Rate the Pendrell Sew-Along!

Things are busy these days, no time to sew anything new! So today’s post is a question: now that the Pendrell Sew-Along is over, what do you think?

Did you enjoy the Pendrell Blouse Sew-Along? Was it what you thought it would be, and is there anything we should do differently next time?

This was my first time leading a Sew-Along, and I had a lot of fun! I enjoyed having an opportunity to chat with you guys. You all are so creative! We all made the same blouse, but created a hundred completely different versions. Some of them I wish were hanging in my closet! I still need to take photos of mine and post them, and there are a bunch of awesome versions around blog-world that I’d like to share here as well.

It was great to see where you got stuck, and where you had challenges. As I develop patterns, not only do I want them to be awesome-looking, flattering styles that you can make over and over again, but I want them to be easy to make on your own.

On that note, what didn’t you like? I can take the critique, so please tell me! I want to make it better if I can. Especially because there may be something we can sew along together coming up soon!

Should we go faster? Slower? Break down the sewing steps into smaller bites? More information? Less information? Too much preparation before getting to sewing? Anything special you’d like to see? If there was a ten-star rating, what would you give the Pendrell Sew-Along?

At the Smart Car dealership, the guy always tells me, “You may be contacted for a survey on your service today. It uses a rating system from one to ten, and anything less than a ten means I fail.” He’s probably about my age, but always has the most serious face when he tells me this part. I always wonder if it’s a dealership rule that anything less than ten is a fail, or if it’s his own very high standards? Either way, I kind of like his theory, being a perfectionist myself. So what would make it a ten-star sew-along?

Or if you had a blast and thought the whole thing went splendidly, that’s OK too! I’d love to hear your feedback!

, , , , ,

33 Responses to Rate the Pendrell Sew-Along!

  1. Misty February 16, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    I really liked the availability of extra help whenever I had questions. You were so quick to answer us! I thought this was a great sewalong with a good speed. It helped that there were so many different styles so that not every post related to what I was doing (but they’re all there for my next attempt). I rarely have the energy to sew in the evenings after work, but I could always catch up over the weekend in just an hour or two.

  2. Lindsay February 16, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    I loved the sew along! I was a little late in the game, but I printed off all of your thorough instructions and was able to complete the project without too much trouble. This was my first blouse, and only my second garment sewing project, so I made a few mistakes that had nothing to do with the quality of your posts. The amount of pictures and detail that you included throughout the sew along provided the exact amount of support that I needed as a novice sewer. Next time I’ll join in on the sew along as it’s happening! I had a lot of fun making the Pendrell and am excited to make another.

  3. Trisha February 16, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I didn’t participate in the sew-a-long, but I wanted to comment anyway. I really enjoyed reading through the posts. Your pattern looks like it is well-constructed, with smart instructions that make it easier (and hopefully more fun) to sew. After seeing everyone’s creations, I’m very tempted to make the Pendrell next time I want to make a blouse!

  4. Sara February 16, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    As someone that likes your blog, but didn’t want to participate in the sew-along, I would like if every 3rd or 4th post wasn’t sew-along related. My favorite part of the sew-along is looking at the finished projects that you post.

  5. Tasia February 16, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    @Sara: Sara, that’s a really good point and something I thought about myself when I was writing the sew-along posts! I thought perhaps I’d be boring anyone who’s not sewing along, so I’ll try to add in a few unrelated posts next time just for a change of scenery :) Thanks for the comment!

    Thanks Lindsay, Trisha and Misty as well! I’m glad the photos and posts were helpful, even if you weren’t sewing along at the same time or at all!

  6. Sandy February 16, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    I think your pattern is well drafter and was easy to sew. Your pictures and written help were very well done. I am looking forward to your next pattern and sew-along.

    I am giving you a 10.

  7. Robin M February 16, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I did not get to participate in the sew-along this time, but I have the pattern and plan to sew it soon. I found the sew-along posts to be very informative, and I even learned a few new things. So I really appreciated all the details. And I love seeing all the completed Pendrells. They give me inspiration to start my own. I am looking forward to your next pattern and sew-along!

  8. Susanne February 16, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    I liked everything about the sew-along! The pace, the detailed tutorials, the ability to ask questions (and get them answered) and seeing everyone’s creations.
    The only problems I had were due to being a beginner and not getting everything as neat in some places as I would have liked.
    I think you did a great job and I’m giving you a 10!

  9. Alexandra Mason February 16, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    I didn’t take part in the sew along but i thought your posts were excellent, very clear to understand with great photos..I learnt alot from reading them too.

  10. Nurseshar February 16, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I’m an unofficial participant of the sew-a-long, I just have to hem and I’m finished. I love the pattern, the pace and all of the detailed instructions. My only critique is some of the steps were difficult to see on the print fabric. I think it would have been easier to see if you would have used a solid. I hesitate to post this because you provided so much information and my difficulty may just be because of my 40+ year old eyes.

  11. K-Line February 16, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    It was an excellent sew along. I do think it could have gone a little faster – but I just went a little faster on my own. No harm done there. I would definitely join another sew along. May I suggest you tackle a slightly more advanced item next? Your instruction is so detailed and clear, I’m sure it would be an incredible learning experience.

  12. Lis February 16, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I did not participate in the sew-along, but I did read many of the posts as they came out to learn new skills. In particular the ones about gathers, necklines, and armholes were valuable to me. I am a self-taught seamstress, and I often come across places where I don’t know the “best practice” of doing something, so these really help to refine my skill.

  13. ms. modiste February 16, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I didn’t really follow along, obviously… I rushed ahead, but then had to stop and still haven’t finished! Regardless, I enjoyed both the content and frequency of your posts, as well as the speed with which you answered questions. 10 out of 10 from me!

  14. Sarah February 16, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    While I didn’t participate in the sew-along, I did follow along by reading your blog throughout it. To me, the pace seemed slow. There were over two weeks between cutting your fabric (Jan 19th) and finishing the blouse (Feb 4th) for something I’d want to sew-up in just one or two afternoons. However, your instructions were very thorough, so I agree with K-Line’s suggestion that a sew-along for something more advanced (a jacket, a pair of pants, etc.) would be great and would make a quite helpful point of reference to come back to again and again!

  15. Sherry February 16, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    I didn’t sewalong, but I did readalong! I thought you did an excellent job Tasia – a 10 from me.
    I thought with your instructions a complete beginner could successfully make up the pattern. Also and it is a great idea to offer pattern support for your product.

    Now – where is that cape?!!

  16. Funnygrrl February 16, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    The pace was slow but it helped when it came to the details. I’m impatient but I know when I attempt another version of the blouse or use sheers or lace, I’ll be able to find the info. It was a 10.
    I agree that posts outside of the sew along would be good. Even for those of us doing the sew along, the other posts are interesting. Most of us probably have more than one project on the go!
    What about some video posts? For the tricky stuff?

  17. Pam February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I’m still sewing my blouses, so obviously I didn’t think it was too slow! (I’m finally at the last step!) I’m a beginner, and with a job and a family I am slow. So for me the pace was fine. But since the posts are there for anyone, and you’re always so quick with the answers to questions, I can’t see how a faster pace would hurt me.

    For me it was a ten – there’s no way I could have successfully tacked this without the extra help. The pattern is well done, but seeing all the photos was fantastic.

  18. Sewingdina February 16, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I will gladly give your sew-a-long a ten. I read all your posts and they were really informative. I have also picked up a lot of new techniques – such as your stay stitching and neck binding. I am currently making up the pattern so it is nice to have all the posts to hand, and in one convenient place on your blog. I think the pace was just right. Unfortunately you are not going to please everyone with the pace. Novices like me will be happy with the pace but I can understand the more advanced sewers may have found it slow because they can make it in zero time! Perhaps they have another project on the go to alleviate any sewing withdrawal symptoms if they want to follow! Can I also suggest you put the link to all your other finished Pendrells as they do not all seem to be in the Pendrell flickr group (and in fact all your Pendrell related posts where they talk about the fabric, the cut etc). I can’t wait for your future patterns and sew-a-longs!

  19. Lois February 16, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I just finished the wearable muslin yesterday, so I’m a bit slower than the sew-along was. Life happens. It was my 1st sew along, so I can’t judge it against others. I’m glad I made a muslin because I had to make some alterations. I have a lot of belly, so I had to add for that. And I made a cap sleeve (I think that’s what it’s called, it’s not set in) under the ruffle for view A. That took care of the undergarment problem that I’d asked you about before we started. I’m looking forward to making the actual blouse now that I have my problems solved.

    I think I probably wouldn’t even have started if it weren’t for the sew along. So that’s good. I’m looking forward to another one. Got to get the ‘real one’ finished soon so I’ll be ready.

  20. Lois February 16, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    This is probably a dumb question, but here goes. How do we send a pic of what we did on the Pendrell? And where do we look to see the others that aren’t in the newsletter?

  21. Amanda February 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    I thought it was a great sew-along, although I have to admit I didn’t actually follow the posts day by day because this was a blouse I could handle on my own. I followed more at the beginning just because I thought adjusting a pear design might be tricky for a non-pear, but then I learned it’s so easy! Oh, and techniques I’ve been doing for awhile you taught in a different way and it’s now the way I prefer.

    I do want to say that your instructions on the sheet were terrific. I’m working on another pattern now and the illustrations aren’t very helpful so I wanted to say thank you for your illustrations – it makes a ton of difference! And, okay, this is silly, but I loved some of the shapes of this pattern. I called one “the Stewie” (from Family Guy) and another “the surfboard” while I was sewing, but I’m odd like that :)

    I’m so excited that you’re coming out with something soon, as I just found out that Colette Patterns has some new patterns in the works. You ladies are spoiling us!

  22. Amanda February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    @Lois: @Lois:

    Hi Lois! Not a dumb question, there’s a Flickr group for Sewaholic Patterns where you can see everyone’s creations! http://www.flickr.com/groups/sewaholicpatterns/

  23. Sue February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    10/10 for me! Your sew-along was great, loved the in-depth informative posts and the time schedule was great, no pressure at all.
    The pattern was beautifully drafted and the instructions excellent.
    Thank you!!!

  24. Kristie February 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi Tasia, I thought every post was so well explained and illustrated (as well in your actual pattern instructions). For me it was too slow, but that’s not a bad thing for others. I was painfully waiting each day to get to the sewing. The pace was perfect for first time sewers. I’m sure it’s hard when you have readers/sew-alongers of all different sewing levels. I too would love to follow a sew-along with something more difficult OR just another one of YOUR patterns! : )

  25. Hélène Martin February 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm #


    I learned a lot from seeing your construction strategies. For some reason I didn’t really feel like starting until the final sew-along post came up then I completed it at my own pace. I just wish I’d followed your advice and done flat-pattern alterations. >( I was too anxious to get started and didn’t really notice the waist was way too big for me.

  26. Angela February 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    LOVED IT! I read along every day and once I had complete several other half finished things, I joined in late. It was SO helpful to have read through all your instructions ahead of time. When I got to a point where I felt unsure, it was easy to just go back to your tutorial and get the answer I needed. The photos help me very much. I’m a visual learner so I appreciate that part in addition to the written description. Can’t wait for the next one!

  27. Jane February 17, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    HI Tasia, Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your sewalong. You won’t be able to please everyone with the pace, but surely that’s what a schedule is for? People can see the pace you’re suggesting before they start/participate. I liked the fact that you stuck to the deadlines on the schedule too. For me personally, I view sewalongs as a learning experience and try to learn new things from each one. So in this case, I’ve learnt your fab method of using bias binding on necklines and armholes and how to adjust a hipline measurement, both really useful tips. Thanks again for putting in so much of your own time. x

  28. Samantha February 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Tasia, Congrats on having so many people participate in your sew along! I made my blouse before the sew along began (I couldn’t wait!) and I absolutely love the pattern! I just wanted to say I agree with Sara’s comment, for those of us who have either already made the pattern, or are not going to make it, I found that I wasn’t reading your blog at all for the two weeks it running :-( Next sewalong could there also be other posts too?

    Congrats again on running such a thorough sewalong, and being so encouraging to all your readers – it makes all the difference! Sam xox

  29. Debbie February 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    10 out of 10. This was a great sew-along. Although the pace was slow, it was good. Your instructions and tips were excellent! Looking forward to your next pattern and sew-along.

  30. Joolz February 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    I discovered your blog last night and have just spent the past two evenings reading it from day one. It’s very inspirational and I’m looking forward to reading lots more in the future.

    I read the sew-along (didn’t participate because I know that style of blouse simply wouldn’t suit me) and have one tiny criticism (more of a suggestion, really). It would be more helpful if the fabric you had picked had a more obvious difference between the right and wrong sides. This is something I’ve noticed on quite a few tutorials online and it can sometimes make it difficult to see exactly what is being done. Obviously I realise that you want to sew something that you also want to wear so pick your fabrics based on that, but maybe if you are going to do a sew-along for your future patterns this might be something to bear in mind.

    I absolutely loved the way you did the neck binding. I have a pattern I’ve had for ages that has a bias-bound neckline and I’ve been putting off sewing it because the type of fabric it calls for seems to be exactly the same as a Pendrell and I couldn’t face trying to sew the binding around the neck the traditional way. I had it cut out once and the fabric I had picked would not hold a crease no matter how much I abused it with the iron, which made me give up on it for a while. When I went back to it I realised I didn’t really like the fabric anyway, and I had ironed one piece of fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric! That was the first, and so far last, time I had a wadder that hadn’t had a stitch sewn on it! Since then I’ve put off even looking for new fabric for it because I dreaded the neckline – now the pattern is going to be dug out and I’ll have a dig through my stash to see if I’ve got any suitable fabric.


  31. Krysta February 19, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    I didn’t get to participate because I ordered my pattern a bit late and it still hasn’t arrived :P

    But I’ve been following along and paying very close attention so I’ll be ready to jump on it as soon as it gets here. (Seriously, I come running every time I hear my mail slot creaking, and it’s always junk mail!)

    Your instructions are really clear, even for a beginner like me. And it’s been very exciting to see so many adaptions of the Pendrell pattern. It’s so versatile and your instructions were so helpful that I just know I’ll be making it quite a few times!

  32. Pink Hollybush Designs February 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm #


    I loved the sew-along and think you did a fantastic job. The photos attaching the neckline seam binding were especially helpful. I can’t wait for the next one.


  33. K March 7, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Hi Tasia!
    I didn’t do the Pendrell sew-along (yet! I want a Pendrell in every color!) But the posts were still so interesting and you showed a lot of techniques that translate to every sewing project. I loved seeing all the photos; it’s so much easier to understand something when you can read the instructions and then see a demonstration. As soon as I get my Pendrell pattern I’ll be following your sew-along!