About Me

If you can read a recipe, you can read a pattern. If you can drive a car, you can operate a sewing machine. If you can shop, you can SEW.

Sarah Gunn

On August 31, 2011 I gave up buying clothes for a year and vowed to make my clothes instead.

As a mother to two fashionable daughters, I was no stranger to shopping for clothes. From baby clothes to upscale fashions, shopping for clothes had dominated my checkbook for decades.

During my year of sewing I made 64 garments, saved thousands of dollars, and received countless compliments on my clothes from people who did not know my story. Two weeks after I concluded my year of abstaining from buying ready-to-wear clothing, Mood FabricsProject Runway’s go-to fabric store announced a sewing network of nine bloggers of which I was one.

Honored to be a part of the Mood Fabrics team, I’ve continued to work on my skills and promote sewing clothes.

On January 1, 2014 I was joined by hundreds of sewists across the globe for another year long Ready-t0-Wear Fast.  Follow  here!

On August 31, 2011 I gave up buying clothes for a year and vowed to make my clothes instead. Find out more!

  • Renee Wessel
    Posted at 03:05h, 16 January Reply

    I really love your style. I have been sewing for 50 years, but have been doing mostly alterations of consignment shop and thrift shop purchases . I have had a love hate relationship with patterns and the way they fit my 60+ body multi size body. You have inspired me to buy a bolt of muslim, trying out patterns, and get back into sewing my own garments. again.

    • Goodbye Valentino
      Posted at 13:05h, 18 January Reply

      What a lovely comment, Renee! I followed the Nike advice and just did it. Learning to fit myself has been one of the greatest things I’ve done for myself, and I hope once you start sewing again you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

    • Sharon Jester
      Posted at 19:21h, 27 January Reply

      You are such an inspiration,, your clothes and style are beautiful, I’m a novice at sewing, always wanted to sew my own clothes, but became frustrated when sewing a pattern and it did not fit. Now with online classes, and bloggers such as yourself, it incourages me to keep trying and learning. Thank you so much for your knowledge and inspiration.

  • Alice Zenner
    Posted at 18:52h, 26 January Reply

    Jessica, I was wondering if you ever re-purposed or refashioned your outfits from old clothes or fabric rejects and scraps? I have been experimenting for the last two years with reusing old fabrics and making new pieces. Some were duds (LOL) and some were adorable. At least my 3 daughters were good sports. Like you, I gave up purchasing new about 18 months ago for the thrill of the find – and lots of donated treasures from friends and family. The results have been nothing short of amazing. I decided to take my sewing to a new level and am now sharing my sewing talents as an alteration business on the side. I wish I’d done this years ago! Thank you for your blog and photos, I’ve voted for you in the Craftsy Sewing Photography site…. inspiring! Alice

  • Ruqayyah (ReDpants Designs
    Posted at 03:14h, 31 January Reply

    I have seen your post on Pinterest and McCall’s pattern”s Instagram…you are AMAZING! Sophisticated and your clothes are tailored to fit beautifully! Love your site! Will be following…

  • Carol M
    Posted at 12:53h, 27 April Reply

    Please consider sharing before and after pics the next time you refashion something. I’m a committed thrift store shopper getting back into my sewing groove after a too many years away from my machine. I’m not ready to fast yet but I’m really inspired by your posts.

  • Meme
    Posted at 17:01h, 30 May Reply

    Sarah, I just completed one year of RTW Fasting, Thanks for the inspiration. While my output doesn’t come close to yours, I’m proud of my accomplishment. The astonished looks and comments I receive when I say “Thanks, I made it myself” are worth the effort. I don’t want to retire because I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear my fabulous, well-fitting clothes. I love your video and your gallery. They are “sew” inspiring.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:52h, 08 July Reply

      For some reason I just saw your email. Congratulations on completing your RTW FAST!! It’s a true accomplishment that warrants celebration. I hope you continue to sew 😉
      Many thanks for your comment!

  • Judith Nigh
    Posted at 12:52h, 08 July Reply

    Hello, I’m new to your site/blog and I am returning to sewing after years of ‘too little time” Your clothes are impressive and clearly made with quality fabric. As I prepare to get back to the machine…I cannot locate sources for quality fabric. I come from a line of seamstresses who used beautiful material for their projects and believe it is only worth the time if I can find this. Home is Louisville, Kentucky and sadly our best family owned fabric store closed several years ago. With RTW so available and many choosing not to sew and they simply could not sustain the business. Unfortunately, that leaves only the ‘big box’ sewing stores that are full of craft items but short on good fabric. Im sure you have addressed this in your blog and would like to know where you are getting yours. Could you comment or direct me to a post that will give direction? Thank you, HAPPY DAY! Judith Nigh

    • Carol M
      Posted at 14:11h, 08 July Reply

      Judith- consider a road trip to Nashville’s Textile Fabrics. Textile is in the process of moving but it would be worthwhile to get on their mailing list and c’mon down once the move is complete in the next month or so. And while you’re waiting to hear from Sarah, check out emmaonesock.com, moodfabrics.com and lowpricefabrics.com. Most will send swatches either for free or a nominal fee. Let me know if you wind up in Music City!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:50h, 08 July Reply

      Hi Judith and thank you for your nice email!
      I discovered the same disappointing issue as you when I returned to sewing four years ago. The good news is quality fabrics are available online. It’s a different way of shopping and sewing but I can’t complain 😉
      Since I blog for Mood Fabrics, I buy the vast majority of my fabrics from their online store. Mood is an enormously large store with great prices on designer fabrics. Other online fabric stores exist – after Mood you may want to check out BandJ Fabrics, Emma One Sock, Marcy Tilton, NY Fashion Fabrics .
      Good luck and welcome back!!

  • Jill Morgensteibn
    Posted at 19:36h, 28 October Reply

    so glad to find your blog. You are a very classy lady who looks like a million dollars because of your good taste because your clothes fit you so well.
    Will be a faithful follower and my inspiration.

  • Carol
    Posted at 20:29h, 05 April Reply

    I came across you website because of your pattern review of you beautiful sateen dress. I am determined to make all my clothing now. A slow process as I am building my skill levels and can only sew in the evenings ! I am excited to see others are on the same quest.

  • Lorraine Kruuse
    Posted at 14:42h, 09 June Reply

    I have just discovered your site, congratulations on an amazing achievement. I too am very keen to get back to sewing my own clothes, firstly to give me a purpose now that I am on my own after having a husband and 5 children and a very busy life and secondly the quality of the clothes available in the shops has deteriorated so badly and it is very difficult to find quality items. I live in South Africa so unfortunately the online stores you recommend for fabrics are out of my reach and the materials in the stores are also far from satisfactory. I feel that if one is going to take the time to make a garment, it is going to feel very homemade if the fabrics are of poor quality. I will just keep searching and in the meantime make a few muslins until I get a perfect fit (an impossible task).

  • Jill
    Posted at 11:37h, 14 June Reply

    I found you as the newest featured Reviewer from Pattern Review. I have to tell you, your figure is totally different from mine, we’re about 20 years apart in age, you’re about to be a Grandmother while I have two toddlers at home – – different as can be, but I was so enchanted with your blog and your mission that I went back and read your entire archive and just loved everything. I’m so incredibly motivated to get back to sewing as much as my two little ones will let me. Great blog – just great!

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 15:25h, 30 June Reply

    GORGEOUS job matching the stripes!!!!! I love this dress!

  • Alice Meyers
    Posted at 11:46h, 19 November Reply

    Wow – I just found your site via Craftsy and Mood. I love your clothes especially the fabulous fit. Do you make a muslin for each or fit via tissue? I am not sure what is the best method. Have you taken any classes and if so what would you recommend? Many thanks, Alice

  • Julie Twible
    Posted at 06:16h, 30 November Reply

    Hi Sarah,

    Happened upon your new book the tunic bible recently from purchased sewing magazine from my local newsagents .Very impressed !!!!
    Ordered it today and should be here in time for christmas. I am a Very frustrated home sewer. mainly due to lack of sources for decent fabrics
    Middle aged lady very inspired by your Goodbye Valentino . You have inspired me to attempt a new try at home sewn wardrobe and fast on the buying of clothes.
    Certainly armed with a few new pattens and your tunic bible I am hopeful of a stunning new stylish wardrobe.
    Thank you Sarah

    Regards Julie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:22h, 18 January Reply

      I’m embarrassed to just now see this comment. Thank you so much for your kind words and for buying The Tunic Bible! Please send me photos of your tunics and Good Luck 🙂

  • Alice Meyers
    Posted at 17:35h, 30 November Reply

    Your clothes are just beautiful. I am working on taking my skills to a new level. Do you have any recommendations? Both on-line and classes to attend?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:21h, 18 January Reply

      I’m embarrassed to have just now seen this comment. Craftsy offers excellent online classes that you’ll have access to forever, and they have sales regularly.
      Many thanks for your comment!

  • Margaret Hord
    Posted at 20:05h, 13 January Reply

    Hi there. Not sure where to write this, but do you have any advice on sewing machines. I’m wanting to graduate from a mechanical machine and trying to stay under $800.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:19h, 18 January Reply

      There are so many machines on the market. Bernina offers entry level machines in that price range while Brother offers the Project Runway model for $500.
      I have an older Bernina that was state of the art when I received it which I still love, and an new lighter weight Brother (that I just mentioned). My advice would be to try some machines out, and when you buy make sure you will have easy access to a service dealer licensed to work on your machine brand.
      Good luck!

  • Kym Wright
    Posted at 14:11h, 06 February Reply

    Are you currently holding a Goodbye Valentino clothes-buying fast for 2017?

  • Meg McKinney
    Posted at 15:16h, 07 February Reply

    I discovered Goodbye Valentino this week, and wow! What an inspiration to make our own clothing.

    I sew a lot — quilts, clothing, some handy things for home, and have for most of my life.

    Question: Is there is 2017 RTW Fast group?

    If so, how do I get in touch with them?

    Thank you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:45h, 08 February Reply

      Thank you so much, Meg! I am not fasting or leading a RTW fasting group this year. I am considering for 2018 😉

  • Jackie Gildea
    Posted at 11:45h, 16 February Reply

    Hi Sarah-I am just getting back into sewing and have so many questions!! I just ordered The Tunic Bible and subscribe to your blog. How did you get your pattern fitting skills when you started back into sewing and do you own a dressform? If so what brand?

  • Julie Turjoman
    Posted at 11:10h, 03 April Reply

    Hi Sarah – Your blog is very inspiring to this former home sewist who is just taking the plunge to get back into making my own clothes. In fact, I ordered your book, The Tunic Bible, and it’s a fabulous resource! However, I thought you’d want to know that Amazon ships each copy in a padded envelope that is not strong enough to prevent the book from getting mashed up in shipping. As a result, I’ve ordered replacement copies from them 3 times and every one of them has arrived damaged. Because the pattern envelope at the back is smaller than the back cover, the difference in thickness causes bending and denting during shipment. Perhaps you can advise Amazon to ship copies in a flat box that will protect them better? My inquiries and suggestions have gotten nowhere, but as the author you’ll no doubt have more influence..

  • Helena A.
    Posted at 16:05h, 04 April Reply

    I have following you for several years. Love your style.
    You should have a sewing youtube channel for teaching people who don’t know how to sew (like me!).
    Kisses from Portugal!

  • susan gill
    Posted at 11:11h, 07 September Reply

    I really enjoy your postings. one question: how do you construct the collars that stand up in the back? (not sure I stated that right) when you do a shirt collar, it shows it standing up and every time I try to get that look it never works. starch, extra interfacing? could you possibly do a posting on some of the tips/tricks you have developed over time? thank you lots.

  • Vera
    Posted at 20:12h, 28 December Reply

    Would love to try this but working too much, not much my time left over!

  • Nancy S
    Posted at 19:06h, 31 December Reply

    of all the sewing blogs I follow, yours is my very favorite, as is your style. You make classic look beautiful and timeless. Thank you for all the wonderful inspiration. i am so grateful. I hope to acquire The Tunic Bible very soon. Happy New Year!

  • Joelle Sell
    Posted at 10:22h, 12 February Reply

    Just discovered you amazing site and look forward to reading more about your projects

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