Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Is this the end or the beginning?


An unusual ennui seems to have inflicted my favourite sewing bloggers and I too am not immune. Time between posts just stretches into longer and longer periods. I’m sewing lots, what I’m not doing is standing in the garden with carefully selected shoes and full make-up, salon hair, a smile and taking photographs.

Maybe it’s the summer season; maybe it’s holidays and days away; maybe we’re all busy with life and other stuff; maybe we’ve nothing left to say; maybe it’s the end of blogging…….bit like gym membership.

Anyone remember recording songs off the radio onto cassette tape, listening to your Walkman, watching videos, talking to people via landlines? See what I mean, everything has its day. Mind you, my 21 year old son is gradually building an impressive collection of vinyl LPs – what comes around, goes around. If we stick this blogging lark out, then maybe we’ll be back in vogue!

I have made some very good friends via blogging. I’ve met a few in real life and many more virtually. Every one is special and valued and I would not have have this connection without this blog. Hence, I’m rent in two like a beautiful piece of linen, right across the grainline. Do I continue to write this blog?

I have other on-line platforms – Instagram, Pintrest, Facebook and I don’t update those either. I’m really lazy or more to the truth, I couldn’t be bothered.

I have sewn so many garments since my last post that I probably have enough material (ha ha!) to complete a blog post every day of summer. The thing is – are you interested? Will there really be anything new? I’m beginning to think that blogging is just an internet version of “Show and Tell”: “Look how good I am”.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I find daily inspiration, advice, tips, laughs and stimulation from the blogs of other sewers and I still feel I should contribute too. And that’s the dilemma. Those of you who have not written for ages either must surely recognise this quandary.

To try and inject a new level of energy and re-kick-start regular broadcasts on Corecouture – I bring you the actual and real Wedding Guest Dress.  I made a prototype here but then had enough time to make another. Hence, I’ve dusted off the camera and tripod, taken off my jeans, found the shoes, put a bit of lipstick on and here we go…….


There is no pattern for this dress. Well there is but you need to get hold off Bootstrap Off Shoulder dress for the top half and back and then the free download Julies Sissions Scarlett backless red dress for the front skirt. You put these two together, look at loads Vivienne Westwood frocks online and make the rest up as you sew.



Fabric is Romance Rose from Fabric Godmother and is fabulous but sold out I’m afraid. A cotton sateen with 98% cotton and the difference made up from Lycra/elastane. Fitted but with room to move.

Those front pleats cover a multitude of sinful late night snacking and still they keep giving…..even after a wedding dinner. I wore this dress for 14 hours straight and it looked as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning. I didn’t, however wear the VW shoes for 14 hours – I had flats at the ready.


While it might look like those shoulders are about to fall off and cause untold embarrassment to the wearer, they will not. Take a little bit of scrap fabric or ribbon and a snap; sew along shoulder seam and put your bra strap through the loop. Perfection and totally secure. Wee haute couture tip there for you. You’re welcome.


Then I obviously still had too much time left over for sewing because I also made a coat and bag to match.

The bag pattern was a free download years ago from Hot Patterns.


The wedding was in May, which can be chilly at night here so this was not wasted effort. downloadThe pattern is vintage Vogue 1137 which I have made many, many times and as usual this version has a few modifications such as narrowing the swing and widening the sleeves. The coat is a light boiled wool, unlined, with patch pockets from Fabworks and if I had my wits about me I might be able to tell you exactly what it is.


I sewed flat felled seams and used a pleasantly matching grosgrain ribbon on the front facings and hem. The sleeve hems are faced with the dress fabric for that totally co-ordinating outfit – a very, very haute couture touch.


Oh yeah, I also managed to sew an eternal corsage from all the left over fabrics, a few spare ribbons and a button.


Till next time.

Whenever that may be….


Thank you so very much for your loyalty, consistency and continual reading. My words are not enough to express this gratitude.

You want a few pictures of the wedding though now, don’t you?



80 thoughts on “Is this the end or the beginning?

  1. Ruth what a fabulous dress, you look super. Isn’t this weather super! Enjoy it. Monica

  2. Have missed you! Always happy to see what you’ve made.

  3. Hi there Ruth,
    Just the tonic I needed……you in my inbox. I am languishing in bed; under the weather!

    I had to write to say how wonderful your ensemble is. Adore the way you put your unique dress together. The neckline is beautiful on you and thank you for constantly giving us the idea to challenge ourselves to play around mixing and matching patterns to come up with a one off to wear and show some individuality.

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us.
    Until next time, enjoy the rest of the summer.

    • Poor you. My co-ordinating jewellery were pearls – necklace, earrings and strap on the clutch bag.
      Get better soon – this weather is too good to miss…

  4. HURRAH! Bugger ‘blogging is dead’ I missed you! And that’s a truly gorgeous, frabjous outfit, you look stunning. Pleeeeease don’t abandon us all…..

  5. I really hope this is not the last, but oh what an outfit to go out on if it is! It’s wonderful and it suits you to a T.

    Even if it’s not so often I hope you’ll let us know what you’re sewing and with what.

    Wonderful as this summer is I think it’s zapping all our energies so I hope you’ll feel refreshed after the summer.

  6. OH! So glad to see you again, Ruth! I HAVE missed you. Your dress is absolutely beautiful, and you look stunning in it. You and your fitting escapades and tips have always inspired me, so please…continue!

  7. So pleased you haven’t deserted us Ruth. Your wedding ensemble is fabulous and suits you so well. Thanks so much for sharing

  8. Was just thinking of you this morning, and hoping you would reappear. That’s a very posh dress and coat – gorgeous. We need you to inspire us to try harder. Dee

  9. Even though I haven’t commented previously, I would be sad if you stopped. You keep me motivated to keep sewing and try things outside my comfort box! I love seeing what you will be seeing next.

  10. Keep blogging and showing us your makes Ruth! I’ve missed you! You are so talented and imaginative with your designs. I love how you think “outside the box” and mash patterns together and come up with the most fabulous things. You certainly have inspired me to get more adventurous with my sewing. Your wedding outfit here is absolutely “top drawer”, so please don’t deprive your “Admirers in Sewing World!!!” of seeing your wonderful creations. All the best and happy sewing! (Whenever I see an interesting piece of fabric I think : “Now what would Ruth make with this…..” (Tee, hee).

  11. Your garments are always an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I totally hear you about “blogging” I haven’t posted since last October–just not enough time and energy. BUT, I so love to see what you are making! Beautiful! and you are so prolific in the sewing room! So, am I interested in what you are making? ABSOLUTELY!!

    • Thanks Yellowrose. I think it’s just a matter of getting back into a routine of sewing, wearing, photographing, writing.
      This blog is also a useful journal of things I’ve made for myself too.

  13. Beautiful dress and it fits you to a tee. However sporadic your posts I always look forward to them.

  14. Ruth, I have been following you for quite some time but I am not a blogger and have never commented — shame on me. I feel a bit guilty for being a “consumer” without giving anythig back. I anxiously await your posts and those of many other sewing bloggers out there. I love the inspiration, the creativity, the challenge to be better and push harder in this endeavor which we share. Sewing can be a solitary hobby, but because of blogs, I feel I have so many sewing friends around the world. I would miss that wonderful connection and worry about my virtual friends if blogs disappeared. Like you, I wonder at times whether blogging will run a course and the internet will go somewhat silent except for the many, many advertisements that fill our inboxes and screen space. I truly hope not. So much social media space has become filled with negativity. Sewers are, as a group, kind and generous and sewing blogs are safe space. We need more of that in our lives. So, I will respect your decision, whatever it may be, but please know you have often brightened my day and inspired me and challenged me, and I am extremely grateful.

    • Peggy, you voiced my sentiments much better than I could ever do…. thanks for putting the feelings of many of us into a coherent message.

    • I feel the same Peggy. Sewing is not solitary when we have the internet. In fact I’m off to Mexico next week to visit a sewing friend! We would never have met if it hadn’t been for this blog.
      Thank you for your thoughts.

  15. Being from Northern Ireland myself I just love your blog as so many are from further afield. I also have never commented but I confess to having wondered on more than one occasion in the past few weeks if you were ever going to post again. I’m sure it’s time consuming. However, I must say that I think this is the most beautiful item of clothing you have ever shown us. The style, fabric, colours and sewing skills have combined to produce one gorgeous dress. Congratulations! You were a very elegant wedding guest.

  16. What a delicious outfit. Just gorgeous and of course suits you so beautifully. Like the other ladies, I have missed you and wondered what you were up to. I understand the ennui but hope you don’t leave us for good because you are so inspirational to so many of us.

    • Thanks Barbara. I’ve missed blogging too but maybe I’ve got a new lease of energy and life. I like the writing and connecting with people via the blog.

  17. Gorgeous ensemble!!!! You provide so much inspiration, I hope you’ll keep blogging, even if your posts are less often. What a tease that you’ve sewn a lot but not posted😊–I’m imagining all sorts of possibilities based on your style and past posts.

    • Well Katherine, there was the wardrobe for a camping trip to Scotland, the one for Mexico and lots of others in between. I’ve almost forgotten what I’ve sewed. Thank you very much.

  18. This is a beautiful dress and all your own design, you look a proper bombshell in it. I enjoy your blog and hope you continue but I can certainly understand if you don’t.

  19. that dress is fantastic,great fit and lovely choice for a wedding guest dress. and I hope you keep posting to show us the wonderful things you make 🙂

  20. Your outfit is wonderful and so are you. Whenever you will share your next sewing splendour, I will be happy to read your post!

  21. Goodness …I don’t think blogging is dead at all. I have read several posts lately ( not necessarily all from sewing bloggers ) stating just the opposite…blogging is alive and having a Renaissance…’s just the Summer lull that affects every single blogger everywhere, thats all 🙂 I’ve been blogging every week but that doesnt mean taking a break is bad though 🙂
    It’s lovely to see you again and what a fabulous outfit to blow me away! Love it! Such gorgeous colours and so perfectly fitting.

  22. Hello

    I have enjoyed your posts…Loved the pictures and your creativity.

    It always amazes me that people will sit down and write blogs…for me writing is as painful as giving birth. I’m just not a writer. Now, if I can talk my way out of something – well, that’s a different ball game. I can do that.

    So I’ve always admired you and your brave writing sisters and so appreciate all you’ve shared.

    Selfishly, I’m voting for you to continue.

    Thanks for all you’ve shared.


    • You could do a Vlog or a podcast then MDy!
      I like writing, though it probably takes me too long to complete as I read it over and over and edit and edit.
      Thank you

  23. Oh my, while some blogs are show and tell, yours is so much more! While I love and am inspired by your ensemble, it’s the idea of sewing an ensemble that inspires me from reading your blog. You turned me on to the layered style that starts with an L and Oska clothing. Both are the inspiration I needed to define my own style – similar, but not exactly like L or Oska. Layers for living in the northwest are how we dress, now I have visions of how to do that and not necessarily look like a Northface shopper, but a way to create my own fashion preferences with layers that work for my personal style. You teach us about where our sewing passions can go and turn us loose to build on your ideas in our own personal directions. As Peggy’s comment to you said, sewing can be a very isolated process. I do not live in a community where the wonderful women around me would even think of sewing their clothes, yet they really appreciate seeing and asking about the clothing I make. They even think that the many versions of the Hemlock tee I wear are something really special. They are, but not from a sewing perspective. It’s the online sewing community many of us turn to for camaraderie, inspiration, and reading about the struggles each of us can relate to and are so glad we aren’t alone in our dilemmas. It keeps us happy, connected, and motivated, as well as lets us grow our knowledge about techniques, fabrics, pattern options, and ourselves; while feeling like we are part of a community – dare I say, a global community??. Peggy’s comments to you say everything I too feel are true. I hope Dianne’s post to you is correct, blogging is alive, and hopefully evolving in ways that will work for the blogger. Not everything we make needs to be posted – just realized that this year. Pattern review was the first online place I found when I returned to sewing 5 years ago. I spent a year enjoying every bit of it before I started adding posts. Then I felt I had to post about everything I made. Too much! Now, I post when I think something I have made will teach or support other sewists in their journey. Please keep teaching and inspiring us in a way that frees and motivates you too.

    • Thank you so very much Chris. Your own mini post here is inspiration on its own.
      I too get lots of ideas and support from other online sewers – you’re right, we should encourage each other.

  24. Ruth, your final outfit is amazing…as always. You and your posts always inspire me to “make it they way I see it in my head” and not just the way the pattern would have me make it. Please don’t leave blogging forever…you and your inspired garments would be sorely missed.

  25. Sometimes after I read blog posts I just want to click a heart (like Facebook or Instagram) and not write a comment. So today, if there was a heart I would be clicking it, or perhaps a thumbs up. I learn so much from blog posts I do read and your’s is one of them. We have similar body types and I would try to sew this dress just because it looks so good on you! I, like the others, enjoy your posts; I can read your journey rather than just look at you wearing a dress. Thank you!

    • I think there is a little LIKE button somewhere on the blog Mary.
      But thank you for taking the time to comment and hopefully, we’ll continue this journey……

  26. Well I’m gobsmacked! Such a gorgeous outfit. You really are very talented. Please keep blogging !

  27. Beautiful dress and coat! Love reading your blog…. thanks so much for not quitting!!

  28. Wonderful post, Ruth. And what an outfit. Beautiful, every single seam, thread, snap, and detail. I love the colors on you. OK, is that tall handsome guy your son?

    • Thanks Coco. I like the colours too – colourful without being garish.
      The tall guy on my handbag side is my 21 yr old son. His hair is bad because he was an Unsullied in Game of Thrones – yes, my son is on TV! He got paid an extra £20 to have his head shaved and this is it growing back!
      Nice to be back…

  29. Always so good to see a blog post from you in my feed! Please don’t stop!

  30. Please don’t give up blogging. When I first got back to sewing after a gap of over 20 years you were one of the people who inspired me to do so. I love seeing what you make and how you work your magic. We need you to keep blogging, I need your inspiration!

  31. ….. the sewing world on the internet would be an empty place without you. Not being a blogger myself , it is a bit cheeky of me to insist that you carry on sharing your makes with us ! However you have made yourself indispensable to your followers – as all the posts above make clear. Even one blog post a month would be fantastic Ruth – or some more Instagram posts instead of a lengthy blog post. I love your blog but can’t even begin to imagine how much time and effort it takes to create your wonderful posts.

  32. I understand what a lot of work it is for you to write the blog and don’t think it fair to put pressure on you to continue. But I will miss it if you stop. Whatever your decision about the future, thank you very much for inspiration and pleasure for many years. Don’t you feel proud about how far you have come since the earliest days?

    • Unbelievable Anne! Sometimes I scroll through all my own posts and am somewhat astounded about how much I’ve made – weird!
      I think I have a whole lot more to say yet….
      Thank you.

  33. I was delighted to see you pop up in my feed reader today! What a great outfit. The coat really takes it to the next level.

    I know what you mean about blogging taking time and effort. I really appreciate your posts; you always inspire me. But at the end of the day I think you’ve got to be doing it for yourself or it’s just another chore. I like having a journal of what I’ve made which is why I’m still plugging away. So I hope you keep blogging but only when you want to!

  34. Thats lovely, you’re very talented.

  35. Oh this whole outfit is gorgeous. Impressive work on the dress. The neckline is amazing

  36. Ruth, you are way too talented and funny to ever stop your parade of great garments, plus you manage to get invited to the best events and can wear the formal clothes we can only drool over…never mind having a killer figure!

  37. Fab outfit! Nice to see a new post from you. Surely no need to decide now – how about leaving it open & just post when you feel like it? MMM-style outfit post would be welcome too. I read usi.g a blog feed reader, so perfectly fine with bloggers need to take a break. When they eventually post again it’s like a nice catch up with an old friend!

  38. Wowsers!!!! Your dress and coat are amazing!!! I have no more words – I LOVE them!!!

  39. Just the other day I was wondering whether marking had swamped you and wishing to read one of your inspiring blogs. Please do not stop them, they are always an inspiration and good fun. You look lovely in this combiné, the soft colours really suit you.
    GIve us a post now and then…

  40. I love your dress and the inspiration behind it as well as reading your blog and seeing your wonderful outfits; I always enjoy reading your blog and being inspired by your creations and the thought processes behind them. I’ve even bought the draping book to learn to do some of this myself. Your writing is witty and entertaining and always fun!

  41. As always you look amazing in your gorgeous outfit. I think it is my favorite outfit of all that you have made. Stunning.

    I so hear you about blogging. I haven’t blogged in ……., well forever. I lost my voice. All I could think of to say is “here is a picture of something I made”. So boring. I find myself still mentally writing blogs in case I come up with something interesting/amusing enough to post. Hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately.

  42. Thank you for your blog. I appreciate your humor and perspective and have learned from reading it!

  43. Firstly, that wedding outfit is beautiful and will no doubt have been one of the very best in the group. The style and colour look really good on you.
    Next. I understand your feelings about blogging (and other online sites) totally. Life gets in the way, the inclination to set up and take photographs wanes, and sometimes you just plain can’t find the whatever to start writing. That said i have missed your posts and enjoy reading them when they arrive (or when i can catch up!). Do what suits you Ruth, but know you are read and enjoyed and would be missed.

  44. I was afraid to read this post beyond the beginning paragraphs when it was first published in case you were announcing the end. To me, it’s a case of ‘you have to blog, so I don’t have to’. I do appreciate being able to keep in touch by commenting now and then on favourite bloggers’ posts but I don’t feel compelled to blog as Sew2Pro because the need to produce garments has gone, beyond several a year. So I am delighted to see you’ve surpassed yourself by making one of your best dresses ever – and I have now ‘known you’ for 6 years. It looks wonderful, and so do you; like Kim says, the colour and style are spot on. I want to stand up, applaud and throw roses at you!

    Now you’re having a long, real summer and we’ll soon hear all about Mexico! That’s plenty to keep this blog going for like ever. Enjoy.

  45. Your wedding outfit is beautiful, I kept checking the blog to see what you decided on. Missed you at Castle Ward and I guess you’ll miss the next one too but have a fab time in Mexico! Give my best wishes to ReAnn, I met her at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum with you and Lynne. Please keep blogging 🙂 I became friends with you and Lynne because of your blogs and look at the fab group of sewing friends I have now ! XO

  46. WOW! Gorgeous!!

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