why I sew

Sweater coat, black t-shirt and tapestry skirt
 designed and sewn by me.

Hi, my name is Robin and I sew.

I like wearing a custom-made wardrobe and I don't mind slaving away over a hot steam iron to get it.

I am sewing my way to a closet filled only with pieces I love; only the most flattering and comfortable shirts, jackets, tops, trousers, skirts and dresses will reside in my small closet.  

Sewing such a carefully curated wardrobe requires considerable restraint.  After all, I am drawn to shiny and sparkly things.  I am learning to use the flashier fabrics for scarves and stick with solid colors, subtle stripes and interesting textures for my clothing. It makes dressing in the mornings easier, too.

Also mandatory is a good fit.  No, I take that back - a great fit is mandatory.  

Why all the sewing?  I earn a comfortable living- can't I buy nice things?  The short answer is no.  Shopping for clothes is such a tedious and disappointing chore that I'd rather spend my time planning what to sew, preparing patterns to fit, and enjoying the sewing process.

Here is an example of  ready-to-wear clothing:

And now, here is why I sew:
made from a self-drafted and custom fitted pattern
The neck, shoulders & back fit
and the collar is proportioned larger to work with
my 5'9" height.

The shoulder seams sit on top of my shouders, making the shirt hang
properly on the front and the back.. No more tugging and pulling all day!

This shirt is comfortable to wear and makes me happy!

A decade ago, I would have bought the shirt in the store.  Over the last 5 years, dissatisfaction with retail options drove me to dust off my sewing skills and make my own clothing.  My blog is all about making clothes that I really love, as opposed to settling.  I do not sew everything I wear!  I buy what I can, mostly knit tops, sweaters and cardigans.  

OK - there is another big fat reason why I sew: expressing my personal aesthetic is deeply satisfying.   I am true to myself and that's what matters to me.

I am so glad you are here!  No one in my real life sews the way I do.  It is a little quirky, no?  

If you like to lurk without commenting, that is perfectly OK.  If you care to comment, I enjoy getting to know you better.  Have a question?  Email me!  If I can help, I will.

Meeting like-minded sewing enthusiasts in real life is FUN!  Email me if you are passing through Baltimore (no serial killers, please).  Will you be in New York City? I'll hop on a Bolt Bus with very little arm-twisting.   And if I find myself in your neck of the woods, I may contact you.  And I promise I am not a serial killer.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I'm glad you're not a serial killer.

  2. Robin,
    A picture is worth a thousand words and I have never seen pictures that so well demonstrate one of the big reasons we sew. I think seeing those pics has given me back my mojo and I am going to bookmark this page and look at it every time I want to go shopping! THANK YOU!!

  3. :-) fantastic case for sewing, and you are a whole lot more dedicated than me. But I do love it when something fits better than RTW.

  4. Yes, you need to make a cute button for this page - it is way to great for not having one. :-)

  5. You have perfectly illustrated the need for sewing - RTW fits very few people well.

  6. Well said! I identify with what you are saying completely. Your shirts illustrate the point perfectly. I like your "all about me" page.

  7. This post made me smile, loudly. I recently spent a day trying on blouse at a high end RTW. How hard should it be to find a decent fit on a white shirt? You illustrate my point exactly. I dislike shopping, probably for this reason. I have sewn for a very long time, but recently have not done much garment sewing. I returned several months ago and struggle with fitting but I am determined to avoid retail. Overpriced, poorly fitted, and not always well made, a huge disappointment. thanks for the about me, very nice.

  8. I love your "all about me" page. Excellent case for why I sew. Thank you for continuing to inspire!

  9. Excellent introduction. If someone asked me why I was bothering to learn to sew instead of picking up a cheap blouse at H & M, I would direct them to this page.

    Online, there are lots of people with similar reasons for learning how to construct garments. You go about it the right way, with an initial emphasis on shape analysis and fitting. Time and time again I see people posting things that may be reasonably well sewn but that neither fit nor suit them.

    (Woman who commented on the first photo accompanying the project for the coworker.)

  10. Thank you Robin for you succint and insightfull comments about why you sew.

  11. I love your blog, it's on my "check daily" list. I am in the Seattle area. If you ever come my direction, let's meet up!

  12. I'm a long time reader/lurker. I enjoy your blog, I learn & smile a lot! Thanks for sharing all that you do. (and now back to lurking ;)

  13. Robin,

    You are a woman after my own heart! I could have signed my name to that description as well as you, except that I'm not 5'9".

    I've sewen a bit off and on for years, but I've only been working on making my own clothes for a little over a year. I look forward to following your blog.

    Mine blog is new and is at SuesSewingStudio.blogspot.com, if you care to stop by.


  14. Your demonstration of the difference in RTW and custom sewing is great. I am retired now and have some time to get back into sewing. I love beautifully fitting clothes and you are right...you cannot buy those off the rack. Would also love the sew for my two daughters and hopefully inspire them to sew for themselves. I love what I have seen of your blog. I have you bookmarked....I will be back.

    Than you for sharing and being inspirational.

    Warmest regards,

  15. Just found your site - and I have bookmarked it. Understand your frustration with buying ready-made. Now that I am much meatier (!!), clothes still do not fit me. My biggest wish was to have a neighbor like you that I could pop in and out of your home - and vice-a-versa to help get those clothes to fit just right!

  16. Hi Robin, just found this post :) Great post. And what a difference in the shirts. You have really nailed it.

  17. Thank you. I enjoy reading your blog. I forgot about the Bolt buses that I dont see near Mefro Center anymore. Your retail shirt fit pic is a great example to start sewing. I also want to say thanks for allowing anonymous comments.

  18. Robin, outstanding blog and I so resonate! More comment when I can edit down the gushing to a manageable posting size. Wow!! Well done, and with a hilariously seasoned blog-cum-tutorial, to boot--I am ordering a full subscription! Where is the donation box on this page?! You deserve it. Lurkalicious, indeed, but comment worthy as well. Go, girl. Rock that couture. Looks fabulous and the engineering is sublime. 'J'adore'

  19. wow, thank you for the positive feedback!
    Blogging is FUN!

  20. Exactly. I am also 5'9" and I have forever had fit problems. It is tremendously satisfying to have an "original" piece that fits properly. You articulated all the reasons to sew very well. Good blog!!

  21. I've just become your newest follower! I'm getting back into sewing through refashioning, but I'd like to start doing some pattern sewing too. I have sew, sew :) much to learn and I think you might be just the person I need!

  22. Hi, I also sew my clothing b/c of my long arms, waist and legs. Really the arms and waist are the biggest problem. Pants seem to wrong long now. I enjoy sewing but have a hard time deciding what look is best for my body...I am getting old and fat...not my best look.

  23. I have always sewn as I am a bit of a strange shape; long in the hip and leg, shorter on top. 5 feet 8. However, I have learned that as time moves on, everything can change and then if you want any clothes at all, you have to get busy. I have been having treatment for Breast Cancer, and this means that weight goes up, figure goes out, and all seems to be lost - until you start sewing! Your site is inspiring me to try to put together a blog site, too. The best advice I have ever read is to make your clothes the same shape as you are! That makes it all quite a bit easier. (Nancy in Scotland)

    1. Nancy in Scotland, I wish you all the best in your battle with cancer. What excellent advice:

      Make your clothes the same shape as you are!
      Come back when you have a blog and let us know the link!!

  24. Hi I just found your blog and it is very inspiring. I'm a beginner sewer and I love it! At the end of a long work day, I just want to come home and sew. It makes me happy. Happy Sewing! Jennifer (ex-New Yorker)

  25. Lorrain

    I am very inspired and uplifted by what you say. You sew with all your heart and soul
    it shows. I absolutely love sewing and try very hard to make everything perfect, it
    can be very frustrating at times. I especially love sewing dresses for my little
    grandaughters, it`s very rewarding feeling. You give me great incentive to use my
    sewing skills, so happy to have found your blog, keep up the good work.

  26. I'm so glad I can across your blog! You have such a great sense of style and fit! As a fellow Baltimorian, I'm so proud such a talented lady is from the same city as me!

  27. I just stumbled across your blog via "pinterest". I have always had my clothes made for me, especially my pants. I am that wonderful pear shape...smaller on top and larger on the bottom. Lately have been discouraged with a couple of the last pants made for me and want to know how to fit pants properly. I can sew and love to, but my challenge comes in the fitting...how to alter the pattern...I would love any imput and or suggestions you might be able to offer. Thankyou...love your blog and have just subscribed today!

  28. That would have to be one of the best "about" pages I've read!
    You explain it perfectly - the number of times I've tried to go shopping for clothes only to return home empty handed and wishing I'd stayed and just made myself something!

  29. Your words about no one in your real life sewing like you do really strike a chord with me...I'm in the same boat. Spent one hour in a fabric store on a recent trip to Toronto chatting with the salesclerk because she happened to say how satisfying it is to shape a wool garment with steam...and no shine. Oh, it was like music to my poor deprived ears.......so I hope you won't mind if I lurk and learn.

  30. Just stumbled upon your blog; I'm now inspired to try fitting a shirt pattern, as I too have experienced many of those same issues with RTR fit. Thank you, and keep blogging!


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