11 November 2020

I am not even sure how I came to be making my own clothes... it just sort of evolved from my recent quilt making adventures ... and its opened a 'can of worms' in my head.

Before I share some of the projects (items) I have made I would love to 'dot point' a few of the things that are swimming around in my head.

  • Sewing clothes is not new to me.... wind back to the late 80s - early 90s and I wore a pretty much handmade wardrobe... I also sewed most of my childrens clothes when they were young.
    Clothing was expensive back in the early 90's.... and we were primarily a one income family. I learned how to sew and stretch the dollar. Don't you worry....I have copped my fair share of 'ribbing' about my 80/90's handmade maternity clothes... and the kids tracksuits.
    (Although shameless plug here - I did get approached at the Adelaide Brickworks Markets once to create and sell my designs... so those tracksuits were on trend back then.... even though the kids find it hard to believe now.)

    So ... switching back to sewing felt a little like riding a bike....I was rusty but the skills were still there. I have shared my 'ups and downs' of each piece I've made on Instagram ... including those moments I've felt like giving up .. I hope that being honest about the 'hits and misses' encourages others to just give it a go again. (Its been so lovely to read the comments... especially the comments were others are also blowing the dust off their machines and sewing again.)

  • With all this sewing I have been doing its adding pieces to my wardrobe at a rather fast rate.... I am not a big clothes shopper... and my current wardrobe is quite minimal which is just how I like it. Its got me really mulling over the reason I am sewing... and where I go from here. I sat yesterday and really thought about the reasons I sew clothes ... this is why - 
  1. Its a really good creative outlet ... (I need to create)....being creative is what calms my mind... it keeps me alive... it inspires me... it gets me out of bed.... it makes me happy....however I also hate accumulating stuff. So sewing clothing seems like creativity with a purpose.
  2. Its a wonderful challenge ... choosing a pattern and a piece of fabric.... and then trying to make it fit. I love that moment when its done and you slip it on.... sometimes its sheer joy.... sometimes its oh bugger ... but its a wonderful challenge.
  3. Its been relatively low cost - at this stage a lot of what I've sewn has been using free patterns and Op Shop sourced fabrics. I have wanted to 'test' run my patterns before cutting into the 'good fabric'... and that decision has paid off. I have also purchased a few really beautiful patterns and some linen fabrics... those items are among my favourites... so its worth spending the bucks once you know what you like.
  4. Satisfaction is addictive....  its always wonderful when something works well and you get lovely compliments when you are wearing it.
  5. The desire for a good fitting garment.... I believe if you get the patterns right you should be able to create items that fit well. I have spent so much money over the years on clothes that don't fit well.... its disappointing.... I believe handmade should solve that.
  6. Capsule wardrobe - I for quite some time have tried to aim for an 'all seasons' capsule wardrobe.... just a few clothes...that all interchange... and see me across all seasons. I felt by sewing my own I could add to my capsule gaps mindfully....  at this stage I doubt I've done that.... but I am at least mindful of what I actually need. (eg: I don't need 6 dresses all in different colours just because the pattern works and fits well. I only need a couple in colours that match with my capsule palette)

  • Sewing also ticks my upcycle / recycle box... being able to reuse and repurpose fabric really makes me happy.

So.... now with all that off my chest..... let me share my October handmade wardrobe makes....

The first item I began with was this Vintage pattern top - 
  • Pattern - Simplicity 7477 
  • Op Shop Seersucker fabric - $3.00
  • Thoughts - The pattern made up beautifully.... but I hated it on. I decided I dont like high square necklines...and the puff on top of the sleeve really didn't suit me. The kids made all sorts of jokes about it being something from the historical village... and also something that your space helmet would clip down onto. So..... this top went to the Op Shop.... probably ended up as rags.

Next was this Fen Top - 
  • Pattern - Fen Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts
  • Fabric - Vintage Sheet from my stash
  • Thoughts - this was a great fit... super easy to make... and I loved it. 

I thought the top looked a bit like a PJ top.. so I made some pants to go with it.... which made a beautiful cool pair of PJs ...
  • Pattern pants - Simplicity 7655
  • Fabric - Vintage Sheet from my stash
  • Thoughts - these pants were so simple to make and they made the comfiest PJs.

I was so happy with the fit of the Fen Top that I made the dress - 

  • Pattern - Fen Dress by Fancy Tiger Crafts
  • Fabric - Op Shop sourced $5.00
  • Thoughts - I loved this dress pattern to make.... I love the pockets... the scoop neck...and the sleeves. What I didn't love on me was the high/low hem.... I just couldn't get used to it. So I chopped it off straight which made the whole garment a little shorter than Id like. I will definitely revisit this pattern adding a little length and a straight hem.

I had seen this gorgeous dress pattern many times on Instagram.... it appeared to be my favourite kind of dress... generous sized... pockets... scoop neck and a sleeve... so I purchased it and fell in love.

  • Pattern - Demeter Dress - by Anna Allen Clothing
  • Fabric - Spotlight
  • Thoughts - I love this dress!! Its a beautiful fit... and a dream to sew. I did make mine oversized accidentally.... but I knew next time to size down a little.

While rolling on the success of the Demeter Dress....I made the Demeter top 
  • Pattern - Demeter Dress - by Anna Allen Clothing
  • Fabric - Spotlight
  • Thoughts - the top was a hit. I did make it a little wider than I needed...ooops. It made the neckline a bit gaping... but thats ok.

Not even sure what I was thinking with this one..... 
  • Pattern - Cotton and Chalk - the Zoe Dress
  • Fabric - Op Shop find
  • Thoughts - I was after a tunic style dress that I could wear a Tee under....but this one looked bloody ridiculous on me...and I hated it. This was a fail. (well the pattern wasnt a fail to be fair.... just the style on my body)

Back to sewing pieces that I love...
  • Pattern - Fen Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts
  • Fabric - Spotlight linen (yes...I finally chopped into the real stuff)
  • Thoughts - I loved this from the moment I cut it out.... the fabric is a lovely mustard linen...and I already knew the fit was perfect. I didnt allow for the fabric to shrink slightly though...and its verging on being a little short when I wear it. (I always wear a skin toned singlet tucked in so I don't flash too much belly)

Ahhhh....back to the Demeter Dress ...
  • Pattern - Demeter Dress - by Anna Allen Clothing
  • Fabric - Spotlight
  • Thoughts - Once again I chopped into some 'real fabric'... and also sized down. I am so happy with how this one turned out...although the fabric weight is a little heavy for I think this will be more of a cooler weather wear.

This was my first skirt attempt... 

  • Pattern -  Peppermint Magazine pocket skirt by Paper Theory
  • Fabric - Op Shop $3.00
  • Thoughts - I was so concerned about this one....I thought the pockets would make my hips appear larger but in fact they don't. Its a really lovely pattern and I am so chuffed with it. Plus... Peppermint Magazine very generously share these free patterns so thats an added bonus for affordable sewing projects,

... and a pair of 3/4 pants to wear throughout summer...

  • Pattern - Peppermint Magazine - Lounge Wear Set Pants by Common Stitch 
  • Fabric - Spotlight 
  • Thoughts - another fabulous pattern.... and a great fit!! I need to learn to wear a higher waisted pant because I have a tendency to push them down a bit which sags the crutch.... haha But honestly...these are lovely. I also made them a tad I am making another pair as we speak but in a smaller size.... hoping for a more snugger fit.

So that was my September / October makes.... I already have a few pieces made ready to post about in my November makes round up.
If you have any patterns you love.... please share in the comments.... oh and what are your thoughts on a handmade wardrobe?

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