About

My name is Renee (Cidell) and I sew. A lot.

I have always loved clothes but thankfully had parents who refused to spend $75 on a pair of GAP jeans. So, I learned to sew. And, I think ANYBODY with a little patience, can learn to sew! I pretty much taught myself from books, and with the Internet, it has gotta be easier!

In my day-to-day I work in government and live in Baltimore City. I love my job and thankfully, it allows me to travel occasionally.


Ghana, West Africa

My style is classically trendy with loads of prints. I prefer to sew from European sewing magazines like Patrones, Burda and Knip Mode, but I don’t shun the ‘Big Four’. I’m very intermediate and learn everyday from the amazing women online. Did I mention I’m OBSESSED with sewing?

I also have a thing for vintage sewing machines. And furniture. And clothes. The Featherweight below is my greatest purchase!

Through the internet, I’ve made some amazing friends. Many who I’ve gotten to meet in real life.

My blog, is an expression of me. The girl you meet here, is the girl I am in real life — except with a potty mouth :) This is where I share my sewing projects and other things on my mind.

Because I’m a sewist, I love COLOR. That has translated to a sizeable nail polish collection. It’s cheaper than fabric and easier to store!

I appreciate every person who takes an interest in my many ramblings and takes the time to comment.

Thank you for reading Miss Celie’s Pants!

72 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi! I’m the Community Manager of Ruba.com. We’re building a website to highlight some of the most interesting places travelers around the world have discovered. We’ve read hundreds of blogs about Israel, and we think that yours is awesome! We’d love to highlight excerpts from blogs like yours (assuming it’s OK with you of course) and to discuss other ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested. I’m at erin@ruba.com.
    Thanks! :)

  2. Hi, Ive just stumled accross your page as I viewed a wrap around skirt, I have to say this is beautiful…. If you get this mail can you contact me so that I can discuss this with you via email.

    Thanks,
    Kaz Newton

  3. I like to make a suggestion about your pictures that you have posted to your blog. They would appear better if they were not so big and when posting photos of people make sure you fix the red eye. On most of the pictures you have to scroll other then that I really like the fabrics that you have chosen.

    Jaggs

  4. fran said where is miss celies pants pattern that i thought you would have on your site. sure wish these sites would be specific and have what they advetise is monday thats all i got lol

  5. I have been sewing since I was 15. As of December of this year, that will be thirty years of sewing. I collect vintage sewing patterns and sew a lot. A friend and I started a fashion blog called http://www.fashionproject9.com. We will be doing an ongoing red dress project. We would like to exchange links with you. Please let us know.

  6. I am also a intermediate sewer and like to stick it to man by making my own clothes rather than buying when i can. I was wondering where i could find the pattern to that sweatshirt dress you made! love it! thanks for sharing! -kat

  7. I ran across your blog via twitter via foursquare. I’m not really a fashionado(?) but, your designs are pretty decent, assuming that’s your stuff in the pics. I wouldn’t mind saving money by making my own stuff.

    By the way, congrats on your Mini. I’ve been eyeing them since I saw .

  8. I am procrastinating cleaning our house. And in the middle of a mess, I decided to sew some curtains. One of my 5 sewing machines is not working right so I started searching for a solution online. I cam across your site. So, so cool! Trying to find the best way to store my fabric collection. You’re right. Finger nail polish is so much easier to store. K

  9. Hello

    I am also an avid amateur seamstress and self-taught fashion designer. I live in Trinidad West Indies and will add you to my Fashion Favorites folder.

    Michelle

  10. We just found your fun blog through a series of other blogs and love your style and approach!

    We are working on a sequel to our 2009 One-Yard Wonders with Storey Publishing, and are currently seeking project submissions.

    We can tell you are super crafty, and thought you would be interested in submitting any original designs you might have up your sleeve to be published in this work – so bring it!

    All the info you need to submit your design can be found here: http://www.oneyardwondersbook.com

  11. Hello Cidell!

    I’m writing from Cloth magazine, a new independent magazine based in Bristol, UK, dedicated to sewing, make-do-and-mend, recycling, resourcefulness, fashion and homeware. Harriet and Roz, our creative editors, loved your blog and sent it on to us in the office. It all looks great, though I wasn’t sure where to find an email for you, hence this posting instead.

    We thought you’d really like Cloth. We launched last summer and have just released Issue 3, and are continuing to try and spread the word far and wide. If you’ve not seen the magazine yet I can pop a copy in the post to you. We’re also online at http://www.clothmagazine.co.uk. We’re in the process of adding a ‘Friends’ page to our website, so when that’s up and running in the next couple of weeks we could add your blog to our list of favourite people.

    Chris and all at Cloth

    info@clothmagazine.co.uk

  12. Hi Cidell,

    I understand you’ve kindly offered to collect the sewing parcels for Arielle. I have a few things to send, including the zippers I had my name against on her list. Please could you let me know a postal address for these. I’m in Australia so it could take a week or so to arrive.

    Thanks, Sandra

  13. I love your blog which I just discovered while looking for Bunka book. i, to am passionate about fabric, sewing, patterns, knitting, tectiles and doing the least amount of housework possible.
    Come to Paris and let me know when you are here!

  14. Hi!

    My name is Sonia D’Elia, I work at Fabricville in the marketing department, and I very much enjoy your blog.

    Fabricville launched its “I ♥ Fashion” Sewing Contest, and urges beginner and expert sewers alike to show off their talents, and create a garment for a chance to win the Ultimate Style Weekend in Montreal, Quebec, valued at over $4,000, including a shopping spree at Holt Renfrew.

    I thought your readers and yourself would be interested in knowing about this contest. If you are interested in knowing more, I will gladly send you the official press release and contest logo.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me directly to receive additional information or if you have any questions.

    Best regards,

    Sonia D’Elia

  15. Hi – I was wondering if you could tell me more about the Morse Super Dial. Does it really sew leather? Would it sew multiple layers of denim (as in when you hem jeans and fold the hem, you may end up with 6 layers when you get to the inseam part. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you!

  16. Hi — I’m going to be posting about the Burda 4/2008 trench jacket and want to use your (inspirational!) photo and link to your blog when I write the post. Any objections to my posting a photo of you wearing your vest? Please let me know if you’re OK with this.

    I couldn’t find your email address anywhere on missceliespants, although I thought I remembered that you had it up on the previous version? Anyway, please let me know. You did a great job on that vest; I hope mine turns out half as well.

    Noile

  17. Love your blog! I also have a Kenmore 1040. LOVE IT! It pinch hit for me when my Kenmore 43 was acting wonky (I will never use 30/3 polyester thread again).

    Can’t wait to read more about your fun life!

  18. Hey there! Well I have been following your blog for years and enjoying every minute of it! Just thought I needed to write and thank you for all the great entertainment and info! If you find your way to DC, please give me a jingle. DC Threads is alive and well and would love to have you come spend time in DC sewing!
    Stay well!
    Laura

    DC Threads.org

  19. Cidell,

    I love your blog! I’m returning to sewing after many years of hibernation. Apparently, sewing has become the new craze (must be due to Project Runway…thank you, PR!). Anyhooooo, I was wondering if you had any thoughts or advice on dress forms. I am trying to organize myself to purchase one, but I really don’t know where to start…

    Cheers,
    Toja

    • Welcome back to sewing! Regarding a dressform: I would buy the least expensive one I could find and plan on padding it out to better fit you. Honestly? I wanted one for aeons and I pretty much just use it now to show photos of garments or figure out what they are going to look like on a person. Unless you are draping, I don’t think a dressform is needed. You can also look on line for direction on making a papertape or duct tape dress form.

  20. I’ve been a loyal follower for a long time. I just love how you put the “human” in sewing. Your finished projects are amazing yet you tell us about your frustrations, likes, dislikes and what you would change ie “human”.
    I have a question and wonder if you can provide direction. I really want to learn the proper way to use a french curve in maintaining armhole sizes when taking in a garment. Any suggestions re web sites, tutorials or videos. Thank-you, Gail

  21. you are lovely! i just stumbled across your blog this morning and have been totally ENTRENCHED in checking out your projects! AWESOME.

  22. Sewist? And to think, originally, you WROTE for a living. (Seamstress?)

    LUV YOU FORMER INTERN. Are you away on travel now?

    (Feel free to yank this down. Hope you’re well. BOOKMARKING!)

  23. Celie, I was reading your adventure with the gorgeous blue bra, and the band problem, it rides up. If you haven’t already taken that workshop, I think the fix would be what I learned in the one I took. The instructors called it a “downward hike band”, essentially, on your pattern piece, make a dart in the back band about one inch deep, on the bottom edge, and then cut the fabric. It changes the lower edge from a straight(ish) line to one that bends downward when you look at it, but is straight when worn. It is used to accomodate a very full bustline, and really works! If you want more info, please feel free to contact me.
    By the way, you have a gorgeous figure!

    • Thank you Jean! I think you may be right. A friend has sent me the information. I have my pattern altered for it now, but haven’t had a chance to try it out. The pattern looked crazy when I cut it out (very downward) so I am hoping you are correct and it straightens out!

  24. Hello Cidell!

    I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. In one of your post you talk about your trip to China. I’m an up & coming designer who will be taking a trip hopeful in October. I was wondering if you’re still in contact with Helen or someone in China ; as I’m looking for someone who would be willing to show me around to some fabric shops.Any help would be greatly appreciated:) All info can be sent to my e-mail: tami@tamibdesigns.com

    Best Regards,
    Tami

    • Hi Tamiko,

      I see you’re from St. Vincent. My mom is from Grenada and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting there two or three times.

      Here is Helen’s email address. I’m not sure if she is still in China or what her access to email is. Some email websites are intermittently blocked in China. I know that’s why she hasn’t been able to update her blog.

      Helen is AWESOME and I hope you are able to connect with her. My trip wouldn ot have been the same without her help.

      HelenChen66@hotmail.com

  25. Hi, Miss Celie!

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year, and I think you’re so fun and cute! I think your grey trench coat turned out absolutely stunning!

    I noticed you have a mild obsession with the Royal Couple. Well, I live in Alberta, and was lucky enough to see them when they came to Slave Lake on July 6. I’ve blogged about it here: http://thefunkyseamstress.blogspot.com/2011/07/royal-visit-to-slave-lake-july-6-2011.html

    I don’t know if you’ve discovered my blog before, but I’m The Funky Seamstress. I love bright colours and sporty styles, and I know we’ll get along just fine. I also have a relationship with bright nail polish, although I don’t wear it nearly often enough as I ought to.

    Please drop by for a visit! I’m a big fan of yours!

  26. dear cidell! i have been following your blog for ages as well as the slapdash sewist, and since i live on capitol hill i think she and i may be neighbors.
    i am going to amsterdam on wednesday and would love to go to the store that sells the lingerie fabrics and findings. could you let me know where it is.i really enjoyed your reports of your trip to the netherlands in may. i know this is last minute but i have been swamped with unexpected events, and making my own bras did not quite make the priority list!
    would love to meet you and trena. i ahve found the best source of housing internationally and would love to share it with you. my phone number is 202-546-1719, or 543-4968.
    thank you for your blog. as it is both educational and entertaining.
    claudia bell

  27. Miss Celie, you are adorable! I just happened upon your site this morning and just smile as I read some of your postings. I like your motto, “I sew, I cook, I travel but I do not clean”, too funny. Thanks for sharing some of your joy with us meddling folks.

    Happy sewing!
    Migdalia
    ps. I too fell in love with sewing at a very young age and am trying to get back into it.

  28. Hi,
    my mom is looking for Burda magazine 10/2009 and I saw that you made something from that mag. Any chance you’d be willing to sell your copy or share so that she could make #109?
    btw, you’re pretty good (i’m no sewer but that coat is impressive!)
    Thanks!

  29. Miss Celie:

    Haven’t commented in a while so just let me say once again that I think your work and dedication to your sewing and blog is fabulous. Keep up the good work. You’ve inspired me to make two coats this year.

  30. Hello Miss Celie! How fun to find a Baltimore blogger who has such great posts and creativity. This is awesome – and not a food blog :) – refreshing! But before I get side-tracked and just add this to my personal RSS reader…

    I’m helping connect with some local Baltimore bloggers to offer the opportunity to blog for furniture! Su Casa wants bloggers to test a piece of furniture of your choosing, blog about it, and have the chance to win it for free! It’s a really neat promotion I’m excited about – and would love to have you participate in.

    Check out our site for more information, or feel free to contact me if you have questions! http://sucasa-furniture.com/main-page/test-it-blog-it-win-it/

  31. Love your blog. I stumbled upon it while trying to find a fabric you blogged about. Can’t get it out of my head. You wrote that you bought it at Joann’s is there any tag that indicates the maker. here is the link to your picture.

    Many thanks,

  32. Hi Miss Celie,

    You were kind enough to reply when I emailed some weeks ago about the afro puff fabric. I have looked everywhere and can’t find it! I was wondering if you would consider sending me a small amount? I want to make a scarf for my daughter who never sees images of girls with hair like hers.

    Thanks,
    Retha

  33. Just discovered your blog, and I love it to death. The name definitely grabbed me. You have no idea how many times my friend and I have talked about making a good pair of folkspants since I started sewing. Take care and keep up the great work.

  34. AWESOME ITEMS!!!! I’m currently living in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was wondering if you have ever been here, and if so, do you know where to buy patterns?? I’m having a really hard time locating them (fabric, is NO PROBLEM!!!! LOL!!! Gorgeous stuff here!!!). Thanks for any help on this matter. I’m at my wits end!!!! Great blog!!!

  35. I recently came across your blog and it is now one of my favourites — love your writing style, your creations and your food posts. I am a lapsed sewer who has recently started sewing again just for me, so your blog is very inspiring.I will be dropping by often!

  36. Love your pieces and was wondering if you provide samples of your work? What is the best way to hey in contact with you?

  37. Hi! i just read on Oona’s blog you had a burda magazine from 2008, I am making my wedding dress from a pattern in Burda March 2008, but is in German, and I was hoping to find the instructions in English. Do you have this issue? If you would be able to scan the instruction page that would be amazing. If not no worries! Just thought I’d ask. It is the Duchess of Windsor Dress 116. All the best to you, I am enjoying your blog!
    Angie

  38. Hi Cidell,
    I’m really enjoying your blog. Just getting back into sewing after many years. I love your new cape – nice job!
    I have a couple of questions for you if you have a minute. Your blue bubble skirt – what is the pattern. I’m looking for a cute bubble skirt that I can make in a jersey.
    I’m also wondering what pattern you used for the knit geometric print dress you are wearing in the photo in your about section. It is so cute.
    Thanks and happy sewing.
    Sincerely,
    Diane

  39. Hi, Cidell. I wanted to leave a little note to say I have been enjoying your blog for a while now and am quite impressed with the stylish and well-crafted garments you put out so regularly! I also wanted to see if you have any recommendations for fabric/notion shopping in the DC area? I will be in DC this Saturday through Tuesday for a conference for work and I would love to get a little “personal time” in while I am there. I will intentionally be leaving empty space in my suitcase!

    Thanks :)
    Katrina

  40. Hallo! I live in Namibia and teach bra-making. I also make bra`s for a living and for a hobby. (I do have some other hobbies as well) How can I find the English instructions for the Sewy Rebecca bra? Where can I find a list of the English/German bra sizes?
    I do really like your blog and love getting to know you through your ‘letters’

  41. Hi! Fashions Unlimited is having another factory sale. I remember telling you that I would
    let you know when we were having another sale! It will be August 12- 16th from 8am- 2:30 PM. Fabric, Lace, Zippers, Elastic, Samples, etc. Nylon/Lycras, Polartec Fleeces,etc. $0.25 Zippers, $1 Fabrics, All very discounted. Please come back if you are interested- We’d love to have people from the surrounding areas.

  42. Hi, Renee I Love your blog, I am always inspired when I view your blog. So Happy for you and your new hubby…I have purchased some patterns that you used from Burda online and have some questions about Burda patterns….

  43. Hi Cidell! I love your blog and the fact that you sew your own clothes. You’ve created some beautiful pieces. Based on some of the items I’ve seen you wear in your posts, I think you’d score some nice items at the pop up resale boutique my mother and I are hosting this Sunday in Baltimore at The Living Well, an arts studio. We’ll have a variety of sizes (4 to 20 in clothes and 6 to 12 in shoes) and name brands, including boutique, designer and department labels, for sale at 70% off the retail price and lower. My mother (a shopaholic but classy lady) retired recently and our goal is to purge. For that reason, a lot her items, and the gently-used items of a lot of other ladies who want to purge, will be extremely discounted. I’m sure you can find some items that you could repurpose or wear as is!

    We’ll have everything from bags, blouses and sweaters to skirts, scarves, and shoes. There will be jewelry too!

    It would be great to see you there. Bring a friend or two! Details can be found in the link and attachment.

    https://charlottescloset-srch.eventbrite.com/

    Take care and have a great weekend! Janelle

  44. I love that I found the site of a blogger from Balitmore! I am in Elkridge and am always on the lookout for locals that love to sew. Your blog looks awesome and I am so jealous of your sewing room.

  45. Perusing your site (http://missceliespants.com/2011/04/15/of-course-theres-room-for-one-more/) I believe I purchased my treadle from the woman you speak of in this post. As a matter of fact I THINK the machine on your page is mine! I purchased a Sears Minnesota from a Florida woman and have been seeking to identify the model ever since. Phew, it has been a chore that has gone on for over a year.

    I am enjoying your site. You’re sew talented.

    Thank you for being a force on the WWW.

    Cheers,

    Lyric

    http://www.sewcroandquilt.wordpress.com

  46. Dear Miss Celie,

    I have so enjoyed your blog, and although I am not a regular reader nor a subscriber, I just wanted to “throw you a line” to let you know how “hooked” I am on you! (sorry [sort of!] ’bout the puns.) You are a beautiful woman who writes beautifully, sews beautifully and shares of herself beautifully!

    It does give me hope to see that there are times when you pause on your “real sewing” – I find that I feel I am waking from a sew-less dream only to be called by the siren of “fabric and the possibilities.” There must be a 12-step group somewhere for fabric hoarders; but, if there is, I don’t want know about it! Denial is not just a river in Egypt anymore!

    Please accept my gratitude for being a blessing in my life!

  47. I’ve just found you and I’m fascinated. I’d like to sew a coat for my husband and I saw your version of man parka. I love making jackets as you. I’ll follow your blog.

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