Or, perhaps maybe I am …

Of course, the only reason Canadians have Thanksgiving is to “celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the last year”.  I don’t have a harvest, but every Thanksgiving our family says “Thank you” for what we have.  This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and my list to “Be Thankful” for is very long – but then I am always one to add more to my Be Thankful list than my “What a Bummer” list …

One thing on my Be Thankful list is the number of wonderful sewists, bloggers, Instgrammers, Fabric companies and Pattern makers out there that make my hobby so much more interesting.

Now on that topic, you might have seen a flurry of weird activity on my part on you blog today.  It seems for about a month or two I haven’t been getting my usual email notifications that you have posted something new (on my Bummer list!)  I wasn’t sure if it was an iPad problem, as I always use my iPad and only occasionally use my laptop.  I also only occasionally look at the WordPress Reader to find out what you have been working on.  More often than not, I sit on the bus to work and back (now 1.5 hours each way – on my Bummer list!), reading emails with copies of your new posts that are sent to me.  I haven’t been getting those emails and have been wondering if anyone else out there is actually blogging anymore!   Continue reading

Are you ready for DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2018?

Have you picked out your Designer Original and the fabric you need to make your Designer me-made COPY?  Or are you just in the planning stages – don’t worry … there’s lots of time to sew before DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2018!

Ever since the first DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER (2015) I’ve seen many fabulous garments in stores, magazines, online, on social media, on runways … so many beautiful garments!  And I say,

“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”

I’ve seen plenty of fabulous Designer Originals, like this dress from Oscar de la Renta Fall 2018.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Which led me to this tunic and trousers, again Oscar de la Renta Fall 2018 … which I want so bad!  Perhaps not in pink (I’m not a pink type of girl!) and perhaps with a tunic that is a bit shorter (so I don’t look stumpy!) and perhaps with sleeves a bit shorter too (so they don’t get caught in the filing cabinets at work).  Where AM I going with this?

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

Sewjo: Lost and Found

It’s a strange thing when you have lost interest in something that you usually love to do.  

There was an odd dullness in my life these past few weeks because of the passing of our Wonderful Mother – my Biggest and Most Loving Supporter.  She was someone who constantly asked what was new in my world, someone who listened, cheered me on and encouraged me in every stitch of my life.

I certainly haven’t felt like planing or sewing any new projects – that dullness invaded my thoughts.  

I took a stab at my UFO pile, mending and hemming a few items.  Sort of a sewing therapy.  Turns out, now I’ve got a couple of new tops to wear.

Scrolling through Designer Fashions on-line, I found my Designin’ December  Designer Original.  How are you doing with your search? Continue reading


I was so pleased to see so many lovely Designer me-made Copies entered this year!  22 sewists posted on their blogs, 35 on their Instagram accounts, and of those 18 posted on both to increase their chances!  I thank you all for planning and sewing and joining in, and thank you to those who followed along and voted!  A special thank you to our PRIZE SPONSORS!  Didn’t we have fun!  🎉🕺💃🎊

Everyone had the chance for two entries if they followed my blog and my Instagram.  The IG “likes’ were easy to see, but the blog votes were hidden from everyone.  I only just looked myself tonight!  If someone won on both my blog and my Instagram, I gave them the win where they had more votes and then was able to add on another winner – one prize per sewist!

Our PRIZE SPONSORS generously donated ten prizes, which were chosen blindly and randomly, from:


Well you have had plenty of time to look over the Designer Originals and Designer me-made Copies so let’s just get right to it!  

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“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”

For an incredibly long time I have been disappointed with the choices, quality and sizing of ready-to-wear.  For years now my idea of shopping, online or in the stores, is to browse or fondle and get ideas for what I can make for myself.  

RTW just doesn’t stand up to Handmade anymore.  The landfills are full of unwanted clothes.  Now I am hearing of textiles that are treated with chemicals (why?) before they are made into RTW fashions.  (What is happening here?)

So now we have the DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER Challenge – find something you like, a Designer Original, and COPY it.  Let’s see your Designer me-made Copy!

Here are our DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER Challengers, in no particular order:

The Petite Cat

The Petite Cat

The Sewing Goatherd

The Sewing Goatherd

Steely Seamstress

Steely Seamstress



Paisley Pirouette






Vintage Sewing Machines

Vintage Sewing Machines


Elle Gee Makes


Valentine & Stitch


Mahlica Designs


Life in a “Mads” House

Life in A "Mads" House

Sewing à la carte

Sewing à la carte

Seam Racer




The Pretty & The Kitsch


Belle Citadel




Dream Cut Sew


Emma and her Machine





Creations by Paula

Creations by Paula


Who do you think was most successful in making a Designer me-made COPY of their DESIGNER ORIGINAL?  Let’s pick the DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2017 WINNERS.

The top five Challengers in this poll will win one of the 10 randomly selected prizes – the other five random prizes will be given to the top five Challengers in the #designindecember Instagram vote.  You might see some entries in both places, on the blog and on Instagram, but it will still be one prize per sewist.

Poll results will be hidden.  The winner will be announced in 1 week, after the poll closes Monday, January 8, 2017.  

I want to say “Thank you” to our generous DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER SPONSORS!

Now for the voting:

NOTE:  With the Instagram vote, I am going to re-post each of the 35 Designer me-made Copies again separately and in no particular order – so please wait until you see them all before you vote.

HOLD ON!  You couldn’t get your sewing and posting done before the DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2017 deadline?  Let me know and I’ll include you in DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2018!  (Yes, I will be back again next year!  Will you?)

REMEMBER: Just by participating in DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER you are already a WINNER because you have a Designer me-made Copy – better and for less!

Good luck!



Just want to say Thank you! …


To our CHALLENGERS, some of whom might be here for the first time and some of whom have been here before, I’d like to say thank you for participating and sharing your Designer me-made Copies!  I hope you have enjoyed it as much as me!

To our generous PRIZE SPONSORS!  I’d like to give you honourable mention and a proper introduction … 

Itch to Stitch has generously donated ONE pattern of the winner’s choice from the Itch to Stitch Shop here.  Kennis Wong says her “designs are really my personal style. They are modern and elegant. Perhaps they are not always simple to sew (because I love details!), but they always have high-quality finishes. Of course I want them to fit well; that’s why most of my designs have many sizes and different cup options.”


Joannas Art and Cards is generously donating a box set of 10 Art Cards (with envelopes) measuring 5 x 7 inches.  Take a peek at Joanna’s Etsy shop here or her Instagram account @jvandervlugt_illustrations.  Joanna has sold her art and cards around the world from Germany, to North Hollywood, California, to Francisco Beltrao, Brazil. Joanna enjoys illustrating vehicles with a preference for European sportscars, but she loves illustrating motorcycles, especially Café Racers. She has had the pleasure of illustrating a professional motorcycle rider from the Brazilian Ruma Na Stradaracing team, as well as the 8th-place finisher in the 2017 BMW GS Challenge, this illustration is a featured card in the set.


Sense & Sensibility Patterns has kindly donated ONE ePattern to the winner.  Their website is hereJennie says “Many customers had asked me to sell copies of the patterns I created to make their outfits. At first I wasn’t sure about drafting patterns for a wide range of standard sizes, but I finally took the plunge in 1998, publishing my “Regency Gown Pattern”.  The immediate success of that pattern convinced me that there was a market for wearable, historical patterns that evoke the grace and charm of times past, and that’s when Sense & Sensibility Patterns was born.”https://sensibility.com/blog/category/patterns/

Vintage Pattern Lending Library has generously donated THREE $25 Gift Certificates.  Here’s their Etsy Shop.  Deirdre says “Since 1998, The Vintage Pattern Lending Library has been home to a continuously expanding collection of over 10,000 historic sewing and needlework patterns, rare publications, and other fashion related materials dated from the 1840s through the 1950s. The archives contain materials from countries around the world.  Our mission is to return as many of these items as possible into public access, so that anyone with a love for historic fashion can experience them as close to the originals as is possible.”


Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns has donated ONE PDF pattern.  Their website is here.  Betsy says SBCC Patterns “gives me an outlet for my own personal expression and OCD of making things. I am fit obsessed and have a general preoccupation with perfectionism. I get a genuine thrill out of grading patterns and studying sizes for practical application.” 


Paprika Patterns has donated ONE pattern of the winner’s choice, take a browse through at their website here.  Lisa and Stef want us to know that “Our patterns are designed with a busy woman in mind. She doesn’t want to feel restricted by what she’s wearing, she needs to be able to move around. Whether she is meeting with friends in the city or feeding the chickens in the backyard, she wants comfort and style. Her clothes are her way to express her individuality.”

https://www.paprikapatterns.comNamed Patterns has donated ONE PDF pattern to the winner.  Have a browse through their shop for all your options here!  From the website:  “Named garments are a combination of Scandinavian clean-lined simplicity and interesting details. The aim of the collections is to bring a new perspective to making one’s own clothes and to support ethical and ecological consuming in contrast to a clothing industry focused on fast fashion. Self-made clothing also allows for freedom of choice; by choosing one’s colors and materials and by changing garment details, the customer can be part of the design process. If dressing is a way to express oneself then self-made clothes are self-expression at its best.”


Last of all, we have Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! (and you know me!)


Good luck to all the Designin’ December 2017 Challengers.  You can cast your vote for the 22 blogger entries (so far) on my next post.  Then I will repost on my Instagram all of the 35 Instagram entries (so far) and you can vote with your “likes” there.  Voting will be open for one week only.

Please note as the #designindecember hashtag is full of lovely photos and ideas, past and present, it might not be clear who is in the running, so I will repost on my own Instagram, tagging the Challenger.  Please also note I will be setting my Instagram account to private so only my Instagram followers can vote.  (Unfortunately, I have had to screen a few unwanted followers lately.)

Happy Sewing and Happy New Year!









Designin’ December Challenger #20

I suppose everyone is waiting for fireworks, like me, or watching them or going home after watching them, depending on time zones, so I will be brief.  I have less than 3 hours to midnight here.

We have another Designin’ December Challenger on the blogs and a new one to me:

Creations by Paula on her blog here and also on Instagram @creationsbypaulamu.  Take a look at her Designer Original and her Designer me-made Copy.

Creations by Paula

Also on Instagram, we have THREE more Instagram entries!!!







Get the whole story on their Instagrams, and on the #DESIGNINDECEMBER hashtag too!

Have you got a favourite designer? A favourite designer garment that you would LOVE to own but would never buy?  Find your Designer Original photo and your pattern, and make your Designer me-made Copy!  


We have all seen something we LOVE either in the stores, online or on the runways, but don’t actually want to buy for some reason.  So I propose that we sew that garment that we see/want.  Now if you are lucky and you already have an exact pattern, either an indie pattern, your own self-drafted, or a “Big 4” pattern, that you can use – then go for it!  Are you a fan of Vintage or Historic fashion, or Re-fashioning, you can do that too!  Whatever works for you.  Show us your Designer Original photo and how you put together your Designer me-made COPY.

“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”


  • Follow my blog either by WordPress, Bloglovin, email, etc. and leave a comment that you wish to join DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER.  I will share all entries on my blog in December, for community voting in January, linking back to you.
  • On your blog post a photo of your Designer Original and your Designer me-made COPY, mentioning DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER with a link back to here, so other’s can join.
  • AND/OR on your Instagram post a photo of your Designer Original and your Designer me-made COPY,  tagging it #DESIGNINDECEMBER and follow @nicedressthanksimadeit.

REMEMBER we especially want to see your DESIGNER ORIGINAL and YOUR DESIGNER me-made COPY!  Only entries shared on blogs AND/OR Instagram will be entered.  One entry, with as many pieces as you like, per sewist.  Only one prize per sewist/winner.

The sewing and posting deadline is December 31, 2017 and winners will be voted on and announced the beginning of January 2018 (dates to come yet).  Winners will be chosen by community vote.  Voters should select the entry that best expresses the spirit of DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER!

5 FABULOUS (randomly selected) prizes for Instagram winners who follow @nicedressthanksimadeit tagging #DESIGNINDECEMBER and 5 FABULOUS (randomly selected) prizes for blog winners who follow “Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!” and  mention DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER on their own blogs.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Itch to Stitch has generously donated ONE pattern of the winner’s choice from the Itch to Stitch Shop here.

Joannas Art and Cards is generously donating a box set of 10 Art Cards (with envelopes) measuring 5 x 7 inches.  (Joanna apologizes – there was a mis-count and the box holds 10, not 12 Cards as previously stated.)  Take a peek at Joanna’s Etsy shop here.

Sense & Sensibility Patterns has kindly donated ONE ePattern to the winner.  Their website is here.

Vintage Pattern Lending Library has generously donated THREE $25 Gift Certificates.  Here’s their Etsy Shop.

Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns has donated ONE PDF pattern.  Their website is here.

Paprika Patterns has donated ONE pattern of the winner’s choice, take a browse through at their website here.

Named Patterns has donated ONE PDF pattern to the winner.  Have a browse through their shop for all your options here!

And me, Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!  I will be donating a “Mystery Grab Bag” sewing related, of course!

Happy Sewing!















My Designer me-made Copy …

Happily, I have managed to get everything finished on time and was only waiting for some nice weather to take photos outside.  This is not a photo of MY weather but the weather in Calgary, Alberta.  I’m so happy we don’t have this kind of snow!  We actually have had some pretty good weather here for photographs!


I wanted to copy this Designer Original, this kimono jacket from zasue.com and this dress, but I was hoping I could make it a skirt and top instead of a dress.  I have been searching for the name of the dress designer but I must be cursed, whenever I look for it on Pinterest (where I found it) it only circles me back to my blog!


I chose these McCall’s patterns, M7200 and M7574.  I love the sleeves on the top/dress pattern.  I plan on using both of these patterns again!


How did my Designer me-made Copies turn out?

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Designin’ December Challengers #18 and #19 plus more Instagrammers (is that a word?)

Designin’ December has found some bloggers that are new to me –

The Petite Cat with her RED Valentino Designer Original …

RED Valentino

and The Sewing Goatherd with her Gucci Designer Original …

Gucci Fall 2013

and their Designer me-made Copies …

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Designin’ December Challengers #15, #16 AND #17!

We are breaking previous records here and I’m keeping busy checking out everyone’s Designer Originals and Designer me-made Copies.  I have finished my own Designer me-made Copy too, just in time!  It just needs some pressing and photos.  Hopefully the RAIN will stop tomorrow or it will be me, my Designer me-made Copy and my umbrella!!

Tonight we have three bloggers:

Steely Seamstress.  Her Designer Original comes from Issey Miyake …

Issey Miyake

Sewanneuk with her Designer Original (made for her lovely daughter) from Markus Lupfer …

Markus Lupfer

and Paisley Pirouette with her Designer Original from Lanvin’s Resort Collection 2018 …

Lanvin's Resort Collection

Next up … their Designer me-made Copies!

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