Thursday, January 1, 2015

About Me

I'm Debbie Cook. Welcome to my blog. I live and work in Tampa, FL, and I'm Mom to 2 grown sons, one a U.S. Marine and one still living at home. I'm also adopted mom to 2 very cute and very spoiled pooches. I put up with the oppressive Florida humidity and ravenous mosquitos as a trade-off for sunshine and warmth nearly every day of the year.

I love to sew, but I didn't know it until I was more than grown up. My mom and grandmothers sewed my whole life and while I never had real lessons from them, I found out later that I had actually learned a lot just by watching and helping. With these "custom dressmakers" available, I never felt the need to sew for myself or sit in front of my own machine unless I was mending, hemming or sewing on Boy Scout badges.

Fast forward to my late-30s and the sewing bug finally bit and I haven't stopped since. I've sewn almost everything - home dec, quilting, gifts, lingerie & more, but sewing clothes for myself is what I really love and I sew most of my wardrobe because I have fun doing it and because it fits me better than anything I'd find in a store.

I stash fabric and patterns a LOT, and I seem to be collecting vintage sewing machines too. I use everything though, so it's all good, right?

I like to share what goes on in my sewing room and some of what goes on in my enjoyably-boring life. I've been blogging about it all for almost 10 years now.

I try to answer questions and comments when I can, but honestly, I'm pretty bad about it. I'd rather spend my free time in the sewing room or trying new-to-me restaurants. There are just never enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do!

email me at dcook100 at gmail dot com and find me on Instagram @stitchesandseamsdeb


  1. Debbie, is your website no longer active. I used to go there for your wonderful tutorials.


  2. Hi LindaNan,
    I'm slowly moving everything from my website to this blog. If you hang on, it will all be here eventually. If you have a specific request, let me know and I'll move that to the top of my list.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi Debbie: I just found this blog. I actually bookmarked your fantastic tutorials on FBAs from a link on Pattern Review, which is no longer available. Can you advise where, on this blog, I might find those posts. I refer to them whenever I do FBAs. The raglan sleeve / remove dart to centre front and then out of side seam, has been particularly helpful. Thanks so much for any info. Can't wait to acquaint myself with this blog. Kristin

  4. Hello Debbie,

    I read a wonderful review about your fleece booties (slippers) from a PR member. She said you had a tutorial for these booties but I have not been able to find it. Do you think you could add that tutorial back to your file?

    I know you are quite busy but I would be so thankful if you could find the time to include it with your other tutorials.

    Thanks so much.

  5. @Anonymous - The link is now on the Tutorials page.

  6. @K.Line - I'm sorry, I missed your post I think. I believe all the FBA info is back up on the blog under the Tutorials link at the top.

  7. Hi, Debbie,

    Just found your blog and it is wonderful!!!!!!!

    Soooooo much great information on how to alter patterns - I really love it!

    I have a figure shaped rather like yours, and I'm pretty new to sewing, so seeing so many awesome examples of how you've altered commercial patterns for better fit is invaluable.

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Hello Debbie,
    When I was researching coverstitch sewing machines, your name and tutorials showed up on every single search. Will you be posting all of the wonderful coverstitch tutorials on your blog? Thank you in advance for considering doing this.

  9. @Mary - they're already here. Look at the top for the button. Is there something in particular you are looking for?

  10. Thank you very much for your blog ;) Long time searching for it ;)

    My only regret: it's not in french :)

    You are so amazing!


  11. Lovely blog, I found you through Male Patern Boldness! I'm from FL myself, but the husband and I are currently living in Scotland and I really miss the sun! I think the FL mosquitos have prepared me for the midges here because they are 'nay bother' after what I've been through! I look forward to following your blog more and please soak up some lovely sunshine for me!

  12. What a great biog, full of personality and warmth!

  13. Debbie, your blog is inspiring. I just read through your "remodel" a men's tee shirt. How did you come up with your pattern? Thanks.

  14. Susan, That pattern is a morph between Pattern Master Boutique and Ottobre patterns, which has become my TNT tee base from which I morph all other tee patterns.

  15. Hi Debbie -
    I just discovered your blog and enjoyed it a lot. Especially loved the idea about sewing down the pocket flaps on your white capris/skirt.
    I'm just returning to sewing - having been an industry professional, Baby Lock education director/fabric retailer/sewing school owner, etc. and then away from sewing for a decade or two.
    I'm also an image consultant and suthor of the Palmer/Pletsch book LOOKING GOOD. You might enjoy my e-newsletter "New You in 52". It's a series of mini-lessons to help a woman update/upgrade her look over the span of a year. I don't mean to imply that you need help - just that you might find the articles interesting. You can sign up at
    One opinion to share: if you can possibly fix the fit concerns with the fern-print version of B6363, it is such a killer color combo on you. In fact, flaws and all, I think it looks better on yu than the one on the model.
    Nice to "meet" you. Hope it can be face-to-face at some time.
    Nancy Nix-Rice

  16. Hi Debbie,

    I just got a CS machine and am blowing through all my stretch scraps trying to learn to attach binding without creating waves in the garment. Have you got any hints/techniques that I have missed while searching your (WONDERFUL) blog

  17. I am looking for your review on Vogue 8648...where can I find it? I sew love our blog...

  18. I discovered your blog in two unrelated searches in the last few days - one for fabric Expedit Bins and one for Simplicity 2475. Both very helpful! You've got a new reader! :)

  19. Debbie,
    What I know about webs, blogs and HTML you could put in a thimble. I actually know less about a computer than a sewing machine and that is saying a lot. I do not know how to join your blog. The only way it will let me send you a comment is anonymously. How do I fix that please. Can you help me? I love your blog and read it all the time. I am 69 and I'm trying to learn the internet and the sewing machine at one time. How do I join your blog? Thank you.
    Texas Bonnet

  20. Congrats on the new position, the raise and the new home.
    Texas Bonnet

  21. Hi Debbie, I just found your blog and spent a LOT of time reading your posts. I think I am hooked and will come often! Thank you for the inspiration!
    ~ Iryna
    PS - wanted to sign-up for posts by e-mail, but couldn't find the button. Go back to look again!

  22. Hi Debbie:
    We haven't heard from you for a while. How are you doing? Please let us know what you are up to.

    Sheron in SoCal

  23. Hi Debbie,

    Unfortunately I can't find a email address to message you. If you'd be interested in doing a tutorial on how to get rid of fabric rucking up above our bums, that would be great! Give us an email on and we can sort out the details

  24. Debbie,

    It might be about time for us to start a crowd-sourced funding campaign to raise money to put your pictures back online. I miss them every time I put in a fly zipper! LOL

    Sue C

  25. I don't think I read the old 'about me', but this current (new?) write up is lovely, and so is the (updated?) profile picture. :)

  26. Debbie Hi, How do I subscribe to your blog? And nice to know that you're in Tampa. We're in Germany right now, but looking ahead, we have a house in Clearwater, and I've already googled sewing/fabric stores for when we finally move there. Would love to meet up sometime.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.