct" way to alter a pattern for this problem. I would love to have a resource for this.

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  41. I haven't read all comments yet but I am always really interested in finding out more about the fabric people choose to sew with, where they got it, what they liked/didn't like about the sewing process (was it slippery, hard to sew, etc.) and what they liked/didn't like about how the fabric behaved once sewn. One reason why I sometimes might shy away from online fabric shopping (and correspondingly online purchases of patterns) is because it is hard to know the weight, feel, texture of a fabric. If a person were to say, "hey I made X shirt in this (linky) fabric and it works for this reason or doesn't work for that reason" I am more inclined to consider sewing something similar. I hope that makes sense!

    I really like your blog by the way. I often lurk about and rarely post (sorry), but I am reading and enjoying the blog very much. Thanks so much for what you do--the inspiration, the information and the fun!

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  42. I want to see more things that you sew for yourself!!!

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  43. Hi Tilly. Would love to see more reviewing and making mainstream sewing patterns. So we could see and learn more about the construction of a garment as the lovely end result....

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  44. I haven't read the other comments (because, a lot) so I apologise if I am repeating a previous comment. Ideally I would like to see some more learning to sew series on techniques like different ways to put in zippers and sleeves, as your photographs and explanations are beautifully clear and concise :) Thank you.

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  45. I would love to see more tutorials on the blog! I also enjoyed how you did everything so step-by-step for your picnic blanket skirt. Probably what I would like most would be to see more skirt DIYs like that.
    I'm also a definite vintage enthusiast (I know some people say that "vintage" means 20 or 30 years old but technically, it refers to a specific time period: 1920s through '50s) and I love the detail that went into clothing back then. It would be really nice to see how-to's for vintage details like that (smocking, bows, ruffles, pin tucks, etc).
    Pattern hacks are always awesome, too! Would definitely enjoy seeing more of those!

    Thanks Tilly!
    xoxo, Alesha
    www.oldfashionedwhimsy.blogspot.com

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  46. I'm trying to get 'out there' a bit more this year so I'd love it if you'd like to review one of my sewing patterns & try out some of my bag hardware. Alternatively I'm working on a series of free patterns/tutorials for simple bags for beginners. If you'd like I can let you know when the first is out? x

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    1. p.s. although I consider myself an advanced seamstress, clothes scare me and I think of them as so much harder than bags!!

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  47. Now that I am starting to get a bit more adventurous with sewing, successful fitting of a garment is something I really need to tackle. Any pointers on this would be great, e.g. step by step, and best ways to deal with different fit issues. I think other sewists may also be in the same situation as me-no one to help me fit and no mannequin, so fitting to myself can be a challenge! Thanks

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  48. Hey Tilly, I'm not sure if you're still looking for ideas but I wondered if you had every thought of doing a 'hangout' on google+? I wasn't into google+ until recently, you know I had an account that I set up when it first came out but hadn't really learnt to use it much. But now I am totally sold. It is really easy to meet like-minded people on there through communities and I think a lot of people would love to have a 'hangout' with you. You should have a look at it, definitely worth investing a bit of time on there to figure it all out. Zoe. x

    http://tadpegs.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Zoe. The thought had crossed my mind, I'll definitely think about it for the future.

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  49. My one sewing fear is 'Button Holes'. I don't know where to start. I don't know if yo have already covered this, if you have could you post a link for me please.
    Thanks
    Louise xx

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  50. Some help with bias binding would help me - making it, going round corners with it. I liked the person's comments re: using vintage accents and so sweat guards could be good - do you ever make and/or use them? And button holes, the vintage ones. I know Gertie has commented on them but I need to buy the book.

    J

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  51. My favorite posts are when you show off your finished projects - I love to see that you still find time to make things for yourself! : )

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  52. As someone else said, a pattern for the knit dress (which you said you're working on ) and how to make it on a regular machine, rather than an overlocker for those of us who don't have one. Thanks! :)

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  53. Hi Tilly, I'd really love to take part in a sew along! I think it would be lovely if you shared a free pattern and get your readers to share pictures of what they come up with :)

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  54. Hi Tilly, I'd really love to take part in a sew along! I think it would be lovely if you shared a free pattern and get your readers to share pictures of what they come up with :)

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