Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Guest post: Whitney's sewing tips

We're on our honeymoon!
I'm so excited to have some lovely guest bloggers this week while husband and I honeymoon in Hawaii.  I'll be back after Labor Day!

Today, let's welcome...Whitney from Becoming, a fun blog about DIYs, sewing, decorating, and thrifting!

I started following Suzannah's blog long before I sewed my first stitch. When sewing was but a mere dream ... also known as last year.

I wanted to learn, but I was a bit intimidated. I was afraid I would be horrible at it or that I would hate it. I started small by finding sewing blogs and reading about the process of sewing. Adventures in Dressmaking quickly became one of my favorites. Suzannah has some serious sewing skills, but she never makes sewing sound intimidating. And I was amazed at the way she mixes and matches her patterns to create one of a kind pieces.

I finally worked up the courage to learn sewing this April. My mission? An Easter dress. Prepare to be shocked and awed.

Yes, my first dress was shockingly awful. (As you can see, I gave up before finishing it.) I haven't even shared it on my own blog. It's pretty embarrassing. But I figure that sewing is a process, and we all have to start somewhere! So here are a few sewing tips I've learned (mostly the hard way) in my little five month journey.

1) Know Your Body

If your eyes can bare it, look back at my first dress. Once you get past the horrid fabric choice and the questionable construction, you can see the real issue. The smallest part of the dress was not hitting me at my waist and the hip part of the dress was hitting me at my thighs.

And that was the day I learned I would never be a super model. Ha!

Basically, I have a very high waist and short torso. So I tweaked my pattern by cutting inches out of the torso area.

Then I grabbed some new fabric and was able to make a better looking Easter outfit. Learning my body shape and what compliments it has helped me a lot in sewing. Before I even start a dress, I now know what to pay attention to and what I'll most likely need to tweak.

2) Find Your Own Style

This is something that Suzannah excels at - she finds the best patterns for her and then uses them to make unique outfits. I personally love vintage clothing. Since sewing with vintage patterns can be very tricky, I did some research and found a modern day pattern that I really liked. I chose fabric that I thought would give off the vibe I was going for. Then I adjusted the sleeve and hem length and voila! A dress that suited my body type and style!

Sewing frees you from fads and trends. You don't have to settle for clothing that isn't your style or doesn't suit you.

3) Kick Fear Out The Door

This is what has helped me the most. I can't tell you how many hours I have researched patterns and sewing techniques to make sure I did things the right way. But the problem was that I let the fear of not doing it the right way keep me from adventuring into new sewing territory!

In sewing you're going to make some mistakes. Big ones. The biggest mistakes I have made (besides in my first dress) were in this dress I made recently.

But can you tell? Well, if you look at it from the back, yes. Yes, you can. But the point is, if you don't have fun sewing it, you won't have fun wearing it. With this dress, I modified the pattern to the bodice from my previous dress and then made up my own skirt and bow detail. I messed up so many times, it's unreal. But in the end, I had a dress that I loved, mistakes and all. If I had stressed out the whole time about sewing the proper way, I probably wouldn't have had near as much fun or ended up with an outfit I loved as much.

These are just a few things I've learned in my new sewing adventure. What about you all? Did any of these resonate with you? Do you have any tips to add to help someone just starting out?

Thanks, Whitney!!  Sooo many great tips in there!  Your story of learning to sew is so inspiring.  Readers, are ya with me??


  1. Thanks Whitney for the post (and thanks Susannah for sharing it) - I'm planning to sew my own wedding dress for an August or September wedding next year, but I haven't done much clothes sewing before (just home decor/quilts). My mom's going to help me, but I'm going to start doing some practicing now. This was really inspiring!


  2. i can completely relate :) I was always afraid of ruining the fabric. and I only recently learned what patterns suit me well and which don't, that's a huge step forward in accomplishing a great dress!

  3. Anonymous8/30/2011

    Thanks for sharing your story. I recently purchased my first sewing machine and have been roaming blogs for inspiration.

  4. First, Happy Honeymoon Suzannah and hubby!

    Next, great post Whitney! Fearlessness in sewing is the way it should be. After all, it's only fabric. You're adorable and look to be well on your way to a gorgeous me-made wardrobe.

  5. Whitney, this was such a fantastic post! I loved hearing about your adventures and I commend you're determination! I completely get what you're talking about, my learning process was pretty much like yours and its proven interesting over the years!

  6. Hi Whitney,

    Thanks for sharing your story (and photos)! I, too, am a new sewer and have found your tips affirming as they align with the path I'm taking. I plan to follow "Becoming" and look forward to seeing (and reading about) your sewing adventures.

  7. confirtable stitching and finishing techniques thnks for the post.

  8. wow what a blog and what wonderful dresses you have worn, i enjoyed reading your blog.


  9. Thanks for sharing dear,I am so passionative of stiching...but not yet tried.Your experienced inspired me Whitney



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