Start small, build skills. I think this is very important. It’s hard to know where to start, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You can see my previous blog post here for a guide to my first few garments. Make a muslin… or two… or three. A muslin, also called a toile, is made with cheap fabric (I usually use cotton muslin I buy for $.99/yard). Muslins are primarily used as a means to test the fit of the pattern and make alterations. Look at where your muslin is wrinkling, and think about what can be done to remove that. Wear the muslin around the house for a bit to make sure it’s comfortable. And for the beginning sewist, muslins are also a great way to familiarize yourself with a pattern and to practice the new techniques it requires. Don’t be afraid of alterations. I have to make a lot…
It’s been a busy couple months since I started sewing garments! Like I said in my previous post, I found garment sewing intimidating and scary, so I hope sharing my early projects may help other aspiring sewists figure out how to get started!
I’m continuing to steadily build my skills, being careful not to take on projects that are too ambitious. I’ve made so many things, and right now I’m overwhelmed with both fabric and ideas!
Some of my recent projects below. These are all suitable for beginners and advanced beginners.
My dad loves his ladies. He spends hours with them every day. He puts out a lawn chair and sits in the middle of their house, letting them jump all over him. They clamber to him for bread, their special treat. They’ve been taught to perform a trick for it – they jump! He makes them work for the bread, but he throws the rest of the food on the ground and watches them run, pushing each other out of the way to get the food first. And they get fresh water daily. Lucky ladies! They’re a secret. Their house is built in the back of his property, locked and gated away so the neighbors don’t know. But they’re there – and they’re not going anywhere! My dad really, really loves his ladies. Here are the ladies jumping up to get bread from me. A little trick my dad taught them!…
I’m the first to admit that I cycle through hobbies and interest fairly quickly. A couple years ago, four months of my life was completely devoted to embroidery. I thought of embroidery non-stop, and I organized my nights and weekends at home for optimal embroidery time. Then — suddenly — I didn’t want to do it anymore. I now I have two bags of half-finished embroidery projects I haven’t looked at in over a year.
Since then, I’ve been trying to ease into my hobbies a little slower. I still flitter between interests, but I try to find a balance between each, and I don’t let myself do all the work I usually want to do in a day. I’m hoping this will keep the momentum going and prevent burn out!
What’s my latest hobby? Making my own clothes. And I think this one is going to stick. Because not only does it include the the crafts I already love to do (embroidery, knitting, weaving), it let’s me use these skills in a more practical and efficient way.
A few weeks ago, I complained on Instagram about how hard it’s become to find clothes in my preferred style and fabrics. Am I totally out of style? It seems the stores I used to count on for interesting, well-made clothes can’t be depended on anymore. Basically all I want to wear are fit and flare dresses in opaque natural fibers. No sheer viscose that hangs off my body with no shape – that’s what I keep seeing in stores! A friend suggested I try my hand at sewing, and although I initially responded with a “No, I’m really not good at sewing!” I kept thinking about it. And then I started doing it!
You may have heard of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It came out a few years ago and caused a stir. It’s been parodied in the media, and I know an equal number of people who either benefited from or hated the book. The primary take-away from Marie Kondo (her nickname is KonMari): Decide what items to keep and discard based on their answer to one question: “Does it spark joy?” If it doesn’t, you thank the item for serving its purpose and you get rid of it.