Slouchy white linen pants and thoughts on the online sewing world.

Dear readers,

Forgive me in advance for the ramblings. To ameliorate it, paragraphs will be separated by pictures from the white linen pants I made 3 months ago. Since then I change the waistband to the same rectangular waistband as my linen shorts.

The pattern is a very modified version of this Japanese book.
The pattern is a very modified version of this Japanese book.

I feel funny. I have pictures of finished garments to show and I don’t write the posts. I even love the said garments but talking about them is not as exciting anymore. The fact that they were all completed between 1 and 3 months ago may have something to do with that… So what to do? The blog is going to be 2 years old very soon. I keep enjoying it but I’m still looking for my “voice” (OMG that sounds so lame), or at least looking for something that sounds like who I am IRL.

Also, I just discovered GOMI… Such a relief to read what my little mean french inner voice has been saying!! Of course, I don’t agree with everything (who could?) but some points really resonated with me. Since sewing became so prominent online, maybe we lost something on the way.

The fabric is a linen blend from Mood NYC, extremely annoying to working (all about shifting and fraying)
The fabric is a linen blend from Mood NYC, extremely annoying to working (all about shifting and fraying)

When I started sewing, I also got internet access. But in 1999, not many sewing resources were available online, especially not in French! Everything was about forums back then and closed groups. I use to be part of one called affinitiz…

Thus to learn, I read books, bought burda magazines, took classes with an old lady and… I failed and failed and failed many projects. At least, there was no one to show them too. Except my critical French mom (hey mom!). Having them all around the blog would be kind of embarassing, with their unraveling seam allowances, blown seams from the absence of ANY wearing ease and their highly impractical sleeves.

However, since that day, I had the feeling that something was missing in the home sewing pattern industry. Something that would allow us to achieve results closer to high-end RTW: the ability to follow trends before they are translated in the mass-market, beautiful finishings, a focus on higher-end materials, etc.

Fast forward to the mid 2000s, this is IT! Burdastyle website has been launched, we are all talking about open source sewing, a website called “Inner French Girl” is around and awesome (do you remember??), fashion-incubator, the first sewing blogs . Such an exciting time!

White linen pants 3
I was very happy with my double welted pockets with flap, i took pictures of my pattern making and sewing process, but I don’t know if they are worth posting..

And now here we are, in 2014, and it’s all about pattern releases, book deals, fabric blogging networks, sewalongs and blog tours. I cannot say that I did not want to be part of it. I love shiny stuff! But I don’t have the time and the skills it takes to jump there. Plus, I miss the time when we were talking about collaborative sewing, when the Selfish Seamstress was throwing patterns at the world and when PR was a mandatory stop before spending 15 EUROS on a Vogue pattern!

Going back to GOMI, and to the pattern testing controversy, I’m not saying that bloggers should stop releasing patterns and getting book deals. As long as people buy them, they should keep on releasing them!! However, I believe that a collaborative approach could help the ones that are just bored with Peter Pan collar tutorials. The new sewing experts are here to teach beginners (and that’s great) or to underline stuff in silk organza (please don’t make me!! I promise I will be a good girl!!).

I don't think it shows in the pictures, but the (very) curved waistband I prepared initially made them slightly uncomfortable. So I ripped it off and put rectangular waistband. When pants sit that low, I think it suits me better.
I don’t think it shows in the pictures, but the (very) curved waistband I prepared initially made them slightly uncomfortable. So I ripped it off and put rectangular waistband. When pants sit that low, I think it suits me better.

So I’m offering an experiment. In the coming weeks, I will throw a free pattern on the blog. It will be a pencil skirt. Initially graded in 3 sizes, on the small spectrum of sizing range, because that’s the one I know. I will take pictures of my construction steps to put them here too. And then let’s all pattern test!! If people wants to tell me that explanations are poor, the pattern needs improvements, they can grade it to bigger sizes, the pdf layout is bad or whatever, let’s have it! And maybe, MAYBE, one pencil skirt at a time, we can work towards patterns fit (haha) our needs better. On the other hand, it is very possible that nobody cares, anyway, let’s at least talk about it!


24 thoughts on “Slouchy white linen pants and thoughts on the online sewing world.

  1. Stephanie

    Love the pants! This is very interesting. I haven’t been in the sewing blogging sphere for very long and I don’t yet have that much sewing skill (or much to offer as a result), but I agree with much of what you are saying. I sewed quite a bit twenty years ago and then I became a lapsed home sewer, although I started reading the blogs a few years ago. I adored the Selfish Seamstress! I also like the idea of a collaborative atmosphere that is about making truly nice things. I don’t like GOMI because I personally don’t see the point in being mean, gossiping or throwing stones at anyone – it’s not my style – but à chacun son goût! I think that everything will sift itself out eventually and the people who are truly interested in improving their sewing will gravitate to the quality resources, and more-skilled people will continue to offer mentoring. If II have tie will try your pencil skirt! In fact, I am looking for a pattern for a pencil skirt that I like at this very moment and was thinking of drafting my own.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Hi Stephanie! Thank you for stopping by and jumping in the conversation. I do think that the Selfish Seamstress was a perfect example of the sewing community at its best! You are probably right about the fact that things will evolve by themselves! I announced the pencil skirt pattern also so that people can hold me accountable. Now I really have to finish it!!

      • Stephanie

        Yes, you definitely do! 🙂 I would like a new pencil skirt pattern so I am very likely to try it. My only problem these days is that my sewing time is limited. Look forward to seeing the pattern.

  2. Miriana

    I miss the Selfish Seamstress. And you’ve inspired me to remove a very popular blog, that is now a marketing vehicle, from my reader

  3. Chris @ makeandwear

    This made me smile:) I thought I was the only one who got shivers at the mention of underlining in silk organza! I’m still trying to find my voice with blogging, not sure where my blog fits yet. Looking forward to the pattern release:)

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Happy I’m not the only one terrified at the idea of wearing silk organza underlined garments! Although if I was Jackie O, in the 60’s, wearing a sheath in a pastel color, I guess it would be ok. But then I would need a hat 😉

  4. jne4sl

    First off the pants look beautiful on you, prettier than the inspiration. I completely agree with your assessment of online sewing. It doesn’t seem right that GOMI reads like the last remaining sewing discussion and I don’t mean because of negativity but because there’s a back and forth. I do hope the situation sorts itself out but it is frustrating. So many of the best amateur blogs seem to fizzle out and the “pros” just become more filtered and condescending. I don’t think I’m asking too much, I’ll read for profit blogs as long as the primary purpose is discussing sewing. Once promoting products squeezes out the original content and discussion, I’m not going to stick around. The pattern situation is equally frustrating, if we sew for ourselves, it ought to be possible to find designs at least as good as ready-to-wear if not better with a nod toward current fashion. As long as we’re spending all this time constructing our own clothes it makes sense that we are thinking about what manufacturers are doing. Yet so many of the patterns which get attention are either very simple, retro, or if they are contemporary are still copying designs a few seasons old. There are exceptions but why does it have to be so hard to find them? Anyway, looking forward to your pattern, sounds like fun.

    • Jana

      Can I just say: “what jne4sl says”? This comment really summarises my opinion pretty accurately.

      I love the pencil skirt idea! I can actually really use a pencil skirt pattern. I’ve wanted one that fits me well for quite a while now, so I’d love to try out yours and perhaps even compare it to the other ones I have lying around that I haven’t tried yet! I’ll have to try hard to fit this project into my schedule somehow, there are always so many projects!

  5. CGCouture

    Haha! I’ve become addicted to GOMI as well (mostly as a lurker though). I haven’t expanded my online sewing presence much since I started (I still follow a lot of the same blogs and I’m not active on Kollabora, et al, even though I technically am a member) and since my mother apparently pounded most of the necessary skills into my head (literally), I haven’t had much need for online tutorials. And don’t even get me started on all the sewalongs for every t-shirt pattern–GRRR, but I can understand the need for a community that can learn from each other. But we already have one, and it’s called Stitcher’s Guild (, they are awesome, willing to help, and super knowledgeable. 🙂

    Sorry for the wordy-ness, good luck on the pencil skirt pattern, and yes, the Selfish Seamstress needs to come back!! 😉

    • Sewing Tidbits

      This is what I needed: a pounding mother!! Thank you for your comment, I’m also an exclusively lurker on GOMI. I do not agree with a lot, and I have the impression that a self-congratulory phenomenon (does that make any sense??) is emerging there too…

  6. smittenness

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with a lot of points. I’ve gone into GOMI a bit lately too. I don’t agree with all the content but there seems to be a different perspective there from some members, which I can appreciate. Jne4sl has said everything I wanted to say but faaaar more eloquently! As for finding your voice, this post reads amazingly. Very thought and discussion-provoking.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thanks!! (I did try to apply “better writing advice” to this post, glad it shows!) I think GOMI is getting some interest because there is a real conversation going on, where people agree… Or not!

  7. Vicky

    I haven’t been part of the online sewing world long enough to get all of your references, but I have felt the same way about certain blogs. I’ve been sewing my entire life more or less secretly, because 1)it’s not exactly a conversation starter and 2)I got tired of explaining that NO, I am not interested in hemming your pants/skirt/sleeves. Pattern review was my introduction to the online sewing community, and I am still blown away by the number of “selfish seamstresses” and young women like myself (I am 36) who truly enjoy sewing and making beautiful clothes that fit. That is how I found your blog (lemon drop dress to be specific) and a handful of others that I follow. I’ve come across a few extremely popular, colorful, kitschy blogs that really don’t have anything to offer, yet they must appeal to someone out there. I am just thankful for you and the others who put their own real work, successes, failures and quirky obsessions out there for the rest of us loners who aren’t internet savvy enough to move beyond posting on pattern review.

    And yes, I miss the selfish seamstress, too. I just discovered her blog and I am slowly working my way through it. Your clothes are just as lovely. Please keep up the good work!

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Awww, thank you very much Vicky!! I know too well about keeping the sewing secret!! This is why I enjoy this discussion so much. All my sewing blabla happens online. Posting regularly on PR is just as important to the sewing community, as many more people consults reviews than read blogs (I think).

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