What Have I Been Sewing? Not Much Lately

Where Did the Past 1.5 Days Go?

A couple of posts back I told you about my organizing spree on the site, which included adding a tab for my finished projects.  I decided to add my pre-blog finished projects.  I already have all the photos from the pattern reviews…shouldn’t take me that long… right…

I had 127 finished projects!!  I’ve been sewing on and off for decades but only started documenting my projects since 2011 in order to write pattern reviews.  So these are my projects since 2011 or about 3.5 years.  For data geeks like me, that comes out to over 3 items/month.  You see this was around the same time I’ve swore off RTW.  Instead of buying more expensive, ill-fitting RTW that I was just going to *outgrow* in a few months, I jumped back into sewing.



What Pattern Lines Have I Been Using?

I’ve sewn 43% from indie pattern companies, 34% Big 4 and 24% self drafted patterns.  From the indie pattern companies I use to sew a lot from Silhouette Patterns.  My mom had drafted all my patterns up until I headed to college.  In my college years and beyond, I struggled trying to use the Big 4 patterns.  Then I discovered Silhouette Patterns.  When I finally go past the sometimes unattractive pattern covers, I understood why she has so many fans.  Peggy has cup sizing in her patterns and more of a RTW fit which gave me a significant head start over the Big 4.  Now I think I can tackle nearly any of the commercial patterns and am venturing more and more into drafting patterns myself.

 Pattern companies

What Type of Things Have I Been Sewing?

Garments and more garments.  79% of the items were garments.  Almost 1 in 5 were tops, yet I always feel like I don’t have enough tops.  Following closely behind tops are dresses.  Dresses are my lazy person’s item of choice because I don’t have to match tops and bottoms.  Speaking of bottoms, outside of yoga pants aka my “pajama jeans” I haven’t sewn that many real pants.  This is definitely a wardrobe gap I’m currently working on.



Who Have I Been Sewing For?

One word, me.  I’ve taken selfish sewing to Olympic levels.  99 items for me, 16 for the pup and 12 gift items.  I would sew more for others but many don’t appreciate them.  I say that’s just more time to sew for me.


Pretty Pictures and Some Not So Much

I hope I haven’t bore you all to tears.  If you just want to look at some pics and not have to look at charts and do math, please head over to my finished project page aka Solved Cases.  My photos have gotten a lot better with time, though the poses can use some work.  Anyone have modeling tips for me?

Happy Sewing,Signature small

8 Responses to What Have I Been Sewing? Not Much Lately

  1. Betsy says:

    Wow, your sewing is pretty prolific! I am with you, mostly selfish sewing because it is not always appreciated. I am the most impressed with 16 projects for the dog. He/she must have quite the wardrobe. I am still trying to make a raincoat for my dog. He’s not very appreciative, but a necessity anyway.

    • I would say that my dog probably appreciates the beds. He definitely doesn’t appreciate the costumes, so maybe those should be reclassified as self sewing. What kind of dog do you have? Are you making a rain coat with or without a hood?

  2. Vanessa says:

    Your statistics are impressive!! I don’t have any experience sewing Silhouette patterns, so I will have to check them out. Yay for getting into pattern drafting–I am interested in it myself!

    • Definitely check out Silhouette Patterns. Peggy does a free webcast twice a month also. She coordinates sewing expos around the country. I haven’t used her patterns in a long time but I really like what she’s doing to help people sew better. Oh and she has a PBS show on sewing. She’s one busy lady but super nice.

      What kind of pattern drafting are you interested in?

  3. BeccaA says:

    Great analysis! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Carrie says:

    Impressive analytics!! I can imagine how much work this took to tally up all the projects. I’m the same as you on most accounts (selfish sewing of mostly tops). I’d love to do something like this – especially to get a better sense of which patterns I actually use – then maybe it will stop me from buying all those patterns I never touch!

    • If you’re going to do it, don’t wait 3.5 years like I did. Luckily I had most of the info on Pattern Review and the rest was in my closet. Thank goodness for selfish sewing. Once everything is in Excel, the analytics were super easy. How many projects have you racked up?

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Look Mom! I Got an Award.


Can I say that I’m a day late and a buck short… again? First I’m late to the Kirsten Kimono tee party.  Now I’m not 1, not 2 but 3 months late in thanking the 2 lovely sewists that have nominated me for a Liebster Award. My first award was from the super funny, pizza loving Mads from Life in a “Mads” House in early April. My second award came a few week later from speedy, sewing super woman Aleah from No Time To Sew.

In case you’re wondering, yes, these are my 2 followers I keep referring to. LOL J/K. I have more than 2 followers but definitely under the 500 followers per the The Liebster Award rules send on down from the blogger gods.

Since I’m sure everyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock is already aware of the award, rules, questions, nominations yadda, yadda… Let’s begin.



Questions from Mads:

1. How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?  I started my blog about 7 months ago in Dec ’13. I started it because for some reason I thought I didn’t have enough to do.  Soooo much free time between buying a house, moving, the holidays, birthdays, traveling, working a full time job, selling a house, tending to a vineyard… Yeah. Sure. Blogging is quick and easy doesn’t take any time at all.. right.

2. What is one hobby you’ve always wanted to take up, but haven’t?  I’m a hobby addict. I love them all and have tried many of them at least once. The one that has eluded me is stain glass. I bought a how to video one time and decided I don’t like cuts and dodging chards of glass.

3. Which real person (past or present) is your hero or inspiration, and why? I find all of the sewing bloggers pretty inspiring.  I just love seeing the great creations coming out of sewing rooms all over the world.  If I don’t have time to sew, I can at least live vicariously through them.

4. What’s the one thing you’ve made that you’re the most embarrassed of or never use/wear?  I have a wadder that is awaiting a second life or at least I should put it out of its misery and trash it. It was Silhouette Pattern #185 Elie’s Top. The front looked ok but the back was tragic. There are pleats in the center back seam. HORIZONTAL PLEATS!! Like scales down my back.  Not a good look. EVER.

5. How do you reconcile your online persona with the “real” you, and how do you choose what NOT to share on your blog? I didn’t know that I have an online persona. Though the “real” me does keep my sewing blog a deep, dark secret from my IRL friends and family. Why is this? What am I hiding??

6. What is one thing that others might be surprised to learn about you?  I was once a refugee without a home.   Now I’m living in a home with a back yard vineyard. The American Dream is alive and well.

7. If you could only listen to one album for an entire year, which one would it be?  Aim and Ignite by fun.. Love those guys. I never get tired of singing loudly and badly to their songs.

8. As far as you are concerned, what is the rudest thing ever?  LA drivers. Ha! Each and every one of them, myself included. Why do we drive like @$$holes?

9. What’s one thing you wish you were better at?  Probably swimming. I learned to swim late in life and still consider myself more of a drowner than a swimmer. The short legged Bassett Hound is surely not going to save me.

10. What’s on your ideal pizza?  What a pizza question from Mads?! Who would have thought. I love the CPK Thai Chicken Pizza. It’s foofoo, pretentious pizza. So California. I also secretly love the Little Caesar’s Deep Dish Pizza. For $8 you get a thick, crunchy, so many crusty edges goodness. ::drool::

11. How are you? (Seriously–I want to know!)  I’m super duper. Life is great. Thanks for asking.

BONUS QUESTION: True or False: “Clue” is one of the best movies of all time.  True. What other answer did you expect from Detective Houndstooth?



Questions from Aleah

I didn’t get any questions from Aleah, so I’m also playing fast and loose with the rules also and just moving onto my nominees.



Drum Roll Please

I nominate the 10 bloggers below for a Liebster Award. My apologies if you have more than 500 followers and my 10 sec of research failed me. These ladies and gentlemen are the bloggers that get me excited when I see their post in my Bloglovin’ reading list.

  1. Crafted by Carrie
  2. Life of a Fairy Bra Mother
  3. Made By Julianne
  4. Sewing in Surf City
  5. Tiger Feet
  6. Joost
  7. Aft Agley
  8. A Sewing Life
  9. Bobbins Bikes and Blades
  10. Oh Crafty One



Questions from Me:

  1. Serger thread vs sewing thread, who would win in a bare knuckle fight?
  2. What are you wearing? Geez people. Don’t make that question out to be creepy. It’s a sewing blog for goodness’ sake.
  3. If you were a fabric, which fabric would you be?
  4. Which team are you on? Team Pins or Team No Pins?
  5. If you were to invent any sewing notion, machine, accessory etc, what would it be? Yes, all your answers will be property of Detective Houndstooth and I will not share the millions I’ll be making from your my ideas.
  6. Which sewing “rule”(s) do you enjoy breaking the most?
  7. Which takes you longer sewing an item or blogging about that sewn item?
  8. How many times have you sewn a sleeve into a neckline? Common be honest, we’re all friends here.
  9. If you were to come up with a fictitious sewing pattern line that would be nominated for “Most Likely to Fail”, what would it be? Ex. Hats patterns for your cactus.
  10. Truth or Myth: Stashes multiply like Gremlins if you get water on them?



Happy Sewing,

Signature small

10 Responses to Look Mom! I Got an Award.

  1. aleah says:

    Ha, I love your questions! You are hilarious! (And you know I’m team No Pins, and my stash seems to mutiply when I get cat hair on it, which is a given in my house…)

    • Yes! Another player on Team No Pins. It would be funny to have jerseys made and we can compete on a sewing obstacle course. I think you must have brought some cat hair here cuz my stash did multiply exponentially…

  2. Julianne says:

    LA drivers are appallingly nuts. I must admit, in certain situations I’ve been forced to adapt the general attitude, only to survive traffic. And I always feel dirty after.

    I’m working on my questions and nominees but it’s hard!

  3. Mads says:

    Love your answers, especially #6 and #9! And OMG California Pizza Kitchen is sooooo good! I eat there so frequently that I received a black rewards card with my name embossed on it–big surprise, right? =)

  4. Carrie says:

    Ooooo Thank you so Nhi! Since I’m on a semi-blogging hiatus (clearly I still read blogs daily!) I will also follow the 3-month lag time to post :)

  5. Accordion3 says:

    An award! Thankyou!
    Response blogpost coming soon.

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10 Responses to Maria Denmark – Kirsten Kimono Tee

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great tops. Nice tip on stripe matching. I haven’t seen it done that way before.

  2. Pingback: Look Mom! I Got an Award. - Detective Houndstooth

  3. Kyla says:

    I definitely need to try this pattern! Love both of your versions… and that fabric pile is exciting :) So much potential! I nominated you for the versatile blogger award; just posted details: http://kylachristine.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  4. Vanessa says:

    I agree that this top is a fast sew, with a great fit! I made two of these, and I love my tops. They get plenty of wear! Your tops look great, I especially like the mint striped one!

  5. Raye Ann Clayton says:

    You are not the last to hear of this pattern…that would be ME!
    But, I have already downloaded it, thanks to your review :-)
    They are super cute, and I do love the stripes!

  6. aleah says:

    You always have the brilliant ideas I would never have thought of – you have solved my stripe matching problem! Holy cow you’re a genius!
    I like the mint stripe version – how did I not get a hunk of that fabric? Looks like something I’d buy :)

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I Fancied Up My Site! :)

Hi everyone,

I’ve been meaning to add tabs to my site to make the site easier to navigate.  Mainly it’s just for me when I’m searching for something on the blog and can’t find it right away.  So I’ve added 3 tabs at the top.  These are links back to existing blog posts.  There’s nothing new except you can get to things quicker.

Navigation Tabs
Continue reading

9 Responses to I Fancied Up My Site! :)

  1. Pingback: What Have I Been Sewing? Not Much Lately - Detective Houndstooth

  2. Julianne says:

    You’re going to have to sew a special detective outfit next!

  3. Ms. McCall says:

    Looking good! Could the freebies be called “Case Notes – Tutorials Etc.” ?

    • I’m kinda liking Case Notes for the tips and tricks. But Tool Kit is also fitting. For the freebies what do you think about “Pro Bono Services”. Or am I taking this way too far out of bounds?

  4. Joost says:

    I’m not sure what the confusion is with making anchored links for images, vs making anchored links for text.
    I’m also not sure to what extend I can include html in this comment window, but let’s try.

    Here’s how to do an anchor text link: Jump to target

    This would create a link to an anchor named ‘target’. The link would read ‘Jump to target’.
    To create a the target anchor, place this in the page where you want to jump to:

    For an image, just replace the link text with your image tag, like this:

    I hope it helps, and that this works ;)

  5. Vanessa says:

    Nice job!

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Comment Black Hole

Hello my 2 followers!  :)  I was having problems with too many spam comments and added a plug-in that was suppose to keep spam out.  Turns outs it was also keeping out real comments. OMG.  WTF.

They claim that their plug-in never has false positives i.e. comments from a real human marked as spam.  Yeeeaahhh.  Riiigghhtt.

I’ve deleted the plug-in and am going back to moderating.  If you had comments eaten by the Spam Shield which is what I’m calling Comment Shield cuz it blocks comments (get it? shield/block) please give your comments a second try.  Pretty. Please.

If you’re still having issues please e-mail me know at detectivehoundstooth at gmail dot com.

8 Responses to Comment Black Hole

  1. Jo McClendon says:

    Hi Nhi
    It was nice to meet you at the meetup Sat. I had a blast. Was glad to find folks who live in Ventura. I think I’ll try the ASG couture group in Calabasas in July or August. I have to work this Sat so I can’t go in June. It sounds like they actually sew. The last ASG event I went to they glued. Very Strange. I took 2 classes in J

  2. Raye Ann Clayton says:

    ha! Glad you have figured that out so you can avoid any snarky sewing blog scandals :-)

  3. June says:

    Did you try Akismet? It works well for me.

  4. Never underestimate how many people follow you ;)

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