I’m still waiting for a post from my guest blogger about our shopping experience together, and her first successful shopping experience online, so I guess I’ll take a moment now to talk to you about sewing.
It’s actually a myth that sewing your own clothes will save you money. I mean it certainly can, but often it won’t. Of course this largely depends on what your materials are and what your skill level is/how much work will go into it. It will obviously cost you more if you have to factor in the cost of a sewing machine and lots of wasted fabric due to some first failed attempts. The idea is to at least save on labor costs, which can be done, but keep in mind a lot of clothes are already cheaply made overseas. If you’re really only considering doing this to save money, you should consider carefully what you would like to make or head on over to etsy or an outlet store.
The real reason to do this is for clothing that’s completely custom and designed by you, which of course by now you know I’m a huge fan of, and for fun. Let me tell you, I can NOT sew! I can’t sew a straight line. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make something you can wear, and enjoy doing it. You just have to focus on a specific look that’s a bit, hmm, disheveled on purpose (and it MUST look like it was on purpose), and if you enjoy that sort of thing, then you’re good to go. Think Alice in Wonderland in all her awesome and crazy makeshift outfits. I must say that when done right it can look almost high-fashion, which is pretty damn cool. I find that this is a look that can be both edgy and romantic, so I really like it, and I’ve made a couple skirts (don’t even ask me about tops and dresses…yet.) that were hardly planned out and evolved during the sewing process. What I got was a complete and lovely surprise at the end, and never a waste of the few hours it took to make them.
If you want to give this a try I have a few tips for you. Make your waistband on a drawstring, sewing it to whatever you choose to tie around your waist. Ribbon is great for this. Don’t close the sides until you’re happy with the fit and fullness. That way until you’re happy with it, you can continue adding and removing fabric without having to worry about measuring out a pattern. If you’re a romantic Victorian girly girl, you can sew the fabric over the waistband instead of directly to it and leave the sides open so that the skirt can be gathered up at the back and worn as a bustle over another skirt. I don’t see a lot of people doing this except certain friends of mine, but for those people who are into that sort of thing, it’s a really great idea to keep things fun and versatile.
You can sew something tattered, layered, in long panels only sewn together at the top to make high sexy slits, whatever you can think of, often changing your mind and experimenting as you go. I’m going to post a couple tutorials for a more specific approach later on, but for now I just want you to tell me about your beginner sewing endeavors. Leave me a comment!