Monthly Sewing Review – May Wrap Up

May has continued the months of madness… it’s been super busy. It’s been a busy time with work, with non-work, and with the third round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. It’s alway a mix of sadness and relief when you get cut from the Bee; honestly I thought the third round had some super strong entries, so I wasn’t too surprised I didn’t make it any further, and I’m really just honored I made it that far. It was tough competition this year, but it was super fun too! Overall I’m happy I got cut when I did though; I’m not sure how I would have finished the fourth round entry in time. I haven’t really had a lot of time or energy to work on things since the Bee though, so this will be a pretty short monthly review…

Sewing Progress

The only item I’ve had time to sew this month was just my third round entry from the Bee:

I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet (we’ve been moving offices at work so I’ve been wearing some much more casual clothing), but I am excited to have a chance to wear it sometime soon.

While I didn’t make it to the fourth round, I did come up with a sketch, just for fun, of something I might have made if I’d gone through. The theme was “20” so I wanted to have some sort of play on the idea of a 2020s interpretation of the 1920s:

I’m quite sure if I’d moved forward I would have put more thought into the project and probably would have ended up with something quite different than this initial sketch. But I thought I’d share anyway since it was something I doodled while I was too tired to do the work I was actually supposed to have been doing at the time…

Finally, an update on my sister’s bridesmaid gown project: she has completed all the hand sewing and last minute finishings just time for the wedding! Her next project is curtains, so hopefully it’s a bit less complicated than a full length gown.

Sewing Delays

The Bee was definitely a priority this month, but once it was over I had to get caught back up on a lot of real life things. I feel like I always need a bit of a pause from sewing after the Bee; it’s creatively fulfilling but also creatively exhausting. Certainly my next round of projects will be more pragmatic, as I’m definitely going to need more clothes for the “back to work” new-normal that is fast approaching. I expect June will be quite busy, but I’m hopeful that by mid-July I might have some more time to be back in the sewing room with more regularity.

Finished Projects

The only finished project this month was the Jalie coatigan for the Bee, but I have also been trying to get a bit of mending done as well.

WIPs & Upcoming Plans

At the end of last month I predicted May would be dedicated to Bee things, which it has. My next immediate need is more work appropriate clothing, especially trousers. I have several styles I’m interested in trying, but I haven’t really settled on my next project yet. I think I will see how I’m feeling by the time I get back in the sewing space, hopefully sometime next month, but if not then, hopefully in July.

6 thoughts on “Monthly Sewing Review – May Wrap Up

  1. Well done on completing 3 rounds of the sewing bee. Your sketch for the final round theme is lovely. I wonder what the participants will come up with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really off-piste question…..I find choosing patterns and styles to make the easy bit, it is the fabric purchasing that really stumps me. Having become a nice to ‘hobby’ rather than a necessity for filling your wardrobe fabric prices just seem to go up and up. How do you find affordable fabrics and/or budget your sewing projects? I choose 1940’s style to wear and have a multitude of patterns but find it hard to find affordable fabrics to sew with. Any advice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, I will say that I’ve made a lot of things “affordable” for myself today by having built up a massive stash over the past 10 years of sewing, so I can often just pick out fabric or patterns I already bought and then spend maybe $5-25 on notions or special materials if I don’t already have them. I will also say I bought much of this fabric during sales from FabricMart over the years, or from other discount sales, so because I didn’t buy exactly when I needed it, I could get it as a discount. Much of my “good” fabric comes from online shopping (FabricMart,, and Fashion Fabrics Club are my go-tos), but I didn’t always get what I was expecting and saved it for later use in some cases too. If you like 1940s styles, I’d keep watch on FabricMart or Fashion Fabrics Club for sales on cottons, silks, and wools that might be good for 40s styles. I will also say I live close to the LA garment district, so there are *some* good bargains to be had there, but not as much as there used to be. I know some people have luck at charity shops or using IKEA home dec fabrics, but that has never worked for me. Also, arguably, building up as giant of a stash as I did is not the most effective because there’s a lot of fabric sitting around not being used or worn. Personally, I like having a stash because it lets me jump around to new ideas and new projects pretty easily, but I can also appreciate the idea of budgeting per project and getting just what you need as you need it.


  3. Hello Dr. T — I have a simple question, where do you obtain the older Burda patterns? On your post about Sew Your Soft Natural, there’s a beautiful tunic cardigan from Burda 2003, how do I get that? Thank you SO MUCH for all the effort you’ve put into this blog, its so helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my older Burda’s I got by having alerts on EBay and buying them up from there, but you might be able to find some older patterns on the German site for PDF downloads (though I don’t think they go back as far as 2003 unfortunately).


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