In Stitches

Diane Vallere 3After close to two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. Suede to Rest, the first in her new Material Witness Mystery Series, comes out November 4. In addition, she writes the Style & Error Mystery Series, featuring former fashion buyer Samantha Kidd, and the Mad for Mod Mystery Series, featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at

Ever have one of those relationships where you don’t talk, you don’t visit, and you pretty much don’t communicate at all except for maybe once a year? And when you’re reunited, everything feels natural, like it hasn’t been that long, and any weirdness you anticipated just isn’t there? Until something happens and all of a sudden you realize maybe you should not have ignored things for so long. Maybe if you’d make more of an effort for the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year, then today, when you really need this relationship, you’d receive a bit more cooperation?

That’s the way I feel about my sewing machine.

I admit, I have something of a love-hate relationship with sewing, largely driven by a 50-year old machine that may or may not have come from the same assembly line as Stephen King’s Christine. But temperamental equipment aside, when October rolls around, it’s Game On.

For the past few years, my sewing machine has been a willing partner in the construction of my (and a few other) Halloween costumes, otherwise relegated to a dark corner of the closet. The art of making a costume lies not in the craftsmanship. You’re not looking to construct a piece of couture that will last for the next twenty years. Instead, you want maximum impact that will last for a couple of hours. Quality is not a factor, except that it’s best that your costume not fall apart while you’re wearing it!

Suede to RestI haven’t always loved sewing, but I love the idea of sewing. What’s not to love about the fact that you can create something with a pattern, fabric, thread, and time? It’s like how a seed packet begets flowers (except you don’t add water and dirt, and you can’t just sit everything in the sun and wait a few days/weeks for the garment to bloom, so I guess it’s not like a seed packet after all). But spending time with Polyester Monroe, the protagonist from Suede to Rest (out November 4!), who inherits a fabric shop, has been like revisiting an old favorite playground. Even before it was time to start working on my costume, I was digging out patterns and cuttings of fabric that have been sitting on a shelf and enjoying a new outlet for creativity.

So this Halloween, whether you’re into scary movies, haunted hayrides, trick or treating, or just enjoying the crisp fall air, think about the fun skills you used to enjoy that have fallen by the wayside. Maybe it’s time to dust off your own temperamental machinery and see what creations you can bring to life.

Follow Diane’s blog tour:

Oct 16: Midcentury Style Magazine, Contest/ Cover Reveal for WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL

Oct 31: Buried Under Books

Nov 1: Brooke Blogs.

Nov 2: Queen of All She Reads

Nov 3: Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers

Nov 4: Facebook Launch Party with Molly MacRae, 7-10 ET/ 4-7 PT

Nov 4: Dru’s Book Musings

Nov 4: Socrates Book Reviews

Nov 5: Mysteristas

Nov 6: Get Lost In A Story

Nov 7: Shelley’s Book Case

Nov 7: Marie’s Cozy Corner

Nov 8: Booklady’s Booknotes

Nov 9: Melina’s Book Blog

Nov 10: Back Porchervations

Nov 10: Fresh Fiction

Nov 11: StoreyBook Reviews

Nov 12: Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Nov 12: Stuff and Nonsense

Nov 12: Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

Nov 13: Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

Nov 14: Deal Sharing Aunt

Nov 19: Mysteristas

Nov 20: Thoughts In Progress

Nov 22: Lori’s Reading Corner


Halloween Kitty

Happy Hallowe’en!!


15 thoughts on “In Stitches

  1. I used to love to sew, but my machine is getting up there in years, too. In fact, I haven’t put it together since the last move. It’s so old it fits into a table. Sometimes it calls me, but it needs to be louder before I’ll hear it well enough to reunite. Good luck on the blog tour!


  2. Hi, Diane,
    The last time I sewed, it was a prairie skirt in 7th grade Home Ec class. I did try to make a dress for my daughter to wear to a wedding, but the needle had somehow rusted in the ‘up’ position on my grandmother’s Singer that was probably the first to roll off the assembly line. Your books sound like lots of fun! Thanks for the great post.


  3. Sewing machines do require a visit whey 50,000 miles with one of those dudes that run through and clean it or give it a tune-up. It’s suggested annually if one uses it a lot. And it’s suggested for times when you’ve let it sit a lot. So i guess it depends on whether or not things are going smoothly. I like how you said that the Halloween costume only had to stay together for a short time and didn’t require perfection. I never considered that. What costumes have you made? I come from an area that celebrates a Mardi Gras season too so it’s good to have costumes with dual purpose. I think Oklahoma needs a Mardi Gras krewe or two. The folks here seem to live going all out in costumes for Halloween. .. even in normally business dress offices. It’s the same idea of a party atmosphere that ends with a religious holiday. They ought to love that.


  4. I went through a sewing spree in my early twenties and made all my clothes. Dresses were the thing then, where now I wear mostly blouses and slacks. I haven’t even seen a sewing machine in decades. Having a story around a fabric shop is different. I love the idea of the character’s first name being Polyester.


  5. Pingback: Cozy Wednesday with Diane Vallere - Author of Suede to Rest - Giveaway too! - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

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