Tidbits #5

Dear readers,

Welcome back for a new edition of Tidbits, where I gather links of what I enjoyed reading, watching and listening lately. This week is all about inner conflict and my naturally french contradictory spirit. You can blame it on my on-going binge of In Treatment. That show is seriously addictive! I decided to add excerpts of the articles I am referring to in case you don’t have time to read through. Let me know if you think it’s the right or wrong approach!


Sewing Bits

    1. Pillowcase Pattern Co

      The patterns will be available soon from Etsy for just $24, and include detailed instructions with full color photographs, beautiful packaging, and all the information you need to get started. There will also be a big blog tour so get ready!

      Made by Meg

      This April fool’s joke was hilarious. I do see the irony of me saying that, since I just started selling sewing patterns on Etsy. I decided to jump on the bandwagon, when I realized that there were 2 ways of not selling 24$-beginner-friendly-hipster-sewing-patterns. One is not to sell sewing patterns at all, which is what I had been doing until then. The other other is to sell cheaper patterns that would build on sewer’s experience and encourage self-confidence rather than hand-holding. So far, we had a little over 30 sales with our marketing efforts are very minimal and inconsistent so I feel it goes in the direction that there is appetite for a different offer…


  1. Sewing Polar Bear

I admire makers that are able to create visually pleasing Instagram accounts. I certainly don’t have the discipline to do it myself (hum hum… all the baby pictures) but I wish I did! See what I mean with this lovely lady, Sewing Polar Bear. At the same time, I look at my feed and I like that it reflects my real life, or at least a filtered version of it…

Other Bits

    1. The White Wall Controversy: How the All-White Aesthetic Has Affected Design

      So what does that mean for white rooms and the all-white trend? I think this look is one of the many styles in this particular zeitgeist that will be beloved and revered by some for years to come, but changed and moved past relatively soon for many.

      Grace Bonney,  Design Sponge

      My walls are all whites and my style revolves around classic and simple silhouettes. Still, at times, I am embarrassed about how much it fits current trends. Is it what I really enjoy, or am I a product of too much Pinterest? How do we keep challenging myself visually? Obviously home and fashion trends follow similar cycles. Are we on the verge of going back to a more maximalist approach to design?


    1. Minimalism is Boring

      Can I have both — the noise and the quiet; the jeans and the neons? Here are three outfits born out of the totems of a minimalist wardrobe.

      Leandra Medine, Man Repeller

      Gretchen Jones touched upon a similar issue in Episode 7 of Seamwork Radio when she said that she wasn’t really interested in the current fashion scene. I like Leandra’s differentiation of a maximalist style vs consumption. Hopefully, you can achieve an over the top look without over sized closet size.


    1. Minimalism: another boring product wealthy people can buy

      We cannot pretend that performative reduction in consumption, or choosing to only consume in certain ways, is not one of the most gratuitous displays of privilege out there, and to frame it as in any way a moral choice is more than a little offensive.

      Chelsea Fagan, The Guardian

      I’m a Konmari convert, but I couldn’t help agreeing with a lot of what was said in the article. This type of writing is essential for me. Although I can never be free from trends or my preconceptions, recognizing that they exist is the first step in minimizing their impact on my behaviors.


    1. The Myth of the Ethical Shopper

      We are not going to shop ourselves into a better world. Advocating for boring stuff like complaint mechanisms and formalized labor contracts is nowhere near as satisfying as buying a pair of Fair Trade sandals or whatever. But that’s how the hard work of development actually gets done: Not by imploring people to buy better, but by giving them no other option.

      Michael Hobbes, Huffington Post

      I cannot agree more with what is said here. Buying fair trade is not bad per se, but it shouldn’t stop us from looking at the (very) big picture. Changes have to happen at all levels!


  1. We’ve Forgotten How to Dress Like Adults

    Each decade of age seemed to offer its own licenses.
    “By the age of thirty, most women were married, held jobs, or both,” writes Przybyszewski. “And they were presumed able to handle the eroticism embodied in the draped designs that made for the most sophisticated styles.” Draping gathers excess fabric into unique waves that draw attention to the wearer’s womanly curves and the tug of gravity.

    Rebecca Huval, Racked

    “Adult” dressing used to be valued and enviable. Back in December, I visited a great aunt in her 80’s with a great sense of style. She was telling about meeting her late husband when she was in her early 20’s and he was in his 40’s. She said “You have to understand, it sounds like a big difference but back then at 23 we were women. We wore gloves, suits and a hat. Not jeans or t-shirt”. I was of course in my rattier jeans with the little human on my lap…

That’s it for today. I would love to hear your thoughts and what you have you read lately that challenged you!

6 thoughts on “Tidbits #5

  1. Felicity

    It’s really nice to see that you are updating this blog more regularly. I have made your free skirt pattern twice, and I love it! Sadly no photographic evidence exists. I bought your bias top pattern as soon as I saw I because I’d liked the skirt pattern (and it cost less than the coffee I was drinking!). As a person who knows how to draft patterns, the only pattern that I pay for are simple, well done, and reasonably priced patterns that use techniques that I’m rusty in, like bias. I think that there definitely is a market for your pattern company, and I’d look forward for more.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thank you Felicity for your kind words and your support!! I’m glad that you had a good experience with the skirt. I really mean to go back to the skirt pattern and add at least a lined version and maybe one without a waistband unfortunately time and energy haven’t been on my side.
      I completely agree with all your criteria to buy patterns. I try to apply the same for myself!

  2. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    another interesting tidbits! The thing I have been thinking about lately is minimalism in fashion. Perhaps I’m unsophisticated but I don’t find it appealing or interesting. Minimalism as a style is just repetitive to me. I guess because I am always looking for a new or complex detail in clothing. That is not to say classic is repetitive – somehow classic styles always have appeal. Dressing like adults – yes to that. Ethical shopping – somehow I might be fooling myself that sewing is more ethical than buying fast fashion. Something to think about!

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Hi Beth! Your input is always interesting. I do see a difference between minimalism and let’s say normcore (I hate this word). Maybe we can strive for a classic look with interesting details, seaming, etc.
      Ethical shopping vs sewing is difficult topic for me. On the one hand I feel that I don’t put enough effort in sourcing ethical fabric/thread/etc to call my sewing ethical… On the other hand I’m also very mindful that the livelihoods of 60 to 75 millions people around the world depends on the textile/garment industry.

  3. Tara

    Thanks for the cool selection of articles. The article on the lost art of dressing like adults striked a chord, as I am quite into the history of dressing lately. I am a jean/t-shirt person (being a part time student for way too long doesn’t help). Whenever I go to work dressed like an “adult” -pencil skirt, shirts, well cut dresses, etc- I feel a lot more confident and ready to seize the world, specially if I made the garment myself. I’m still amazed at how the way we dress can actually have an impact on our attitudes and behaviors.

    As for minimalism.. in home interior as well as in my wardrobe, I am struggling between the rich colors and patterns of my native middle eastern country, and the calm and bare atmosphere of japanese ideal houses. I mean, I really like minimalist interiors on instagram, but I always wonder : What’s left for life in that perfect place? where are the people and the warmth?

    And since the topic of minimalism seems to always be related to Japan, most of the real japanese houses I’ve visited were in fact like warehouses. People spend little time in there and just stock crazy amounts of stuff everywhere they can. From that perspective, I don’t find Marie Kondo’s books as advocating for minimalism as much as for a better connection with the things we own. After all she mentions that some of her clients keep a hundred pair of shoes or works of art or books etc! in line with what the Guardian article says, we assume Marie Kondo is a minimalist because she is Japanese, but her approach is totally different, and the results of the cleaning process are too.

    it’s funny how the criticism of minimalism (guardian article) is similar to that of natural products something like 15 years ago. When my mum bought us natural deodorants, she was the laughing stock of the family and neighborhood, everybody criticized her as a hipster displaying the privilege of wealth. Yet, the wealthy often define patterns of consumption that later become widespread, and nowadays natural products are affordable in a wider range of prices.
    The same goes for minimalism. I am sure that as the idea to have less becomes widespread, affordable but durable goods will be more and more available on the market. It’s also an environmental necessity. True, the moral undertones are annoying, but on the positive side, I see it as the criticism of our societies of overconsumption, and the acknowledgment among middle classes that the growth/consumption pattern can’t last forever, and that we have to learn to live differently.

    sorry for the really long comment ^^.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Hi Tara,

      Tidbits is the place were long comments are not only welcome but highly encourage so you really don’t need to apologize for them!! They are actually my favorite thing about blogging!

      I completely agree with your feeling of empowerment when dressing like an adult. My office outfits are a mix of formal and casual and I enjoy the extra confidence that dressing up gives me when I have a big meeting or a presentation.

      I also like your understanding of Marie Kondo, it doesn’t necessarily require getting rid of a lot of things. Although it’s more likely than not. As humans I believe that we don’t have the ability to be truly attached to that many things (or people for that matter) so if appreciation is the goal, editing is part of the process. I’m a great admirer of all things Japanese and I think that you are onto something when you compare an Instagram version of Japanese minimalism and real homes. The western vision over Japan doesn’t like to take into account that today it’s a highly consumerist society and that people struggle with the same overload of “stuff” as in other places. The TV show of Marie Kondo shows that very well I think.

      Your final point on the wealthy or the more privileged leading the way of future consumption is excellent and at least for me it provides some inner reconciliation. If hippies/hipsters/health nuts hadn’t made the point of organic produce in the last 20 years, it wouldn’t be available at Walmart today!

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