Around 2010, I tried to sew clothes for myself. I’d been sewing for K for a while and was feeling pretty confident and not a little cocky. Today, I thought I’d show you some of the things I made back then…and you can laugh with me! I’m still trying to figure out how to set up my tripod and take pictures of myself with a remote, so for this round, I won’t be modeling the clothes.
Here’s the first dress I attempted. It’s a Built By Wendy pattern, and I have several of her books. Looking at it now, I’m pretty embarrassed about how badly it’s sewn. As you can see, I created my own short-sleeve version of the dress. The zipper is askew, the neckline a mess, and it looks like a potato sack on me (the sizing turned out much more generous than expected), but I was so proud of it when I completed that last stitch! I still think it’s a cute dress with a lot of potential if styled right. It’s made out of a great brown linen fabric.
This tank is definitely adorable. But I’m not a floral person, not really, and I found that though the fit is OK, I hardly ever wore it because I felt weird in it. It was a lesson in choosing fabrics that fit my style.
It took some effort, but I was able to look beyond the fabric choice on the pattern envelope, and I’m glad I got this pattern. This knit top was mildly successful and as someone obsessed with stripes, I feel it is very me, but again, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. The seams have fallen apart many, many times. I’m still learning how to sew knits, but boy, I really didn’t know how to sew them back then.
This dress was a labor of love and hate – it took me an inordinately long time and I made every possible mistake. I was immensely relieved when I finally finished it and gazed at the retro, swingy dress for a long, long time with admiration. The fabric is gorgeous – some gauzy cotton lawn I picked up years ago. It’s floral but it’s subtle with a more modern flair, I think. You probably can’t see from the image, but the pockets are on backwards!! I couldn’t even be bothered to fix it because I realized, when would I possibly wear a low-cut flouncy dress? I wore it once for a date night, but ended up clutching at my chest the whole time to prevent flashing the entire restaurant. Another lesson in selecting patterns that are appropriate for my lifestyle.
I quickly realized that most commercial patterns don’t fit me (I have a feeling they don’t fit most people?) and my brain had trouble wrapping around the concept of adjusting fit. I’m pretty short (5’4″), and seem to be curvy and flat in all the wrong places, and have what some may call stunted legs. I sewed a few other garments for myself — none of which fit well — but I settled back into sewing for K because it was so much easier.
But this year, I am going to conquer my fears of sewing for myself. The thing is, I have a lot of patterns. You’ve probably surmised that I have a ridiculous collection of Japanese kids pattern books, and yes, it’s true. I have hoarding instincts for all things that relate to making (craft books and supplies, cook books, fabric etc. etc.). 2013 is the year I bust my stash and actually use the myriad of books and patterns and how-to-tutorials I seem to keep accumulating. Hooray for using what you have!