THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

About The Authors

 Georgene and Mary Beth from The USA and Els from The Netherlands are all about: a love of haute couture, exciting trends, good sewing technique, finding new sewers with a seeking spirit, all types of fashion and accessory sewing, good tools and fine fabrics.  We create and sew and knit and we make a living from our escapades.  We try new things and enjoy sharing.

You can reach us by email :  thesewingdivas at hot mail dot com

You may email us individually at our respective email accounts

Els : diva-els at hot mail dot com

Georgene : georgeheen at

Mary Beth:  mainlandlady at hot mail dot com





  1. I love the look of your blog. I am considering beginning a blog on and am concerned about storage of photos. You have great photos on your blog. Have you updated your storage requirements at or are you using the standard storage? How much storage is needed for a site such as yours? If you hvae the time, I’d really appreciate a reply.

    Comment by rachel — December 31, 2006 @ 9:32 am

  2. Rachel, the only photos that we have currently loaded on WordPress are the ones for the post called “The Beauty of Underlining”. Those photos are all scaled to 640X480 pixels, or close to it, and the photos take up 2% of the 50MB of space that WordPress allots as the standard. If you plan to upload a lot of video or photos, then you might want to either buy more space from WP or use a different server. HTH!
    Ann (Gorgeous Things)

    Comment by gorgeousthings — December 31, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  3. I just checked my photo uploads at TheStitchery here on WordPress: I’ve uploaded 20 pix, most of them are 350 or 400 pixels. I’ve used 0% of storage so far so I’d say that just the 240 pix difference is quite a lot of storage difference. You can also use “thumbnails”, clickabe links that load at 96×96 pixels. I’ve started using flickr for bigger and better photos and like it because I can upload the photo and make a blog entry right from the flickr site. I do have to go back and edit from the WordPress dashboard, though. Good luck!

    Comment by Mary Beth — December 31, 2006 @ 11:12 am

  4. Thank you both!

    Comment by Rachel — December 31, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

  5. Love the new site ladies.

    Comment by Kelly — January 11, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  6. Hey sewing divas!!
    girlfriends, the tweed flow jacket yu had on is hoT!!! how much would it cost for one in size large..also do you make thai fisherman pants, they are suppose to be it this summer…claire

    Comment by claire nzerem — March 18, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  7. Dear Divas,
    I really like your blog and I don’t know if you give out sewing advice but thought I’d ask anyway. I’ve bought some beautiful cotton fabric to make a summer dress, it has an embroidered border along one edge which I wanted to use for the bottom edge of the skirt. However the dress pattern I bought has a full skirt which has a curved skirt bottom. I really want to keep a full skirt on the dress (vs change to a straight skirt) but don’t want to lose the embroidered border on my fabric. Could you advise me how best to alter the pattern? I hope I’m making sense here with my question. If you could help it would be much appreciated.

    Comment by Emma — March 19, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

  8. Hi Emma: Have you looked through the pattern books for any skirt or dress with a border print? That would be your best bet for starters. I immediately found Vogue V8353.

    Comment by Mary Beth — March 21, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  9. I need your Diva expertise. I am attempting to make and evening gown for my niece for prom. She wants ‘lettuce leaf hem’ so the material is flat, but the edge is small ruffle/wavy pattern to creat flow. What is the proper technique to use to accomplish this effect.

    Comment by Cathie — March 22, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

  10. Hi folks: This isn’t really the best way to get an answer, there’s just not enough space. Why not pick one of the Divas you’d like to communicate with and send an email?

    Comment by Mary Beth — March 22, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  11. Please, one of you, send me your definition of “drag lines” with a couple of examples. Many thanks, Judith

    Comment by Judith Rasband — April 28, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  12. Greetings~ Can’t find the Ceref wood rulers so would appreciate any help finding a source. Google let me down on this one.
    Do you know of any Internet classes that show how to use the tools shown on your tool page?
    Thank you for such an informative website.
    Marcia Crew

    Comment by Marcia R Crew — May 24, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  13. Hello Ladies,

    I don’t even know what a blog is, looks like a chat room of sorts. How I got here I don’t know, but I love it. I love to sew, knit, crochet – you name it, but sewing is my first love and obsessison. I will come back and visit you often. Did I find a little bit of Heaven? I think so.


    Comment by Beverly — June 2, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  14. I Love!!! your blog, I can read forever about your adventures, opinions etc. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Comment by domestichaven — July 17, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  15. I just started a blog and I feel I have so much more to add now 🙂
    I think that is it 🙂

    Comment by domestichaven — July 17, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  16. I just finished reading NY magazine with the article about boutiques in Brooklyn with nice fashionable looking dresses and wearable clothes. The dresses were above the knee, with high bodices in a variety of fabrics. Are there websites or online stores which have current, young looking styles similar to those in the pattern magazines, what about a craft marketplace where sewers have posted their projects?

    Comment by carolyn — August 27, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

  17. hi
    that’s great 🙂

    Comment by mabdo — September 4, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

  18. This is a great site for information and guidance–thank you!!

    Comment by Sophia — September 5, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

  19. Hi,
    Love your site.
    I would like some advice on using iron on interfacing, type & how to use. I tried it a while back and didn’t have good results. Have been using old, worn, soft, sheets for years, but feel out of date. Thanks!

    Comment by Dianna — September 20, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  20. Sras.-

    En primer lugar, quiero felicitarles por su blog, es interesante, creativo y muy útil. Soy un modisto residente en Barcelona (España), y además de profesional, aficionado y admirador de todo los temas relacionados con la moda. Espero sean tan amables de visitar mi blog, gracias. Sin más, les saludo afectuosamente.

    Free translation by google

    In the first place, I want to congratulate by his blog to them, is interesting, creative and very useful. I am modisto resident in Barcelona (Spain), and in addition to professional, fan and admirer of all the subjects related to the fashion. I hope are so amiable to visit my blog, thanks. Immediately, them greeting affectionately.


    Comment by Paco Peralta — October 6, 2007 @ 11:45 am

  21. Thank you thank you for your awesome tutorials you fairy godmothers!!! I am so grateful as my sewing guru now lives 3000 miles away – you have now taken the pride place!! Gemma

    Comment by Gemma Taylor — October 7, 2007 @ 7:28 am

  22. I am french and crazy about everything regarding sewing, specially Couture garnments, but, even I do have possibilities for machines, travel, classes, I do not perform very well by myself, and I am craving to find ladies with the same interest. My husband and I live in 2 parts of the country, I have hard time to make buddies friends for sewing. I belong to the right sewing clubs, but their interest do not have the same orientation. Anybody in Denver, CO or Stuart, FL?

    Comment by MissGiGi — October 26, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  23. Hello DIVAS .-

    Thank you for including me in the list of links. Greetings from Barcelona to all. You have a job sensational, really. , I admire your sewing techniques. Besides you, my blog, I have been instrumental in communicating with Tany (a large business), Rose, etc., which also admire your good work. Paco

    Comment by Paco Peralta — November 5, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  24. Thankyou thankyou for creating this wonderful space…

    Comment by tara mooney — November 30, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  25. I just found your blog and I love it. It is so informative. I have been sewing for 8 years but still consider myself somewhat of a beginner. I love the drawstring bag (April 2007) that you made with the yummy blue leather. May I ask where you got that leather? Also, when you sewing leather can you just use a regular sewing machine and a needle designed for sewing leather? I want to sew something leather but I want to start out simple. Thanks.

    Comment by Rachel — December 1, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

  26. Rachel you can sew certain types of leather on a regular sewing machine with the appropriate needle. It’s a good idea to study up on leather construction techniques – seams are often glued before sewing. “Sewing with Leather and Suede” by Sandy Scriavino is a good place to start – a text targeted to home sewing enthusiasts.

    Comment by georgene — December 2, 2007 @ 1:27 am

  27. Can you answer a question for me. I am making a blouse out of see through silk chiffon. I of course will wear a camisole with it. The left over material from the darts is showing through the chiffon. It is possible to cut some of the fabric off of them or should I just leave them?

    Comment by Rachel — December 3, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  28. Rachel, yes you can cut of the excess dart seam allowance for a narrow dart seam. You can use a 1/4 or 3/8 wide allowance. For a neat finish you can bind the dart seam allowance with “seams great” or a strip of left over self-fabric to avoid a see-through of a serged, pinked or zigzag finish of the seam allowance.

    Comment by Els — December 4, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

  29. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

    Comment by Idetrorce — December 15, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

  30. Thank You!!! I Love fashion but even more so learning how to create for my not so evenly proportion curvature body and the links you’ve provided has made this a success!
    Loving to create, Loving to innovate my vision into a reality!

    Comment by Aebra Adams — January 19, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  31. It’s a great blog and I would be proud if you can add a link to my blog

    I already have included your blog in my blogroll

    Warm regards

    Comment by Alicia — March 31, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

  32. Hi there I just found your website and its really great to read about people who do the same things. I’m in the UK and I make things for people, basically whatever they ask for, from leather jackets to sofas re-upholstered to wedding gowns. I have a workshop in my garden and as much as I love my work it can be very isolating, so its nice to talk to other people who come across the same problems etc
    I wonder if any of you could help me with the problem I’m having with concealed zips. Do you know if anyone supplies extra strong concealed zips? When I make wedding gowns the zips are far too light weight for the garment. I cannot seem to find anyone in the UK who does them . Could anyone help?
    Great website. Thanks Pauline.

    Comment by Pauline — April 26, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  33. Zipperstop is a company in New York City that sells mostly zippers, and they sell YKK invisible zippers in every color. You can link to them from our main page under “Sewing Suppliers”

    Comment by phyllisc — April 26, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  34. I have been an independant stitcher all my life. I am so glad to meet creative soul mates. I will be back to this site often.
    I also just made the Issey Miyake Wrap Coat, challenging but with great results. Thank You!

    Comment by Eleanor of Jasper — May 10, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  35. I really enjoy your tutorials. Have you ever done one on marking the fabric. I never know what to do as far as the notches, dots, center seam, etc. Are there better ways of marking for different fabrics? Tailer tacks, chalk, snipping, which are better. Thanks.

    Comment by Elizabeth Cox — June 20, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  36. Hello!

    I love your site. It’s clean and informative, and I really like all the photos and fashion sewing direction. When you have a moment, please check out what we are doing to reach the Gen Y fashionista sewer! We’d love to be a guest blogger on your site 🙂

    Comment by Cindy Cummins — August 14, 2008 @ 7:34 am

  37. Love this blog! Just a quick note to let you know.

    -art is love, cheri

    Comment by stellarcheri — August 18, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  38. Hello ,
    I just ran across your website, and found your picture with the HotPatterns kimono jacket. I design mostly Hawaiian patterns, but I also have the same type of jacket in my line. It is called a Happi Coat. I have two versions : the modern one snugs the neck and is not so “puffy” , as one of your comments mentioned. The traditional one will stand away from the neck, and is looser, not shaped, which is why it does that.
    Here is my site, if you are inclined to compare. I enjoyed your site..very informative!

    Victoria Jones

    Comment by Victoria Jones — September 7, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  39. This is a great site, lots of good ideas and great advice! very happy I found the site.

    Comment by Ramona — September 18, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

  40. This is wonderful sewing stuff. I will add a link on my page – and direct all my students for extra sewing information.

    Comment by Dragana Edwards — September 30, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  41. what has happened ? hope everything is OK. I have noticed no blog for more than a month

    Comment by ANGELA REGAN — October 8, 2008 @ 3:53 am

  42. Hi, Can anyone help me out.
    Unfortunately my bust size has changed in the past year, I now dont fit my boobs into a gorgeous silk halter cocktail dress I have (without popping out all over!). I was wondering is there any way of altering a halter dressm maybe adding a 2nd layer (eg. contrasting fabric under?) that would work to increase the bust size? I would’nt be able to match the fabric, hence the thought of a layered look. I dont know- if I could just get rid of the boobs I would. Thanks for any ideas?

    Comment by KT — October 13, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

  43. Please Help!
    Where can I buy the leather interfacing? Or can you tell me if Empire State Leather Corp in NJ is still in business? That’s where I use to purchase my lining & interfacing and I can’t seem to reach them.
    Many thanks in advance for your help-R

    PS – love your site

    Comment by Robin — November 7, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  44. I am interested in finding out if my website would qualify to post on your site. The site address is
    Thank you

    Leonie Masamba

    Comment by Leonie — December 29, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  45. Hi,

    Just wanted to tell you all that I LOVE this blog. I try not to get on the computer too much or else before I know it I have spent the remainder of the evening online when I should be at my sewing machine BUT your site is wonderfully addictive. Love it, fabulous! thank you

    Comment by Deneisha — February 16, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  46. Oh, I would also appreciate any tips you could give on finding leather interfacing. thanks!

    Comment by Deneisha — February 16, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    • Deneisha Thanks for the compliments on our blog posts.

      I am sorry but I have no idea where you can find specific leather interfacing in the USA. The interfacing I used in my bags is manufactured and sold in Europe. You can use a cool fuse interfacing and hair/canvas and do some tests. Maybe you can find some more information in leather making books.
      Good luck.

      Comment by Els — February 17, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  47. I am interested in your Singer Genie 354. Do you still have it and are you willing to sell it? If so how much? I had one and loaned it to a cousin who sold it. So mad. Please write back. Yes or no if yes how much.

    Thank you,
    Maui Hawaii

    Comment by Rosemarie — February 22, 2009 @ 3:49 am

  48. Els, thank you for the reply. Actually, I am living across the pond in the UK for the next few years and I do have a UK mailing address. I should be able to work with any overseas retailers

    Comment by Deneisha — February 22, 2009 @ 7:54 am

  49. I love your site!

    Comment by Michael Tim — February 28, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  50. Hi Ladies, this is to thank you for all the great posts!

    Comment by Mary Beth — May 11, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

  51. Els,

    If you want to add Facebook or email sharing buttons to your blog posts, there’s a plugin that does it for you:

    Hope you find it helpful!


    Comment by Brody Sanders — May 14, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  52. WOW!!! Found this blog via Fashion Incubator, and you are doing an amazing thing here. Love the richness of the information, but also the vibrant collaborative spirit of the Divas. I’ve got you bookmarked, and will post a blurb about you in my upcoming newsletter and add to my website links…..please verify that this is OK with you. Love the posting of museum shows all over the world and the real-life photos of projects AND all the great links. A wealth of info to muse upon as I am in my Oregon studio working and playing. (currently developing a new Vogue pattern, a t-shirt).
    Marcy Tilton

    Comment by Marcy Tilton — June 16, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    • Thank you Marcy. We’d be honored. So glad you’ve discovered The Sewing Divas.

      Comment by Mary Beth — June 16, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  53. Hola quería contarles que soy modista de alta costura y resido en Mendoza Argentina, me parece muy interesante y educativo el blog, espero que visiten también el mío. http//

    Comment by Oriele — June 26, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  54. Hi there,
    found this picture of a wedding dress on the internet. Would love to make it for my own wedding. Does anybody know of a pattern similar to this one? Thanks

    Comment by Hille — October 16, 2009 @ 1:19 am

  55. Hello,
    I am a high school Spanish teacher as well as an inventor.I invented a hat and while living in Mexico I was in charge of manufacturing etc. I moved back to NY and I no longer have my contats to manufacture my product.I also recently invented another product in which I am in the process of obtaining a patent, but I need a sewing factory (or partner!)to manufacture both items. Any interest or suggestions?Thanks…Debbie

    Comment by debbie sumano — December 12, 2009 @ 7:24 am

    • Debbie, we can’t suggest a factory really, but since you are in NY you have access to info in the garment center. See if you can get info via the booth in front of 1411 Broadway at 39th St. by the giant needle – there is a Fashion Center group that might be able to direct to a local factory that can help.

      Comment by georgene — December 13, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  56. I would like to complement you too with this site. Very fashionable.
    Regarding your post on the notions shops in Paris, I would like to add my favourite mercerie Ultramod in Rue de Choiseul 3 y 4, near by the Opera Garnier and the lovely Passage de Choiseul. It is like the treasure cave of Ali Baba!

    Comment by Audrey — July 17, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

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