Affiliate Links: Some Thoughts

I’ve noticed that people seem to get annoyed when bloggers insert affiliate links in their posts, or when they write entirely sponsored posts. Readers don’t like to have their reading interrupted by these verbal commercials.

I can definitely understand this dislike. I have read some sponsored posts that were just fawning over a product unrelated to the focus of the blog–that’s annoying. Don’t tell me about a food mill when I’m interested in garment construction! There’s no real content there, either! That’s more “marketing” than “content.” I get bored with blogs that have a lot of blatant content marketing posts.

I don’t find posts with throwaway references to products annoying. Those posts, where people casually refer to something they use anyway with a subtle link and a brief note about the affiliate link, are much less annoying. It’s as if the writer is someone you know telling you about one product they found that worked better than other products.

I also don’t care about sidebar ads. My (free) web email has sidebar ads; my (free) streaming music service has banner ads; the blogs I read (for free) have ads (for the most part). Those ads allow me to have these things without paying money for them. Win-win for all of us! If I hate your ads/sponsored posts more than I like your content or service, I won’t go to your site.

I understand that people have to pay for bandwidth and all the other stuff that goes into hosting and supporting a website with its own domain and large amount of storage. Bloggers can either pay out of pocket for their hosting costs, or they can run ads or include affiliate links to help pay for the hosting costs.

How do you feel about advertising on blogs and websites?

Coming Up Soon: Experimenting with Bootstrap and Lekala Patterns

My experience with the free Bootstrap A-line dress pattern will not discourage me from trying again! I really like the idea of a pattern more closely aligning with my measurements.

I re-measured myself and made a few adjustments to my measurements on the website. I included the belly + hip measurement as well–this measurement takes the belly protuberance into account, in relation to the full hip measurement.

I’m going to try this vintage-inspired sheath dress, which has a keyhole in the back and a collar, along with a waist inset. I have not done any of those things before (I am not counting the collar on the New Look shift because it is in knit and isn’t a “traditional” collar). I am excited for the challenge and the skill development. I need to buy some “suiting with spandex” (their words) for this pattern. I saw that Fashion Fabrics Club is having a crazy cheap sale right now, including suitings, so I think I’ll nab some there for my practice run.

I’m also going to try the free three-seam skirt pattern. I have seen this skirt recommended to sewists new to Lekala/Bootstrap’s patterns. Earlier this year, I spent a weekend trying to fit a straight skirt pattern (a McCall’s) that had worked fine for me several pounds ago. I made what I thought was a successful skirt, having tried it on throughout the process and having made an adjusted pattern. When I put it on, it wouldn’t stay up at the waist/stomach! I’m hoping this customized skirt pattern will do the trick.

I printed those patterns out yesterday and they are waiting for my attention. Right now, I’m working on another iteration of Simplicity 1609 in a light cotton that I need to line because it is see-through. This is my first time lining this pattern, but I think it should be fairly straightforward! I will use The Slapdash Sewist’s method. (I miss her posts!!) Also, I will be sure to use Kathleen Fasanella’s method of sewing in a zipper. For whatever reason, when I am in the throes of zipper sewing, I forget about all her methods and end up with it looking crappy at the top, where the facing is.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, when I can do some marathon sewing!

 

Simplicity 1062: Giant, Slouchy Dolman Tee

I’m obsessed with dolman tees. I have made Cation Designs‘ Dolman Tee four times! I decided to try a different pattern to see how it would turn out. Simplicity 1062 caught my eye during one of those JoAnn’s 5 for $1 pattern sales (I love those).

After making the tunic last week, I had some fabric left over, so I decided to make this shirt straightaway. I don’t want to hoard scraps; in fact, I went through my scraps and got rid of a bunch last weekend, saving only pieces large enough to make a garment or cuffs. I think if I make something out of the fabric leftovers right after finishing a garment, it won’t have the opportunity to become save-able scraps.

Here it is on me:

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The back, so awkward, caught up on my bottom:

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Arms down:

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Here it is, modeled by my cutting table:

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It really looks gigantic in this photo! I haven’t done the hem yet, hence the little serger tails there. I’ve been into wearing oversized soft tops lately. I think they make me look more graceful, and also like a hip young art teacher. I do think I could go down to a medium without an issue, though. I cut a large for this one. There is about 12″ of ease in this top for me: my full bust is 40″ and the finished bust is 52″. Crazy ease!!! I could fit a cat in there.

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Our cat who sleeps in ridiculously fluffy poses, Fatty.

This top will be loungewear only. I think I will either make another tunic or make a woven shift dress next. I bought a delightful red dot fabric on impulse from JoAnn’s–the fabric reminds me of the woven cotton fabric made in India. It will serve me well in the hot Southern summer!

New Look 6323 Tunic

I tried googling NL 6323 (corrected number) and noticed that no one else has written about it! I made view D, the tunic with an even hem, on Thursday evening.

I chose size L, which was the closest to my full bust measurement of 40 and waist of 33. Why did I not remember what happened the last time I made a New Look pattern? It was too big. The sleeves were a couple inches too long, covering my hands, and the shoulders hung out somewhere at the top of my bicep. I wore it to work anyway. I liked the fabric, a rayon jersey from FashionFabricsClub.

I constructed it all on the server. I liked the neckband directions and thought it made a nice finish. I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams. I ignored the sleeve sewing directions and used Crafting a Rainbow’s instructions.

I’m going to make another one this weekend in size M. This time, I’ll check to make sure the shoulders are narrow enough for me.

I’ve been wanting knit tunics to wear with leggings to work, and this pattern is perfect for that. I bought bulk leggings already, but I’m tempted to make more with the included pattern.

I’ll include photos when I get some taken! I’m blogging from the car on the road. 😀

 

 

Bootstrap Fashion 8000: Short-sleeved Dress with Belt

I decided to try a Bootstrap Fashion pattern because I am particularly hard to fit right now. I tried the free pattern, 8000, the short sleeved dress.

I had a bit of a mishap trying to put in a lining. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it was a twisted mess. I cut it out just so I could see how the dress would fit.

I put in the invisible zipper so perfectly. The waist lined up in the back. The armscyes turned out to be too small and I had limited range of motion. There is also wrinkling where I sewed the armscye facings on. The curves there are extreme. I did clip the curves. That didn’t do much.

I had enough room for my stomach, my bust, and my hips, although there was extra room on the sides of the skirt and it has a strange, exaggerated hip curve. I probably put in inaccurate measurements.

I will try Bootstrap Fashion patterns again, after I remeasure myself and put in the new measurements.

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I’ve Been Quiet, but I’ve Been Sewing

That title pretty much sums up what many sewing bloggers say to explain their absence online. This is part of the reason why I have been quiet on this blog.

I have been sewing, but it’s been going slowly due to me taking a writing class online and having wicked tendinitis flare-ups. Since the last time I posted, I think I made a skirt, a dress, a shirt, an attempt at a skirt muslin, and three muslins of pants. (I did not end up with a pair of pants at the end of the pants fitting class I took because I needed, and still need to, make so many changes to the pattern so that it fits me.)

I’ve also been gaining an absurd amount of weight. Since we moved, I’ve been sad, lonely, and physically unable to exercise, so I eat things like ice cream because I am not enjoying large swaths of my life, but I enjoy ice cream. Gaining more weight has exacerbated the reason why I can’t go walking, cycling, or swimming. It’s a cycle.

I don’t want to sew for this body, the biggest body I’ve ever had. It’s frustrating. Most straight size patterns don’t fit me, and if they “fit,” they look awkward as hell.

Today is my first day of dieting (again), but this time I am really determined to lose the weight so I can be active again (and enjoy sewing for myself more again). I’m giving counting calories another go, using My Fitness Pal. I have to spend tonight planning meals and going to the store to stock up. I have to say no to junk.

I also want to focus on sewing flowy clothing, like what Thornberry wears, so I can be comfortable. (I love her use of color and shape in sewing! Also, I love loose waists. Rather, loose waists love me.) Right now, all my clothes are so uncomfortable for me. I think I need to adapt to where I am right now while I work on getting to where I want to be.

 

 

New Look 6145 with Collar in Ponte

I made New Look 6145 in a size 18, which correlates with my measurements.

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It is very loose, even under the arms, which indicates that it is too big. What a difference fabric makes! The first time I made this dress, it was in stiff wax cotton, and I could hardly move my arms, though the dress was loose. I need to take in the sides by at least a half an inch either side.

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This time, I sewed the sleeves in flat. It was my first time doing so and it was way easier than in the round! I used this tutorial. I also used a zig zag stitch, 1.5 in width, to sew the sleeve hems and side seams. Everywhere else, I used a straight stitch.

I haven’t done the hem yet, as I want to take in the sides first.

The next project will be pants, for the pants fitting class.

What Happened in 2015

I had goals for 2015. I said that I would sew one garment a month. I didn’t do that. I did, however, start at least one garment per month, then gave up because the fit was bad or lost interest at the zipper or hemming stage.

Towards the end of the year, I also had little sewing time. I moved, traveled overseas, got married, and traveled to three more places. There hasn’t been one month that I’ve been totally at home.

(An aside: I ended up wearing the Trashy Diva Honey dress in white for my wedding dress. It had lovely folds in the front. A little girl stared at me in the marriage license office, probably thinking I was either a princess or a kook!)

This year, I want to work on developing fitting skills. I also am working on losing weight. This is chiefly for my health, but I also know I will like how I look in what I make when I am smaller.

I signed up for a pants fitting class at one of the local fabric shops. It starts in a couple of weeks. While searching for a plus size pants pattern, I’m noticing that there aren’t many, and what exists is stretchy or has an elastic waistband. For the purposes of this class, I need a regular waistband and woven fabric. I found one See and Sew pattern that covers my size at JoAnn… And it looks like a fuddy duddy pattern. 😦 I thought about buying a Burda Plus pattern, but I’d have to print it somewhere, tape it, and add seam allowances. I could grade any pattern up, but I don’t really want to do that. I just want to make the muslin I need to have before the first class!

I’ve also been doing water aerobics for the past couple of weeks. I like it. I’m also focusing on making better food choices, which I really need to focus on when I’m traveling!

What are your goals for this year?

India

I’ve been in Gurgaon, India for the past two weeks. Gurgaon is part of the Greater New Delhi area. I’ve had a wonderful time here. Every night before bedtime, I’ve mentally reviewed each day. Almost every day here has been full of activity, sun, sweat, color, and strolling cows (my favorite).

Indan cow prancing Indian cow

I’ve bought a few kurtas here. I am not sure if I will wear them in the U.S. though, as I am not Indian and, you know, cultural appropriation. They are beautiful, though, and appropriate for wearing in India, which has somewhat more stringent modesty standards than the U.S. does.

I had a dress made for my wedding, but I don’t like it. Back to the drafting board/wedding dress website/department dressing room, I guess.

Seeing how other people live, especially seeing active temples of worship, has been fascinating. I’ve also enjoyed meeting new people on this trip, and putting faces with the names I already know. The monuments are, well, monumental.

#nofilter so beautiful

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A Sikh temple, very beautiful! The holy pond in the back was peaceful.

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I am ready to go home, though. I am ready to breathe clean air, and to drink as much water as I want from the tap. I am ready to go out by myself at night, driving myself somewhere to shop alone. I am ready to cross the street without guidance. 🙂 I am ready for our own bed and for our own cats.

Extreme lolling #cats #mainecoon

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Post-vet visit cat needs to sleep on a human to feel better

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I do miss my friends and family in New Orleans the most. What is home, anyway? I’ve been happier here in Gurgaon than I have for the past month. I think it has to do with all of the awesome people we’ve been spending time with for the past two weeks.

I cheer myself up by reminding myself that in a month’s time, I will be home for a whole week, and not only that–I will be getting married to the most kind, loving, smart, and funny man I have ever known.

Sewaholic Cambie Muslin: I Got a Lotta Work to Do!

I’m typing this from my phone, so please forgive any typos. This is my first draft of the Cambie, sewn in the largest size out of the packet. I need help! I welcome feedback. I think I need to schedule a lesson with a local teacher–the type who’s been teaching since the 60s–I need an expert who’s gonna tell it like it is! The look on my face expresses how i feel. Things I can see right off the bat:

  • The bodice is too long on me (waistband is near my belly button) (big poof of fabric in back)
  • Waistband dips in the front (potbelly issue?)
  • Stomach area is snug
  • Skirt feels okay, is a little overlong
  • Sleeves are giant (shoulders are narrow?)
  • Bodice is too loose around the bust (I am wearing a brand new supportive bra bought specifically for this event, so the bra isn’t the issue)
  • High left hip/longer left leg seems to be causing bodice wrinkles on that side
  • Is there anything I am not seeing? What type of adjustments should I make??? (I have FFRP and the Sarah Veblen book about fitting, but I am not sure how to translate those changes to myself.) Here are the photos:

Cambie front

Side
Side
Back, where you can see my high left hip/extra long left leg
Back, where you can see my high left hip/extra long left leg
The other side
The other side